ESL extends DouYu media rights contract

27 April 2021


Esports organiser and production company ESL and DreamHack have announced an extension of its media rights contract with Chinese streaming service DouYu for another year.

As a result of the extension, DouYu has been granted exclusive rights to broadcast the ESL Pro Tour for CS:GO, StarCraft II, and Warcraft III, as well as all ESL Dota 2 competitions and ESL Mobile. The contract covers standard Mandarin and other Chinese languages and dialects.

Credit: ESL | LinkedIn

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According to the release, the deal is said to include sub-licensing rights with streaming and video platforms Huya and bilibili. Moreover, the partnership will also include DreamHack’s events. 

Huya had previously held the media rights package for the ESL Pro Tour CS:GO and its Dota 2 events, however, now all ESL and DreamHack esports action will be available to watch on DouYu.

DouYu’s previous deal, which was signed last year, gave the streaming service exclusive rights to broadcast the ESL StarCraft II Pro Tour and ESL Warcraft III Pro Tour in standard Mandarin and other Chinese languages and dialects.

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The news of ESL’s renewal follows on from ESL extending its media rights deal with Scandinavian telecoms firm Telia in February. Moreover, it was reported earlier this month that Bilibili Esports signed an exclusive Chinese broadcast deal with Activision Blizzard for the Overwatch League (OWL).

Esports Insider Says: This new deal sees DouYu gain all the rights to broadcast all ESL and DreamHack events exclusively, which is massive for the Chinese streaming service as it looks to compete against others in its sector. With over 174 million monthly users recorded by DouYu this past year, according to the release, that number should be set to increase again in 2021.

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