Tencent inks exclusive deal with NBA

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, January 31, 2015
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The National Basketball Association and Tencent Holdings Ltd said yesterday the Shenzhen-based Internet giant will be the only company in China to stream the league's online content.

The exclusive, five-year deal will allow Tencent to offer for the first time in China the NBA's League Pass package, which allows subscribers to watch a full season's worth of games live and on-demand.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NBA live games and content will be available to stream through Tencent websites and apps including QQ.com, Tencent's News app and Weixin, the popular messaging app also known as WeChat.

China has been one of the NBA's most successful overseas markets since the league entered the basketball-crazed nation in 1987.

The deal is expected to give Tencent a unique offering at a time when China's major Internet companies are vying intensely for media content deals.

Tencent rivals such as Alibaba, Xiaomi and Baidu have all invested heavily in producing television content as young Chinese spend increasing time consuming online media.

The deal will conversely expand the NBA's reach via one of China's leading Internet brands.

"This groundbreaking partnership will reach hundreds of millions of daily users across Tencent," NBA China CEO David Shoemaker said in a statement.

NBA has said earlier this week that it will usher in the Year of the Sheep with a host of activities from February 20 to March 5 this year.

"Chinese New Year is a time of joyful family reunion and provides an occasion for us to share in the festivities by delivering the excitement of the NBA right into the homes of our fans," Shoemaker said.

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