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iQiyi Sports acquires Euro 2020 rights, announces Asian World Cup qualifiers streams

Chinese video streaming platform iQiyi, which is backed by search company Baidu and is a partner of agency Super Sports Media, has obtained rights to the 2020 Uefa European Championship.

iQiyi’s sports platform iQiyi Sports will carry the Euro 2020 games live, as well as showing original content, match highlights, behind-the-scenes augmented-reality footage, and “virtual presenters” that will appear during live game broadcasts.

Yu Lingxiao, chief executive of iQiyi Sports, also announced the company will stream the 2022 Fifa World Cup Asian qualifiers in September 2020. Local media reported that China’s match against Iran at the 2018 World Cup Asian qualifiers hit 31.3m viewers, making it the highest-viewed sports event in China that year.

Shankai Sports, the Chinese sports marketing company, acquired digital rights in China to Euro 2020 and the European qualifying matches for that tournament (plus the 2018 and 2022 World Cups) in a deal agreed in 2015.

iQiyi Sports, which launched in August 2018, is a joint venture between video platform iQiyi and Super Sports Media, the Chinese agency with activities in rights acquisition, streaming and sports content production.

Earlier this year, iQiyi Sport agreed a deal with Super Sports Media to show all 380 LaLiga games during the current 2019-20 season. 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.