Jess Colwill, December 19, 2016

Riot Sign $300 Million Deal With MLBAM

Back in November, news leaked that Riot was on the verge of a deal with a subsidiary of Major League Baseball, BAMTech. That deal has finally come to pass, and Riot has officially announced the details of what the first-of-its-kind deal will involve.

The deal sets its sights on the long-term, with plans to run into the 2023 season. It will guarantee Riot Games $50 million per year at a minimum, which means a minimum total takeaway of $350 million dollars for Riot Games. This is well above the rumored $90 million deal we heard about in November.

BAMTech will launch an app for streaming League of Legends games that will run on both PC and mobile devices. While consoles aren’t specifically mentioned, it’s a safe bet the app will be making its way to living rooms as well.

Concerns inevitably cropped up comparing the proposed app with current services like Twitchservices that are free to use both for streamers and viewers. Riot’s director of esports, Whalen “Magus” Rozelle, took to Reddit to dispel any fears of the new app being a paid service.

"The current experience we have today is and will continue to be free," Rozelle confirmed. Riot says it will keep HD streams and ensure the “core esports experience remains as accessible as possible and free without paywall,” with monetization through ad revenue.

“We first and foremost believe in making sure that the content is in places where the fans want to watch it, so that will continue to be the case,” Riot’s co-head of esports Jarred Kennedy told Yahoo! Esports. “We believe in making content freely available, and it will continue to be freely available into the future. We have no plans to change that.”

An interesting future ahead, then. If you're more interested in the recent past, don't miss our piece on the best League of Legends matches of 2016.

Jess Colwill

Jess is a writer and dog-lover from the eastern coast of Australia, who loves playing games (particularly anything by BioWare), listening to metal, baking, and fostering rescue dogs while they wait for new homes. You can find her on Twitter at @notsocryptic.