Tencent teams up with NBA to bring live games to China

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings has reached an exclusive partnership with The National Basketball Association to offer the league’s content on its new media channels.

The five-year agreement will come into effect on July 1, 2015. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

NBA live games and original programmes will be available through Tencent websites and mobile apps including QQ, Tencent Video app, Tencent News app and Weixin, the popular messaging app also known as WeChat.

Tencent and the NBA will also launch the first-ever NBA League Pass, allowing subscribers to access to a full season of live and on-demand NBA games online and via mobile devices.

The agreement made the Shenzhen-based internet company the largest international digital partner of the NBA, estimating to boost revenue to both brands.

"The NBA represents both a widely-followed sport and an active healthy way of life in China," said Martin Lau, President of Tencent.

"This multi-year agreement enables us to bring substantially more NBA games and content to consumers than has ever been available in the past, and we look forward to working with the NBA league, teams and players to further enhance the sport's profile and popularity."

"Tencent is one of the most innovative, leading brands in China, and their extensive reach will give our fans unparalleled access to the league and its teams," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

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

Tencent is one of the largest Internet service providers in Asia, with smart device MAU of QQ reached 542 million and combined MAU of Weixin reached 468 million, according to its Q3 2014 results.

Its main rivals such as Alibaba, Xiaomi and Baidu have been actively expanding their online offerings.

Tencent has also inked exclusive partnerships with Sony Music Entertainment and Time Warner Inc.’s HBO network and Warner Music Group.

[Image]: NBA Facebook Page