Chinese Broadcaster Bought Worlds 2020-2022 Exclusive Rights for $ 113.3 Million
Well-known gaming and e-sports insider Rod “Slasher” Breslau said that the Chinese video and streaming platform Bilibili has bought the rights to an exclusive broadcast of the League of Legends World Championship for the next three years. According to his information, the deal with Riot Games is $ 113 million.
The deal is designed for “Worlds” 2020-2022 tournaments and its value is 800 million yuan (113.35 million USD). Bilibili is ahead of China’s largest online broadcasters: Douyu, Huya, Kuaishou.
Slasher pointed out the similarity of this deal with the Twitch.tv and Blizzard exclusive show rights agreement. Bilibili is not even one of the five largest platforms in China (Youku, iQiyi, Tencent Video, Kuaishou, Weishi), therefore they had to overpay to overcome competitors.
According to local industry, the transaction amount is overpriced and the real value of this transaction is 500 million yuan (about 70 million USD).
The deal also allows you to evaluate the level of financial availability in China. League of Legends is one of the largest games in the region and the largest Western title. When Activision Blizzard sold broadcast rights to the Twitch Overseas League it was valued at $ 90 Million in two years.
As Twitch Overwatch, it looks like Bilibili overpaid for broadcast, trying to avoid sharing rights. It will take some time before we get any information as to whether the transaction was worth it or not. However, as an example of a deal with Twitch OWL, the fact that no one received exclusive rights to OWL for 2020 may have proved that Twitch failed. Although, OWL probably did not take the world of e-sports under control as Activision or Twitch had hoped.
Bilibili can probably receive some benefits from this deal because the next LoL World Championship is not only one of the most popular events in e-sports, but also the largest in the Chinese market. Apart from the Chinese audience, Worlds 2019 broke many records, including setting a record for the number of match views. The 3.9 million viewers were watching the broadcast at the peak of the semifinals between SK Telecom T1 and G2 Esports, thereby becoming the most viewed match in the history of e-sports.
The next League of Legends World Championship will be held in China.