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Huya pays US$310m for exclusive League of Legends rights in China

Chinese streaming platform to show top-tier LPL from 2021 until 2025.

30 April 2021 Sam Carp
  • Deal covers China’s League of Legends Pro League, League of Legends Development League and LPL All-Star Weekend Series
  • Agreement also includes video-on-demand rights for three years

Chinese streaming platform Huya has secured exclusive live broadcast rights to the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), the top tier of the esports competition in China, from 2021 until 2025.

The five-year deal with TJ Sports, China’s League of Legends operator, is worth some CNY 2,013 million (US$310 million), according to Huya’s 20-F report, which was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition to the LPL, the agreement also includes rights to the League of Legends Development League (LDL) and the LPL All-Star Weekend Series.

The deal, which was first reported by the Esports Observer, covers Mandarin-language broadcasts in mainland China and excludes Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

On top of live broadcast rights, Huya will also have video-on-demand rights for a period of three years. The Tencent-backed company’s 20-F report added that Huya will also be able to produce highlights and match replays, as well as news reports and other written content.

The deal expands Huya’s coverage of League of Legends competitions. Last year, the streaming platform acquired rights to the League of Legends North American Championship Series (LCS) and European Series (LES). That deal followed a three-year agreement with Riot Games for rights to all League of Legends Champions Korea matches until 2022.

It is also the latest lucrative League of Legends broadcast contract to be signed in China. Last year, Chinese video-sharing and online gaming platform Bilibili agreed a deal with Riot Games worth a reported US$113 million to secure the rights to all League of Legends global events until 2023.


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