HUYA fork out $310m for exclusive League of Legends esports media rights in China

Adam Fitch
LPL Spring 2021 Finals

Chinese livestream platform HUYA have acquired the exclusive media rights to League of Legends esports in their home nation for $310m.

From 2021 to 2025, HUYA will hold exclusive broadcasting rights to all official League of Legends esports competitions in China. Specifically, the deal covers Mandarin language broadcasts and excludes Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.

The streaming platform have also acquired the rights to broadcast the video-on-demand (VOD) recordings of the matches for three years.

The deal, which was uncovered through the company’s Form 20F report and first reported by The Esports Observer, is worth 2,013m RMB — approximately $310m.

lol worlds 2020 damwon v suning
Worlds 2020, hosted in Shanghai, China, was by far the most viewed esports event of the year.

HUYA can also produce derivative content such as highlights and replays, news reports, analysis, and in-game videos with the permission of TJ Sports, according to their form.

As per their five-year deal with TJ Sports — the joint venture from Riot Games and Tencent that runs the competitions — HUYA now have exclusive broadcasting rights to all League of Legends esports initiatives in China.

This purchase specifically includes top-flight competition LPL, the League of Legends Development League (LDL), and the LPL All-Star event.

In August 2020, entertainment company Bilibili acquired exclusive Chinese broadcast rights to global League of Legends events, such as the Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship, in a three-year deal for a reported total of $113m.

Later in November 2020, Riot Games confirmed that they were shopping the English streaming rights to the game’s competition efforts to prospective buyers. The move would reportedly see all English-language League of Legends broadcasts live on a single platform.