Riot KR’s statement on LCK 2016 Season broadcast splitting between SpoTV and OGN
I’m not going to translate the entire text verbatim but rather, the main points made. Please feel free to make corrections if you see any mistakes – thank you!
1. Riot Korea, OGN, KeSPA were in discussion for this split for awhile (doesn’t give a duration), and took into consideration all of the fans’ feedback concerning the broadcast and live audience experience.
2. The reason why they are considering splitting is to alleviate these problem points
Point One: Match up start times become more definite
The point that is made is that the most of the game days in the season consisted of double headers, which is to mean that two different matches were played in 1 day. For live audiences, this would mean that many fans would have to wait quite a long period of time if they wanted to see the second match. There were also instances where the matches would go on for so long that many fans were unable to take public transit back home. Another reason, is that it was hard on many of the players that would have to wait for the second set of matches.
To split the games to two different broadcasters (and therefore, different venues) would mean that the start of the games would be more definite, and would help with all of the points listed above. Some overlap is inevitable, but the pros definitely outweigh that point. Note: There would still be two Best of 3’s, but each match set would be split amongst the broadcasters.
Point Two: Much better scheduling
Thursday matches were broadcast/played at 2 PM KST, which meant that it was difficult for live audiences to come watch, and also that viewer numbers were low. It also inconvenienced the players. Splitting broadcasts means that it will become much more flexible to control scheduling, and the pro would be that it would be possible to put the broadcast at a time much more suitable for both the audience and the players. They do note that overlaps may happen – but overall, it would allow for a much smoother transition.
Point Three: The innate advantage of having a split broadcast system
If the broadcast quality increases in the shortest time possible, the fans would have two high-quality channels to enjoy games from. And looking from a long-term perspective, the competition between two channels would hopefully cause OGN’s broadcast quality to progressively be upgraded. They note that many fans are concerned of the negative aspects of this type of competition, but Riot KR says that they will step in and make sure that there is a positive synergy between the two broadcasters.
They note that making these changes will not solve all of the problem points of LCK all on its own. And because many fans complained about issues like ticketing, and the live experience, Riot KR is going to step up and be more aggressively involved with broadcasting, the live viewing experience, and general LCK league operations.
They are fully aware of the problems voiced about SpoTV’s suitability as a secondary broadcaster of the LCK. They are aware of caster/production issues – but feel that as SpoTV has been a national sports specialty broadcaster for quite some time, and have experience broadcasting a variety of other games, they have the potential to grow. Because of this, they are tentatively looking at a Summer Season split between the two broadcasting entities.
And to find suitable casters, construct broadcasting infrastructure, and analyze data, they’ve postponed the tentative split to the Summer Season of 2016 instead of Spring.
And as for OGN – as OGN has worked tirelessly for the growth of Korean League of Legends, they view OGN as a valuable and very important partner. Therefore, OGN will have rights to the important matches like the Playoffs and Finals, and the World Championship.
And Riot’s official statement’s goal is not to take away someone’s contribution or to split it, but is rather from a place where they are thinking about the future of esports.
KeSPA, OGN, pro game organizations are all partners in pondering and paving the future and growth of esports. Riot KR also states that through instituting a minimum Riot-provided player salary, production budget and prize winnings, that they are committed to investing in the quantitative and qualitative growth of esports.