China's Bilibili partners with Activision Blizzard in wide-ranging deal
eSports - 16 Apr 2021
Bilibili, the Chinese video sharing website, has entered into a multi-year, multi-faceted partnership with Activision Blizzard, the prominent video games publisher.
Included in the partnership are the exclusive domestic broadcast and production rights to the Overwatch League, one of the most well-known leagues under the Activision umbrella.
In addition, it has been reported that commercial rights are included, and that Bilibili will provide support to grow the OL’s presence in China and the Asia-Pacific region.
Bilibili is adding the OL’s broadcasting rights to its hefty portfolio in China, which also includes rights to the popular League of Legends franchise, which it acquired through a three-year deal with the title’s publisher Riot Games last year, reportedly for a total of $113 million.
Earlier this year, Bilibili raised Yn180 million ($27.8 million) in a seed financing round led by Zhejiang Chuangxiant Cultural Fund.
The investment fund is largely backed by state-owned publishing group Zhejiang Publishing and broadcaster Zhejiang Radio and Television Media Group.
Last October, the chief executive of Activision’s esports wing, Pete Vlastelica, stepped down from his post, after only 18 months in the role, to take up an 'entrepreneurial' role within the organisation.
In August 2020, Tony Petitti, previously deputy commissioner at baseball’s MLB, joined the game developer as president of sports and entertainment.