Riot Games and BAM Tech are set to sign a deal to stream League of Legends matches live. According to SportsBusinessDaily, the deal is rumored to be for a period of two years and might be valued at $90 million. The deal is still under negotiation and hence it is not surprising to see both teams declining to comment on the matter.
Riot adds to a rapidly growing BAM Tech stable of clients and partners that already includes Disney, the NHL, WWE, Discovery Communications, HBO and the PGA Tour, among others.
The negotiations are focussed on future media earnings and the refinement of the advertisement model in League. With Gaming reaching a huge audience irrespective of genre, it is a lucrative market for the agencies. However most of the gaming deals have been exclusive deals, with many popular websites such as Twitch & Youtube. Turner Sports Contributing Editor Richard Lewis yesterday reported a leaked document outlining the framework of the Riot-BAM Tech partnership, which included a standalone video application for the Riot Games website and references to subscription billing. The authenticity of that document has not been independently confirmed.
This deal will be closely watched by many business houses from outside the esports industry. As lucrative as esports is for sponsors and advertisers, it is still considered to be the wild west. Most of the teams and players and disorganised and unprofessional and it does show in their performances. As such it is scary for any organisation to invest big bucks into the system.
If this deal does go through, it will surely entail a number of new organisations coming into eSports.
“This deal is really a watershed moment, not just for LOL e-sports, but for e-sports in general,” said Catalyst Sports & Media Exec VP Bryce Blum, a longtime e-sports attorney.
This movement comes in the wake of several League franchisees writing to Riot games regarding the unsustainable model of League of Legends. Riot has taken a number of steps including allowing crowdfunding to partly fund the teams and prize pools of The Worlds.
“Media/sponsorships are a vital part of LoL esports’ economic future. We’ve been working for over a year to restructure and expand our approach to media distribution and ad/sponsorship sales.” Franchises will demand to know how they will benefit from the BAM Tech deal, Blum said. “It’s probably taken for granted by the traditional sports audience that revenue sharing is a fundamental part of league economics, but it’s not in most e-sports,” Blum said. “Just because this media deal comes through, there isn’t a structure in place to guarantee that the teams and players are meaningful participants in the upside of a deal they’re undoubtedly instrumental in creating.”
Source : SportsBusinessDaily