Chinese livestreaming platform Huya has signed an exclusive media rights deal worth ￥2,013m RMB (~£223.88m) for League of Legends esports in China.
Huya secured the five-year agreement with TJ Sports, China’s League of Legends operator which is a joint venture between Tencent and Riot Games, on Tuesday, April 27th.
The deal includes the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), League of Legends Development League (LDL), and LPL’s All-Star event.
As a result of the agreement, Huya can also produce promotional content such as replays, news, highlights and commentary using TJ Sports-authorised League of Legends resources, according to a report from The Esports Observer.
The agreement was revealed in Huya’s Form 20-F, a filing submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission by some foreign private issuers.
Form 20-F reads: ‘On April 27th, 2021, Guangzhou Huya entered into a License Agreement for Broadcasting League of Legends Matches with Tengjing Sports & Culture Development (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., under which we purchased an exclusive license for e-sports during the period from 2021 to 2025 for a total consideration of RMB2,013 million.’
In August 2020, Chinese streaming platform Bilibili agreed a three-year media rights deal with Riot Games to exclusively broadcast major global League of Legends competitions, including the World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational competitions, and All-Star events.
Esports Insider says: This is perhaps one of the most important moments for esports media rights in the industry’s history. However, it’s important to note that League of Legends stands on its own as an esport, and is huge in China. Media rights deals in the most popular esport, in the biggest region, are not necessarily reflective of the industry as a whole. Nevertheless, this is as big as it gets in esports and may well set the tone for broadcast deals moving forward.