Riot Korea considers splitting LCK broadcast between OGN and SpoTV, OGN concerned

by Daniel Rosen Dec 3 2015
Thumbnail image courtesy of OGN

Riot Korea is considering a split in their LCK broadcasting for the Summer season between two networks, OGN and SpoTV, the organization announced Thursday.

According to an Inven post by Riot Korea's country manager, Woody Rhee, this decision was made to help ensure matches will start on time, and games can be scheduled for better times.

"Assuming that the production quality of the new broadcaster will ramp up within a short period of time, players would now have two channels through which they can view high quality eSports broadcasts," he said.

"Furthermore, in the long term we can expect to see incremental improvements to the LCK production quality resulting from healthy competition between the broadcasters. Some fans have voiced concerns about the potential complications that could arise due to this competition; and it would be Riot’s role to actively support the creation of positive synergy in this relationship."

SpoTV would not start broadcasting any games until the 2016 Summer season, and OGN will continue broadcasting all the Spring games. Riot plans to help grow SpoTV's LoL broadcast team during the first split of the new year.

OGN released a statement saying that they were never included in talks about splitting the broadcasts, and that they have "deep concern" about the decision.

"OGN has been paying some share of the Champions (LCK) revenues to KeSPA for the sake of 'e-Sports development' and we are fully responsible for the operations cost of CJ Entus gaming. Obviously it was rather a difficult decision for us to make because it costs us a lot for a cable TV to bear. We only made this decision because e-Sports is what we've created and we wanted to develop the industry with out own money.

"OGN hereby, expresses deep concern about the 'Riot Games' Position regarding the 2016 LCK Broadcast released earlier today. The announcement was a unilateral decision made by the Riot KR."

OGN says they are taking this as a matter of Korean eSports "sovereignty" rather than a financial issue, and will make a final statement soon.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore eSports. If there's eSports sovereignty, can he be the Duke of Street Fighter? Court jester at least. You can follow him on Twitter.