NBA, Tencent announce China partnership deal

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China digital company, Tencent, has reached an agreement with the NBA that will bring a record number of content to China for the next five years.

As of July 1st, 2015, Tencent will broadcast live NBA games and deliver enhanced original NBA programming and highlights, including NBA preseason and regular-season games, NBA All-Star, the NBA Playoffs, The Finals, NBA Summer League and the NBA Draft through personal computers system and mobile devices.

“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 and the NBA will launch the first-ever NBA LEAGUE PASS offering in China, providing fans with access to a full season of live and on-demand NBA games online and via mobile devices. Tencent already has a strong presence of NBA content through its NBA sections on QQ.com, v.QQ.com, QQ and Mobile QQ, Qzone, Weixin, Tencent Video app, and Tencent News app. But beginning next season, it will take it to the next level with the first ever launch of NBA League Pass in China.

“NBA fans in China are among the most passionate and knowledgeable basketball fans in the world, and we are thrilled to expand our partnership with Tencent,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “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.”

“This groundbreaking partnership will reach hundreds of millions of daily users across Tencent,” said NBA China CEO David Shoemaker. “As the popularity of the NBA continues to soar in China, our fans will receive unprecedented NBA content, interactive gaming, customized communities, and merchandise on QQ.com, Weixin, Tencent Video and News apps, and other Tencent platforms throughout the year.”

Tencent will also be the official NBA online destination NBA.com/China and sites for all 30 NBA teams, NBA events and merchandise. Additionally, Tencent will launch the NBA Game Time Application, featuring extensive video highlights, news and statistics, providing fans with the most comprehensive access to the NBA on mobile. Tencent will further support the NBA in growing its social media presence on Tencent platforms including Weixin, QQ and Qzone, among others.

The NBA’s partnership with Tencent will also include the development of NBA-themed interactive games, and the promotion of existing NBA-licensed interactive games, designed for mobile devices and distributed on Tencent’s platforms.

Nick Bedard (@bedardnick) is the editor-in-chief of Basketballbuddha.com.

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