Riot Games partners with MLB Advanced Media for $50M annual deal through 2023

Riot Games and MLB Advanced Media have partnered on six-year deal worth $50 million annually regarding the monetization and commercialization of League of Legends.

The Wall Street Journal reported the financial terms of the deal, which runs through 2023. The deal is with BAMTech, a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media that specializes in streaming technology.

In an interview with Yahoo, Riot’s co-head of esports and head of merchandising Jarred Kennedy assured fans that they “have no plans to change” the free-viewing nature of games or the HD streams of competitive games, but co-head of esports Whalen Rozelle added that the potential of a “premium experience” is still on the table for the future.

The minimum guarantee of the partnership between the two companies is $50 million, although Bowman told Yahoo he is “expecting” the deal to create more than that. Kennedy added that part of the revenue “will find its way to players in the form of salaries, and to teams in the form of a share of that revenue.”

Kennedy said that actual effects of the deal will appear no earlier than 2018, but did say that the purpose of this early announcement is “to come out and get in front of some of the misinformation that was out there.”

Riot’s relationship with MLBAM was originally reported by Richard Lewis, who talked about a leaked document of the framework of the deal. The document included plans for a standalone video application for Live and on-demand content from Riot and implied a paid subscription model.

The story was later picked up by the LA Times’ Paresh Dave, who cited sources that the sale of the streaming rights was to be worth $200 million over two years, with Sports Business Daily’s Ben and Eric Fisher also reporting that the deal was worth $90 million annually.

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