Live streaming platform Bilibili has reportedly acquired the Chinese broadcast rights for the League of Legends World Championship.
As reported by Beijing News, Bilibili is said to have obtained the exclusive rights to broadcast Riot Games‘ annual tournament for three years.
The report states that other live streaming platforms DouYu, Huya, and Kuaishou also bid for the rights to Riot Games’ flagship global event. It’s said to have cost Bilibili 800 million yuan (£87.2 million) for the three-year deal.
This is the first instance of a bidding process for the exclusive media rights for an esports event property in China, according to the report.
China is set to host the 10th annual world championship for Riot Games’ MOBA title in 2020, with the finals being held at Shanghai Stadium. More Chinese cities are set to be involved in hosting the tournament’s earlier stages, though they haven’t been disclosed at the time of writing.
Bilibili also owns Chinese League of Legends team Bilibili Gaming and Overwatch League franchise Hangzhou Spark.
Esports Insider says: As industry experts noted in Beijing News’ report, the figure that Bilibili seems particularly high – though it’s worth noting that League of Legends is ridiculously popular in China and the next Worlds will indeed be hosted in the country. We’d be intrigued to see the analytics following next year’s event.