Investors come on board for new Chinese sports media venture

Chinese online entertainment service iQIYI has formed a joint venture with media company Super Sports Media entitled Beijing Xin’ai Sport Media Technology, with the platform attracting its first wave of funding.

As part of the joint venture, the existing Super Sports Media app will officially change its name to iQIYI Sports. The upgraded app will bring together extensive football, tennis and golf coverage drawn from broadcasting agreements made by both iQIYI’s sports platform and Super Sports Media, including football’s English Premier League and Uefa Nations League, as well as tennis from the Australian Open, ATP Tour and WTA Tour.

Existing members of both Super Sports Media and the tennis-focused membership program on iQIYI will receive full membership status in the new app. Every month, members will also be granted tokens which will allow them access to pay-per-view live streamed Premier League games or tennis matches.

“China’s sports industry has entered into a period of rapid development and has great potential for development,” Wang Xiaohui, chief content officer at iQIYI, said. “Super Sports Media is a strategic partner with high-quality licensed content and professional operation experience. I believe we can work together to create a super online sports platform through high-quality licensed content, event operations, advertising and membership services. This cooperation also lays a good foundation for continued investment in sports content.”

Beijing Xin’ai Sport Media Technology has already secured its first investors through funding of CNY500m (€64.36m/$75.6m) that values the venture at more than CNY3bn.

The Caixin website said investment firm IDG Capital has spent CNY400m for a 13 per cent stake in Beijing Xin’ai, while a division of Super Sports Media’s parent company, Wuhan DDMC Culture, will own three per cent. This will leave iQIYI with a holding of 32 per cent and Super Sports with around 36 per cent.