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PPTV builds on sports streaming lead

Post Time:2016-08-29 Source:China Daily USA Author:YU RAN Views:
As the leading sports streaming video platform in China, PPTV is keen to stand out from the fast-growing online sports industry by developing its unique interactive activities. 

To attract and retain consumers with its variety of live sports matches, the company unveiled on Aug 18 its new sports season led by the Spanish soccer league La Liga. The platform will incorporate more fan-oriented services. 

PPTV inked a multimedia deal in 2015 to broadcast the La Liga matches live through its total-media platforms, including online and television, for the next five seasons. The deal was valued at 250 million euros ($283 million). La Liga also adjusted the kickoff time for Chinese viewers for the first time. 

“We not only offer live games with our own copyrights, but also will create related online sports programs, interactive events through games, offline sports activities and derivatives of matches for viewers to enjoy the sports on the weekend,” said Yin Yu’an, vice-president of PPTV Media Tech Co Ltd. 

“We will apply big data and interactive technology for the first time to allow viewers to shop for match-related goods, play games, vote for winning teams and win prizes during the live matches.” 

In July, PPTV released its virtual reality headsets to offer a more immersive viewing experience. It has created its own TV sets especially for fans to enjoy sports games on larger HD screens. 

Suning, a major retailer that became PPTV’s largest shareholder with the acquisition of a 44 percent state for $250 million in 2013, will also become PPTV’s offline platform to develop their derivative products. 

“We aim to become an online-to-offline platform to offer consumers a diversity of cultural services, especially sports,” said Yin.
PPTV first streamed the 2006 World Cup, with more than 1 million peak concurrent viewers. Its live stream of the 2008 Beijing Olympics achieved more than 5 million online viewers at the same time. It has remained the leading provider of live-sports games through the decade. 

In 2015, PPTV acquired the rights to broadcast 10 live English Premier League games, including six pay-per-view matches every week for the 2014-15 season by paying $11 million to Super Sports, the exclusive Premier League broadcast rights holder for the Chinese mainland. 

PPTV currently owns the copyrights of 18 global sports games including the Spanish soccer league, English Premier League, World Wrestling Entertainment and Ultimate Fighting Championship. 

In October 2014, the State Council released a document to speed up the development of the sports industry and stimulate sports consumption. Chinese companies have since been investing big in mapping out the sports industry. 

Tencent Holdings Ltd’s online video platform signed a $500 million agreement for a five-year extension to its existing deal with the National Basketball Association of the United States in 2015. 

In February 2015, Dalian Wanda Group paid 1.05 billion euros to acquire Infront Sports and Media AG, a leading sports marketing group, which owns many sports events broadcasting rights, including the FIFA World Cup. 

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s sports arm Alisports signed an agreement with World Rugby in April, securing exclusive live-streaming rights to rugby matches. 

LeSports, the sports arm of Beijing-based LeEco, spent tens of millions on digital rights to 120 sports properties, including some English Premier League rights, UEFA Champions and Wimbledon tennis.