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NBA extends five-year tie-up with Tencent

The US National Basketball Association (NBA) has extended its exclusive official digital partnership with Tencent, a Chinese conglomerate in Internet-related services, for the next five years. The deal provides extensive NBA coverage on its platforms right through to the 2024-25 NBA season, including live NBA games, NBA programming and interactive fan experiences.

“We believe that the enhanced partnership between the NBA and Tencent will take our phenomenal success to new heights,” said Tencent president Martin Lau.

Under the new extension, live NBA games, video on-demand (VoD) and short video content will be made available to Chinese fans through Tencent’s digital and social media platforms: QQ.com, Tencent Sports, Tencent News, Tencent Video, QQ, Weixin and Weishi.

Tencent will also collaborate with the NBA to develop innovative advertising products, and launch and operate “mini programmes” for mobile devices, including the NBA’s fan loyalty scheme in China — NBA Qiu Mi Quan (QMQ).

Lau added: “Empowered by our technology capabilities, interactive platforms and content expertise, we will work closely with the NBA to further engage fans in China with sports excitement and technology innovations to elevate the passion for basketball, and to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Moreover, Tencent will leverage its consumer insights to help the NBA expand its fan base in China and provide the league’s global fan base with new, customised interactive services.

Since 2009, Tencent has been the digital media partner of NBA in China; the conglomerate streamed full seasons of live NBA games and content to hundreds of millions of viewers — making Tencent NBA’s largest partner outside the US.

The previous season of NBA programme clocked more than 490 million viewers on Tencent’s platform — nearly triple of the viewers in the 2014-15 season

“Tencent’s commitment to NBA basketball in China is unparalleled,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

“The enormous reach and popularity of Tencent’s platforms have been a driving force behind the growth of basketball in China — and we look forward to deepening our connection with NBA fans across the country through this expanded partnership.”

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