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Report: Bilibili lands exclusive Overwatch League broadcast rights in China

Multi-year strategic partnership includes Chinese production for esports competition.

16 April 2021 Ed Dixon
  • Deal with OWL owner Activision Blizzard also covers commercial development and promotional support
  • Bilibili inked deal worth reported US$122m for LoL rights in China last August

Chinese live streaming platform Bilibili has entered into a multi-year strategic partnership with Overwatch League (OWL) owner Activision Blizzard, according to The Esports Observer.

The deal reportedly covers the Chinese production and broadcast rights to OWL in China. Bilibili’s contract also includes further development of the esports league’s commercial interests, as well as support to promote OWL in the region. Financial terms were not reported.

The report goes on to say that Bilibili was granted exclusive broadcasting distribution rights in China for OWL. The video-sharing platform has a similar agreement in place with Riot Games for League of Legends (LoL) international competitions, including the LoL World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational and All-Star event. The three-year contract, signed in August 2020, is worth in the region of CNY 800 million (US$122 million), according to Beijing News. 

For the 2020 LoL Worlds, Bilibili shared its rights with other live streaming platforms such as Douyu, Huya and Penguin Esports for an undisclosed fee. It is unclear at this stage if it will adopt a similar approach for OWL.

Prior to its new reported tie-up with OWL, Bilibili had already obtained hosting rights in China for tier two and tier three OWL competitions – Overwatch Contenders and Overwatch Open Division.

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