Is Riot Games Selling Streaming Rights to MLBAM?

Riot Games LogoThe world of esports and popularity of League of Legends matches and tournaments are growing rapidly. More aspiring pro players are hoping to succeed and compete with the best, and the fan base keeps getting bigger. That’s one, of many reasons, why Riot Games always strive to introduce something new. These changes are intended to raise the quality of tournaments, matches, and provide even more excitement. We’re already used to new announcements by Riot Games and adjusting to constant changes, and it looks like there’s more to come. Rumor has it that Riot Games will sell streaming rights for esports matches. What’s going on? Keep reading to find out!

League of Legends Icon What do reports say?

Major League Baseball Advanced Media MLBAM - LogoAccording to some reports, Riot Games is collaborating with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM)’s BAM Tech subsidiary on a deal to stream LoL matches and support further developments. For those who don’t live in the States, BAM Tech is a streaming technology provider, while MLBAM is a partnership of 30 club owners in Major League Baseball.

This groundbreaking partnership is a ticket for MLBAM to step in the world of video gaming and automatically reshape the economics of esports. Although the deal isn’t completed or officially announced by Riot Games or their partners, some reports state that agreement would be signed for two years.

The unnamed source dished that worth of the deal would be $90 million on a yearly basis. Both Riot Games and MLBAM representatives have been in daily contact for several weeks now trying to negotiate deal points. If the negotiations develop according to the plan, we could expect the formal announcement in a few weeks, sources claim. When contacted, both Riot Games and MLBAM executives declined to comment news about the partnership.

If the deal goes through and Riot Games do sell streaming rights to MLBAM, they would be in the company of many clients who did the same including Disney, the NHL, WWE, HBO, Discovery Communications, and many others.

League of Legends Icon What would happen with streams?

Negotiations between Riot Games and MLBAM are primarily focused on refining the ad model within the content of LoL in a bid to generate sufficient revenue or, even, increase the earnings. At this point, the League of Legends content is exclusively available on YouTube and Twitch and some other streaming sites. That said, it’s too early to tell whether the realization of this deal would make the streaming content exclusive. Allegedly, the MLBAM would make streams available for everyone in 2017, but some reports state that Riot Games – BAM Tech partnership would include a standalone video application for the Riot Games site. The access to videos and streams would be allowed with paid subscription. Moreover, it’s unknown whether the deal would only apply to LCS and tournaments such as Worlds or fans from other regions would also have to pay to get access to the exclusive content. Additionally, it’s possible that Riot Games offers a fee-based option with exclusive content and in-game benefits. There are many unanswered questions at this point, but if reports are accurate, we’re going to find out everything in just a few weeks.

NA LCS Studio - Los Angeles, California

From a business point of view, the deal would benefit both MLBAM and Riot Games. The first party would boost its own sport by monitoring data on how young gamers consume the content online, and latter would gain more legitimacy with advertisers that baseball has collaborated with for decades. On the other hand, if the app developed by BAM Tech and Riot Games becomes the only place to see LoL content, Riot Games could take a big blow as it’s safe to say the loyal enthusiasts would object the decision.

League of Legends Icon Bottom line

According to numerous reports, Riot Games is about to sign a deal with MLBAM to sell streaming rights for LoL content. At this point, little is known, and it’s not certain how the deal would affect streams and content access, but allegedly there’d be a paid subscription. We’ll have to wait for the official announcement to know more about the partnership, regions affected (just LCS 2017 or all), and so on.

About the Author: Aman El TawilAmna El Tawil is a news reporter and a technology blogger. For the past five years, she has worked for major publications and TV networks in the Middle East, covering one of region’s hotspots. When Amna is not chasing after the truth amidst gas canisters, she can be found cheering her favorite football team on, or unwinding with some online gaming.