OnGameNet may lose exclusive broadcast rights to the LCK
Riot Games' Korean branch is pushing the channel to split the broadcasting rights for League Champions Korea (LCK) with one of the channel's biggest competitors, SPOTV, sources close to the broadcaster tell the Daily Dot.
SPOTV is a cable network known for broadcasting the Korean Baseball Organisation, National Basketball Association, and a StarCraft 2 esports tournament, the SK Telecom ProLeague. The network has only recently dabbled in League of Legends with the recent 2015 LoL KeSPA Cup.
The parties involved will meet tomorrow in South Korea to further discuss the potential deal.
It's still unclear, of course, if it will go through. But one source says that some OnGameNet staff members have already given up fighting for the rights of the production that they started.
One of the many benefits of OnGameNet’s production of the show, called Champions, is the popular English broadcast. The channel has hired three popular shoutcasters—Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, Erik “DoA” Lonnquist, and Christopher “PapaSmithy” Smith—for both Champions and its other esports broadcasts. Those three would likely not be able to commentate on SPOTV’s broadcast.
If SPOTV’s broadcast doesn't maintain the same standards as OnGameNet’s, there’s a chance the LCK could see diminishing viewership as a whole—especially if it doesn’t introduce an English broadcast.
OnGameNet has produced Korean League of Legends shows since its first invitational for the game in January 2012. The channel began its first broadcast of Champions only one month later.
The LCK is one of the most popular leagues for the world's most popular esport. It features many of the best teams on the planet, including SK Telecom T1, KOO Tigers, KT Rolster, Samsung Galaxy, and many others. Its teams have claimed the League of Legends World Championship trophy three years in a row since 2013.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr