The in-flight entertainment company announced in April that it had plans to expand its Sport 24 and Sports 24 Extra coverage into esports, and aired the inaugural Fortnite World Cup in July.
The addition of the LCS now adds an ongoing league to Panasonic’s collection, which already boasts a number of massive sporting competition, which also includes the likes of the English Premier League, Rugby World Cup, Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Australian Open, and Wimbledon.
“We all know the pain of boarding a flight just as your team is gearing up to hit the stage or hours in the air without any action from the Rift to keep you company,” a Riot representative said.
“Coming soon, aircraft equipped with Panasonic’s inflight entertainment systems will have access to LCS and Academy games as part of their expanding premium content offering. LCS and Academy games will be available from launch in a near-live format, so skip those Reddit spoilers and relax with the latest in LoL esports at 30,000 feet.”
David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said he believes esports a perfect way to provide “new and engaging content” for younger passengers in a digital age.
“Esports brings significant value to an airline by enhancing the passenger experience with engaging content that has garnered one of entertainment’s fastest-growing audiences,” he said.
“Similar to traditional sports, esports is most valuable when broadcasted live. Past live esports tournaments and matches have seen viewership surpass traditional sports. For airlines, these innovative solutions provide a game-changing way to differentiate themselves in the market, and a unique way to drive ancillary revenue generation.”
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There has been no indication from Riot or Panasonic Avionics that this partnership will extend beyond the North American League of Legends competitions, but considering the entertainment company hosts international competitions like the Bundesliga in Germany and the National Rugby League in Australia, expansion wouldn’t be out of the question.
This news comes just weeks after Riot Games announced hefty partnership deals with smartphone provider OPPO and financial services company Mastercard, the latter of which also included a funded documentary series, and co-branded merchandise.
Riot has not yet confirmed which airlines will be joining the Panasonic Avionics deal, though it is expected all aircraft operating the Sports 24 channels — more than 2,400 according to Panasonic — will boast the LCS and Academy live streams.