Mi TV, the internet television arm of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp, announced Sunday an agreement with the Internet TV company Future TV Co Ltd to broadcast the 2016 UEFA European Championship (Euro 2016).
According to sports media company Lanxiong Sports, the collaboration between Mi TV and the subsidiary company of China Network Television (CNTV) will allow its audiences to watch and replay the entire 51 matches of the UEFA Euro 2016 on Mi TV and the brand's set-up box, Mi Box.
As CCTV will live broadcast Euro 2016 on TV and CNTV is granted the digital right to Euro 2016 in the Chinese mainland, Future TV, which is one of the seven internet TV license holders in China and the exclusive operator of CNTV's internet TV business, has the exclusive internet TV broadcast rights to Euro 2016 in China.
The cooperation model between Mi TV and Future TV is that Mi TV acts as a content aggregation platform to provide its 15 million users content offered by Future TV, people familiar with the matter told Lanxiong Sports.
"Although Xiaomi is the first to announce their cooperation on Euro 2016, it may not be the only partner of Future TV. For example, it will not be surprising if Tencent Holdings Ltd is also cooperating with Future TV on Euro 2016, because the company has had stakes in Future TV since several years ago," said Chen Tong, Xiaomi's chief content officer.
"Euro 2016 is a significant attempt by Xiaomi to broadcast sports competition, and there will be broadcasts of heavyweight matches launched in the following months," Chen said.
He said Mi TV has already bought the broadcasting rights to the PGA Tour. And the Golf and Tennis channels on Mi TV were launched on April 25.
Compared to Tencent, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and LeEco Holdings Ltd, Xiaomi started relatively late in buying sports video copyrights. But recently, in addition to movies, TV series and variety shows, there are increasing moves by Mi TV to provide sports content.
It has broadcasted e-sports events, such as the League of Legends, CrossFire and DOTA2, Google DeepMind Challenge Match (AlphaGo versus Lee Sedol) and the World Poker Tour Championship: Texas Hold 'Em.
Visitors look at smart TV sets of Xiaomi on display during the Appliance & Electronics World Expo 2016 (AWE 2016) in Shanghai, China, 10 March 2016. [Photo/IC]