China’s iQIYI Signs Rights Deal With Women’s Tennis

Chinese streaming video platform iQIYI has signed a 10 year content supply deal with the Women’s Tennis Association.

The deal, which starts from 2017, is non-exclusive, though the partners also describe iQIYI as “the WTA’s digital rights partner in China.” Over 2,000 tennis matches will be shown, including singles and doubles, highlights, interviews and WTA-generated magazine content.

The rights will be screened in English, Mandarin and Chinese via OTT Internet and will be viewable on personal devices, laptops and phones.

The deal underlines the growing competition in China for sports rights and follows sports investments by China Media Capital and Wanda as well as platform operators.

Micky Lawler, WTA President said, “This is a first-of-its-kind partnership for the WTA in China. iQIYI’s platform reinvents our digital offer in China in line with the new ways fans consume sports and entertainment content today, and in the future.

“As tennis’ popularity continues to boom in China, we believe that iQIYI’s high quality users and traffic make it the perfect channel for the WTA to further promote its tournaments in China,” said Geng Xiaohua, iQIYI senior vice president.

Tennis has boomed in China thanks to an expanding middle class and also by the success of the China’s feisty Li Na, who is the only Asian woman player to have won a Grand Slam tournament.

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