Esports event organiser ESL has announced an exclusive media rights agreement with Chinese live streaming platform Huya.
The renewed agreement will span two years. Exclusive broadcast rights within the deal will include ESL’s Dota 2 and Mobile ecosystems, as well as its ESL Pro Tour for CS:GO and StarCraft II. Huya will cover tournaments in standard Mandarin and other Chinese dialects.
The deal comes as an expansion to the July 2020 deal between the two firms, which saw Huya acquire the rights to ESL’s CS:GO and Dota 2 events.
Frank Uddo, Senior Vice President Global Media at ESL Gaming, said: “Huya is undoubtedly a leading platform in broadcasting esports events in China and we couldn’t be more excited to announce that we are joining forces with them for what is to be ESL’s first multi-year partnership in China. We have a great history working with them for many years and are thrilled to fully bring to life our new and exclusive collaboration in the upcoming two years.”
In September 2019, Modern Times Group, the parent company of both ESL and DreamHack, attempted to enter into a strategic joint venture with Huya, which would see the streaming platform acquire a minority interest in ESL.
Several months later in January 2020, it was revealed the two companies had terminated the agreement by way of mutual agreement.
Other notable recent rights deals include ESL’s media rights pact with gaming network G4, as well as LATAM esports firm Live Media Esports Entertainment’s broadcast rights arrangement with Beyond The Summit.
Esports Insider says: China is a key market for esports and ESL’s arrangement with Huya will play a helping hand in unlocking that demographic for the organiser. ESL produces a number of key industry events, and it’s clear there’s demand in the Chinese region for top tier esports events.