Riot Games has unveiled a deal with BAMTech, which is a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media, for the streaming rights of League of Legends esports competitions. The contract runs through the 2023 season, and BAMTech is guaranteeing at least $50 million a year to be paid to Riot Games.
BAMTech is adding Riot Games to their already high profile list of streaming technology clients, which include Disney, WWE, HBO, NHL and the PGA Tour.
In an interview with Yahoo esports, Riot and BAMTech representatives confirmed that they will not put LoL competitions behind a paywall, and that it should not change how people watch the competitions on Twitch, YouTube or any other live platforms. BAMTech does plan on rolling out an app in the future, and the company does have an eye to creating premium content for pay as well.
As for the high value of the deal, BAMTech is not worried about the minimum $50 million per year guarantee to Riot, and in fact they predict that both they and Riot will make much more than that. The company is optimistic because they say that unlike traditional sports, League of Legends has always been a “digital-first” property.
“The amount of time that [Riot Games] has over the top for live events far eclipses any other sport in the world — not just esport, any other sport in the world. So the monetization for that effort and those kind of events is going to be really exciting. But we think the world is ready for esports. The sponsors, the advertisers are ready for it. They’re dying for it. It’s a great audience and they spend a great deal of time with this content,” said BAMTech President of Business and Media Bob Bowman.
There’s no roll out date yet, though they did say the partnership will not effect any broadcasts for the upcoming competitive season. For more details on how Riot plans to share revenue with teams and players, check out the full interview at Yahoo esports.