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ESPN Partners with Tencent in China

By John Burns, Associate Editor
February 9, 2016

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ESPN, Bristol, Conn., and Chinese tech company Tencent have partnered in a deal that greatly expands the “Worldwide Leader in Sports’” presence in the Asian nation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

ESPN announced recently that it will supply Chinese-language programming, content and events for Tencent’s live sports coverage. Under terms of the licensing agreement, Tencent will pay ESPN for coverage and analysis of NBA games and international soccer, with additional sports to be added in the future.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with one of China’s most innovative companies, and our relationship with Tencent marks an exciting new era for ESPN’s global business,” says Russell Wolff, EVP of ESPN Intl., in a statement.

ESPN will also provide Chinese-speaking personnel and on-air talent to support the partnership, and will add new staff members in its Bristol and Los Angeles offices.

Along with soccer and the NBA, Tencent will license the exclusive live digital rights to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament, more than 100 regular-season college basketball games and the X Games.

For more information, visit espn.go.com. — J.B.