Esports numbers are getting bigger and bigger each year both in transactions between companies as well as tournament prizes. Recently, video streaming company BiliBili struck a deal with TJ Sports, giving them $113 million in order to acquire the exclusive rights for broadcasting the League of Legends Worlds Championship for three years.
The news comes from the Beijing News and it doesn’t strike as a surprise after the stomping success of Fun Plus Phoenix during this year’s World Championship. The Chinese team managed to win over the European giant G2 Esports, bringing the championship and the Summoners Cup back to China. The next Worlds finals will take place in Shanghai, making it an excellent opportunity for media exposure in China.
The choice of spending that gigantic amount of money for exclusive League of Legends broadcasting rights doesn’t only rely on the championship coming back to China. During the past Worlds finals, which took place only a month ago, more than 3 million viewers watched the games live on major platforms, compared to the 2 million that watched the 2018 finals.
If that number is to escalate even more, it could reach 5 million during the next year. Let alone the number of new players coming to the game after the introduction of new games and content in the Runeterra universe.
According to an early post, BiliBili’s move on League of Legends broadcasting rights is the first move on that front in China. The company wasn’t the only one with more huge names joining in to try and win the spotlight.
Undeniably, getting exclusive broadcasting inside the Shanghai Stadium next year is a huge move, even if the price tag is a big over the top. The finals venue can seat more than 55.000 viewers, making it arguably the biggest League of Legends finals up until now. We hope that the opening though will be grand enough to stand up to the expectations that the extraordinary “music concert” that we got to see in Paris this year.