Baseball in China? MLB signs deal with Tencent to stream games
The US baseball league has signed a three-year agreement with Tencent to carry live games, highlights and other content on digital platforms -- including the sports channel QQLive and the multi-purpose app WeChat, which has more than 1 billion users.
Pretty much everything is included, from regular season games, the postseason, World Series, as well as the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. Tencent will also air a reality show featuring youth baseball in China.
Three existing development centers have already produced three MLB players, including trailblazer Xu Guiyuan -- nicknamed “Itchy,” he joined the Baltimore Orioles in 2015 -- as well as Hai-Cheng Gong with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Justin Qiang with the Boston Red Sox. But none are currently active in the league.
People in China are used to watching sports on smartphones. Tencent has been streaming NBA games in China since 2015. Last year, nearly 200 million viewers tuned in for the NBA Finals on mobile alone.