Sina Sports serves up IPTL deal

The Sina Sports division of Chinese internet operator Sina has acquired exclusive rights in China to broadcast the International Premier Tennis League franchise-based competition.

Sina Sports has agreed a two-year deal to cover the 2015 and 2016 editions of the league. It has also been named the exclusive media partner of the IPTL in China.

As well as live matches, Sina Sports will broadcast on-demand services and highlights packages. Sina Sports also said fans will be able to interact directly with players via Sina Weibo, as the likes of Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic have all opened official accounts on the social media platform.

The 2015 IPTL, which features five teams made up of past and present tennis players, begins in Japan on December 2 and will conclude in Singapore on December 20.

IPTL founder Mahesh Bhupathi said: “Sina Sports emerged as a perfect partner for us because they not only want to highlight the league, but have shown real commitment to providing tennis fans in China with over and above access to the matches. China is a huge market and this is exactly what we were looking for.”