Domestic rights to the Turkish Challenger League in League of Legends have been acquired by Saran Media, SportBusiness reports.
The terms of the deal are undisclosed, but the League of Legends action will, according to SportBusiness reports, be broadcast on channel S Sport along with highlights and other programmes. It will also broadcast the League of Legends World Championship Series, presumably in Turkish for the local audience.
Saran Media hold the Turkish domestic rights for large traditional sports tournaments such as the Premier League and Wimbledon so they’re no stranger to broadcasting rights and putting on a show.
The Turkish Challenger League is considered a wildcard region in the competitive League of Legends scene but, as shown by Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe both entering the scene it has decent traction in the region.
Recently football giants Galatasaray were reported to have made approximately £153,000 in revenue on their esports offering. Although fairly unsubstantial it showed significantly better results than their volleyball and basketball divisions.
Last year SuperMassive eSports were the best of the bunch as they took home the Turkish title, narrowly beating out Besiktas in the final. Fenerbahçe sat up and took notice and acquired the SuperMassive slot and rebranded them back in October 2016.
2017 has been dubbed by many as the year that the battle for broadcasting rights starts. Whilst previously Twitch has effectively been the one-stop shop for all things esports, competition is emerging and there may well come a time when normal consumers of esports have to start paying to watch their favourite competitions.
We’ve seen a few examples already of tournaments moving their broadcasting from Twitch to YouTube Gaming as competition heats up. Add to that Riot’s mammoth deal with MLB Advanced Media’s BAM Tech and it’s clear that this is not the first, nor the last we’ll see of broadcasting deals.
Esports Insider says: The Turkish scene isn’t even the biggest around so it will be interesting to see if this starts a domino effect. Domestic rights to wildcard leagues and even the World Championships may be tendered shortly around the world.