Are Broadcast Rights to League of Legends Worth $500 million?

PVPLive's Dustin Steiner has reported that ESPN and Riot Games are in talks concerning ESPN's purchase of broadcast rights for the League of Legends. The dollar amount is rumored to be around 500 million dollars. The specifics, such as the length of the deal, are not clear, nor is it clear how this deal will affect Riot's broadcast partners - Twitch, Azubu, and Yahoo. It is also unknown if this deal includes the European LCS in addition to the North American LCS. Riot Games has denied these claims, saying that they are not in "active" talks with ESPN. ESPN has echoed these sentiments, stating that there is no "deal" in place. However, this does not mean a discussion did not happen. It is logical for ESPN to pursue this deal, as viewership for the LCS is growly steadily, and can lead to broadcast rights for the League of Legends World Championship, which is continually one of the most watched sports events of the year. If ESPN purchases these rights, they will be joining the ranks of Coca-Cola and American Express, who are already major partners of League of Legends. This will also accelerate the introduction of eSports to the mainstream audience. It is certainly an exciting time for League of Legends fans, but some jokingly express concern, saying that AdBlock doesn't exist on TV broadcasts.
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