Report: Riot to sell LCS streaming rights to MLBAM for $200 million

by Daniel Rosen Nov 22 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Riot Games

Riot Games' is allegedly set to close a streaming deal with Major League Baseball Advanced Media that will make Riot $200 million over the next two years, according to a report by the LA Times' Paresh Dave.

As was previously reported by Richard Lewis, the alleged deal would see MLBAM develop a mobile video app for Riot that would feature high quality livestreams of professional play as well as on-demand video. Lewis's report also included documents that outlined a standalone video app for Riot's website and a subscription model, on top of the mobile app.

Another report, from Ben Fischer and Eric Fisher of Sports Business Daily, alleged that the deal would be worth $90 million annually, and would last two years.

According to Premier Ventures' Jeff Marks, who spoke to the LA times, the deal would benefit the MLB by letting them analyze consumer data from younger users that aren't necessarily watching baseball.

Joost van Dreunene, chief executive at consulting firm SuperData research told the LA Times that a platform like this would reduce Riot's reliance on Twitch, increasing possible revenue. He also noted that while it's unclear whether or not the service will be subscription-based, Riot could offer exclusive content or in-game gifts to players who use to app.

However, Eliot Kent-Uritam, the director of media and analytics at the Nice & Co agency, told the LA times that there is a concern Riot could cut consumers off from their content by abandoning Twitch entirely.

"What could be the worst long-term thing is doing something that makes people less interested," he said.

MLBAM is an internet media company that is primarily owned by Major League Baseball with Disney as a secondary shareholder, and has high-profile clients like Turner Sports, HBO and Sony. The company currently operates MLB At Bat and BAMTech, a streaming technology used for HBO Go, the WWE Network and WatchESPN, among other services.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.