Chinese video and live streaming company Bilibili announced that the company has agreed to share the 2020 League of Legends World Championship (Worlds) Chinese media rights with DouYu, Huya, and Penguin Esports. The three companies will also broadcast the 2020 Worlds on their respective live streaming platforms.
Though financial terms of the media rights distribution deal were not disclosed, in December 2019 it was revealed that Bilibili paid ￥800M RMB ($115M USD) for the three-year Worlds media rights in China. Bilbili’s Overwatch team Hangzhou Spark indirectly confirmed that information when it reposted the news on social media Weibo.
Earlier this month Bilibili officially signed a three-year strategic partnership deal with Riot Games for the exclusive Chinese broadcasting rights for the Worlds, as well as the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), and All-Star event.
Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings fully owns Penguin Esports, and owns large shares in Bilibili, Douyu, and Huya. Tencent is the second-largest shareholder of Bilibili, owning 13.4% of total shares, and the biggest shareholder of both DouYu and Huya.
The deal reinforces Tencent’s leading position against ByteDance’s Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) in the live streaming industry.
On Monday, Tencent sent a preliminary non-binding merger proposal letter to the boards of directors of Douyu and Huya, looking for a stock-for-stock merger between the two companies. According to Douyu and Huya’s Q2 2020 financial report, both companies have a combined enterprise value of $8.9 billion, and 333.8M monthly active users (MCUs) distributed over both platforms. Douyu reported $45.1 million in profits in Q2, while Huya reported $32.1 million in profits.
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