MLB unit joins League of Legends 

19 Dec 2016

By: Sport Industry Group

BAMTech, the video technology business of Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media division, is set to partner with the creator of one of the world’s most popular computer games.

The new deal will see MLB’s streaming technology unit pay Riot Games a minimum of $300m through to 2023 for the streaming rights for the company’s League of Legends esports tournaments.

The deal will give BAMTech “exclusive rights to stream and monetise League of Legends competitions.”

As part of the agreement, BAMTech will launch a streaming application in 2017 for League of Legends for PCs and smartphone devices. The aim will be to generate income through advertising and sponsorship.

“No other sport has seen this kind of global online audience for live events,” said Bob Bowman, MLB’s president of business and media, and chief of MLB Advanced Media.

BAMTech will also manage the distribution of the content to other streaming platforms. According to US sports broadcaster ESPN, these platforms could include the likes of YouTube and Twitch.

Riot’s director of esports, Whalen Rozelle, said that viewers will continue to be able to watch the coverage for free.