Riot Games closes in on streaming deal with MLB Advanced Media

Riot games are very close to announcing a $200 million streaming deal with MLB Advanced Media according to sources. The deal will see the 10 player computer game being streamed to millions across the globe. This deal was first reported by Richard Lewis and Sports Business Daily.

Major League Baseball holds a majority stake in the company, whose streaming technology clients include HBO, Sony and Turner Sports. Disney and the National Hockey League hold smaller stakes.

Jeff Marks, Premier Ventures

This could be a groundbreaking moment.

Among other synergies, MLB could boost its own sport by looking at data on how young gamers consume online content, and Riot Games could gain legitimacy with advertisers that baseball has worked with for decades, Marks said.

The biggest question on everyoneś mind is how this will affect the livestreaming of League of Legends on Twitch and Youtube. Twitch and Youtube are definitely places having a lot of static people lurking around and checking out live streams for free. Twitch has played an integral role in the development of eSports.

New talks suggest that Riot Games wants more control than typical broadcast deals, following a route that’s become popular only in recent years. BAMTech develops streaming apps for the NHL, PGA and WWE too.

Joost van Dreunen, chief executive of consulting firm SuperData Research :

Considering Riot’s aggressive strategy of vertical integration to better the user experience — they built their own Internet backbone to improve latency — having their own channel, and thereby reducing their reliance on Twitch, is a solid decision.

According to sources, the app based live streaming would see Riot providing exclusive behind the scene features and in game content to users for a fee. We hope that the app would not be the only place for viewers to watch matches as it would severely affect the number of users watching. Having people to pay a price to watch a livestream might actually force users and viewers to stop watching and become less interested in League of Legends altogether.

We will keep you informed of further developments in the scene.