China's Tencent Sports Grabs Live Streaming Rights For Four European Football Competitions
Tencent Sports secured live streaming rights for the FA Cup, Scottish Premiership, Ligue 1 and Serie A "in a move that will further bolster sports rights in China," according to Danielle Long of THE DRUM. Tencent secured the non-exclusive rights, "which cover mainland China" for the '17-18 football season, from sports media rights agency MP & Silva. The deal "will give Chinese football fans access to five major European football properties," including the Champions League and Bundesliga, which they can view live along with highlights and review programs. Tencent "plans to expand its live streaming technologies to include augmented reality and 3D technologies," as well as establishing online communities where fans can interact, watch matches, share information and win prizes. The content will be available across Tencent platforms, including the Tencent sports app and website, Tencent video app and Tencent news app. Chinese digital marketing agency Mailman Sports Business Dir David Hornby said, "These rights are extremely significant for Tencent Sports. In the last two years, PPTV and Suning Sports have been acquiring the premium football content on an exclusive basis, becoming the home of European football on IPTV in China. For this season at least though, Tencent Sports will be broadcasting three of the top five European leagues. ... This is also great news for the football and sports rights holders. It shows that Tencent Sports are still willing to invest in acquiring content, and will continue to drive the value of sports rights in China." Tencent has "yet to comment on whether the content will be free to access, something Hornby said is unlikely." Hornby: "We do though expect to see the top football content behind a paywall in the 2017-18 season from both PPTV and Tencent Sports" (THE DRUM, 8/8).