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- Bilibili will pay $113M USD in a three-year exclusive livestreaming deal for the League of Legends World Championships in China, The Beijing News reports.
- This is the first bidding process for exclusive esports broadcasting rights in China, with other companies in the running including Kuaishou, Douyu, and Huya.
- Bilibili also runs esports teams in League of Legends, and the Overwatch League.
According to a report by The Beijing News, Chinese video and streaming company Bilibili (Nasdaq: BILI) will pay ¥800M RMB ($113M) to TJ Sports as part of a three-year exclusive broadcasting deal for the League of Legends World Championships. The company beat out other live streaming companies in China, including Douyu, Huya, and Kuaishou.
According to the report, this is the first exclusive media rights bidding process for an esports tournament property in China. Industry sources also told The Beijing News that the price was too high and that ¥500M ($71M) would have been reasonable.
It’s not clear if Bilibili will receive sales and distribution for other rights in this deal. The Esports Observer has reached out to Bilibili to confirm the deal and will update this article when more details are available.
In March 2018, Bilibili officially listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq), and gained 11.8% of the stock price in October. Bilibili also owns the Chinese League of Legends team brand Bilibili Gaming (BLG), which competes in China’s top-level League of Legends Pro League (LPL), and the Overwatch League franchise the Hangzhou Spark.
In 2020, the League of Legends World Championships will return to China for the first time since 2017. The venue for the grand finals has been announced as Shanghai Stadium, which seats over 56,000. Competitively, teams from the LPL region have won the last two World Championships.