NBA announces five-year extension with China’s Tencent

The NBA and Chinese social media giant Tencent have announced a five-year extension of their current deal, which will now run through to the 2024-25 season.

Tencent’s current five-season deal with the NBA, from 2015-16 to 2019-20, was heralded as a landmark in the country.

Under the new agreement, live NBA games, video on-demand and short video content will be available on Tencent’s digital and social media platforms including, Tencent Sports, Tencent News, Tencent Video, QQ, Weixin and Weshi.

They will also  jointly manage and operate several other NBA services and activities in China, including NBA-themed mobile games, NBA social media accounts, and interactive fan events.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: “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.” Tencent is the NBA’s largest media partner outside the United States.

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

Tencent has tripled it’s NBA viewership in the last four years, with 490 million viewers on its platforms, and 21 million fans watched Game Six of the 2019 NBA finals on Tencent, making it the most-watched NBA game on a digital platform in China.