According to the inside sources of an online eSports magazine called the PVP Live, ESPN and Riot Games have been talking about entering a deal worth $500 million. Dustin Steiner, the News Writer who articulated this news, further reported that this deal allows ESPN the rights to broadcast world’s largest eSport, League of Legend’s Championship Series (LCS) in exchange of $500 million with Riot Games, the online game’s developer.
This groundbreaking news has surfaced at a time when Turner Broadcasting and WME/IMG talent and media agency have teamed up to air the ELEAGUE eSports television show. This partnership could be an attempt to maintain the popularity of ‘League of Legends’ as the world’s largest eSport.
ESPN is a leading sports TV channel when it comes down to airing traditional sports and is owned by Walt Disney Company. Riot Games, on the other hand, is majorly owned by a Chinese company called Tencent Games. The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is the world’s largest eSport event and has a huge amount of viewership, approximately 22.8 million hours, across North America and Europe. Although by entering into talks about such a deal, both the organizations are coming together for a massive collaboration, it is still unsettled which areas this deal will cover. That is, whether Riot Games will grant ESPN the LCS broadcasting rights in North America or Europe? Or Both?
Though the company did manage to attract Coca Cola and American Express as its sponsors in the past, Riot Games, up till now, has been claiming that it has made no significant profits with its online games. Surely after this deal is signed, Riot Games will have an enormous amount of money to invest in future Challenger and LCS teams likewise and increase the basic pay of their players. The company might as well franchise teams in the LCS.
No matter what the Riot Games decides to do with its inflows, the question which still lingers in one’s mind is about the impact of this deal on Riot Games’ agreements with other broadcasting agencies and online streaming platforms such as Azubu, Yahoo and Twitch, etc.
According to PVP Live’s correspondents, the online magazine has contacted the management of both the companies to comment on this piece of information and let the viewers know the truth.