China’s iQiyi Sports to show all 380 LaLiga games

Chinese video streaming platform iQiyi, which is backed by Chinese online company Baidu, is to show all 380 LaLiga games during 2019-20 season.

IQiyi will broadcast the games on sports platform iQiyi Sports, as well as produce original content, match highlights and behind-the-scenes footage.

IQiyi Sports, which launched in August 2018, is a joint venture between online entertainment service iQiyi and Super Sports Media, a Chinese sports content production and streaming company.

Wuhan DDMC Culture, Super Sports Media’s parent company, extended its LaLiga rights agreement from 2019-20 to 2024-25 in a deal reported by SportBusiness Media in June.

Yu Lingxiao, chief executive of iQiyi Sports, said: “IQiyi Sports’ goal is to maximise the value of sports entertainment by leveraging the content value of top sports tournaments and further enhance it through content promotion, marketing and membership services. We believe this integration between entertainment and sports is key to having iQiyi Sports become the industry’s leading sports entertainment service provider.”

The platform will also introduce a new “virtual presenter” named “PangHu” that will appear during the live broadcast of the game. IQiyi also plans to have the virtual character host live interviews with players, and be a brand ambassador for their LaLiga coverage and media campaign.

IQiyi has also engaged actors and artists from their original dramas and reality shows as sport ambassadors to produce LaLiga-related videos.

The first game to be broadcast will be on August 16, with Athletic Bilbao taking on Barcelona.