Report: Riot Games, BAM Tech Partnering in a $90M Streaming Deal
According to a report made by SportsBusiness Daily’s Ben Fischer and Eric Fisher, Riot is currently in the works to secure a partnership with BAM Tech that would create a two-year streaming deal that would reportedly be worth $90 million USD annually.
BAM Tech is a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media, a partnership of thirty club owners within Major League Baseball. BAM Tech was created by Baseball Advanced Media, the National Hockey League, and The Walt Disney Company, the latter of which invested $1 billion USD into the subsidiary earlier this year to own a 33% stake, to act as a streaming technology provider. At present, BAM Tech’s clientele includes HBO, MLB, NHL and WWE.
SportsBusiness Daily says that Riot Games’ representatives have been in constant contact with MBLAM executives to finalize the deal and that news of the partnership will be announced, “Within the next several weeks.”
Currently, competitive League of Legends is streamed to sites such as Twitch, YouTube and the LoL Esports website in a vast array of languages. The report is unclear in determining whether or not the livestreaming deal would require exclusivity, though Richard Lewis reported a leaked version of the deal which included a video application for Riot Games’ website, as well as mentions of subscriptions.
The concept of paying a subscription to watch something like the LCS or LPL is not so far from realistic as one might think. Organizations have recently begun to request that Riot Games assists teams with generating revenue due to the fact that, as of now, they depend solely on merchandise sales, tournament winnings, and sponsorship deals with companies such as Loot Crate and Logitech. When League of Legends itself is free to play, relying heavily on micro-transactions, and the eSports side of the game has been confirmed to not be profitable, it makes sense that Riot would look outward into subscription-based and on-demand viewership. However, the question is not whether or not Riot will begin to charge fans to watch their pro scene, but whether or not fans will pay for that kind of content when it was free for several years before.
Riot has not yet commented on the rumor.
Image Source: Polygon
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai