Major League Baseball and Tencent Holdings Limited have formed a new strategic partnership to live stream MLB games and MLB highlight programs in China.
Tencent, a leading provider of comprehensive Internet Services in China, also will support and broadcast MLB developmental events to help grow the sport of baseball in China. The new multi-year partnership was announced on Tuesday at a press conference in Beijing.
As the Official Digital Broadcasting Partner of MLB in China, Tencent will live stream 125 games including MLB Jewel Events on an exclusive basis in the country on Tencent PC, Mobile and OTT platforms.
To celebrate the new partnership, Tencent's schedule will launch with Super Baseball Week, five consecutive days of games featuring some of baseball's top stars including Mike Trout, Francisco Lindor, Kris Bryant, and Cody Bellinger.
After the first week, Tencent will live stream regular season games on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday as well as the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, T-Mobile Home Run Derby, and every game of the Postseason and World Series.
The technology leader also will broadcast a series of MLB highlight shows including MLB Best, MLB Video Clips and a Chinese version of This Week in Baseball.
"Tencent has continued to collaborate with the world's top sports leagues securing broadcast rights for basketball, soccer, tennis, winter sports, football and now baseball," said Tencent Vice President Caitlyn Chen. "In recent years, baseball has developed rapidly in China, which wouldn't happen without MLB's dedicated promotion in China for over a decade. In the future, with the advantage of Tencent's production and broadcasting, refined operational excellence and powerful social platforms, we will bring the attention to MLB and baseball in China to a new level."
As part of the broad alliance, Tencent will work closely with the league to help grow baseball in China by supporting and streaming MLB's extensive array of youth baseball and development events.
The Chinese media company will be the Official Partner of MLB Baseball Park, a baseball road show that travels to major metropolitan areas in China attracting more than 3.5 million fans annually. In addition, Tencent will broadcast the MLB reality show Perfect Pitch, College League games, the MLB Play Ball! Diamond Cup and other MLB Play Ball! youth events.
"As MLB continues to expand the participation, viewing and engagement of baseball in China, it is critical to partner with the best organizations in the country to form mutually beneficial co-operations," said Jim Small, MLB Vice President, Asia Pacific.
"We are thrilled to team with Tencent, the largest and best distributor of digital sports content in China and a company that is widely admired around the world. We are confident that the assortment of MLB games, shows and events that Tencent will stream will entertain millions of sports fans in China and help continue to grow the sport."
Tencent will support MLB efforts across its extensive collection of products including qq.com, the Tencent Sports app and other platforms. Also as part of the agreement, Tencent will develop and host an MLB Fan Club where fans across China can discuss, debate and celebrate all aspects of Major League Baseball.