The NFL hopes to expand overseas fanbase with new digital streaming partnership in China

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Over the last few years, the NFL has made a strong effort in growing their fanbase overseas especially in China. Previous efforts included them sending superstars like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to China for promotional tours and providing a free stream of last year's Super Bowl  to users of Sina Weibo, a popular messaging app in China. 

Great Wall.... ✅

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This week, they take a pivotal step towards their goal of a stronger fanbase overseas.  On Monday (August 21th), they announced a three year partnership with Tencent, a deal that makes the media giant a exclusive live digital streaming partner of the NFL in China. 

As part of the deal, Tencent will air live and on-demand select preseason games, Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football games, select Sunday afternoon games, the playoffs, the Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl for the next three seasons. In addition, they will have the rights to the NFL Draft, NFL Combine, and NFL Game Day,  NFL Hard Knocks, and A Football Life.  

Games and content will be shown on desktop and mobile terminals across Tercent's multiple wide-reaching platforms that include Tencent Sports, Tencent Video,, Kuai Bao, Penguin Live, and We Chat.

The partnership is a great move for both parties as it teams up the number one sports league in America with the number one media company in China. The NFL gets a huge amount of exposure through Tencent's platforms which attract millions and millions of users while Tencent gets to align itself with one of the strongest brands in the world  in the NFL.

Richard Young, managing director of NFL China, had the following to say about the partnership: 

"This extraordinary partnership will bring localised NFL games and content to Tencent's hundreds of millions of daily users across China. The NFL's popularity in China is soaring and our fanbase will receive unprecedented NFL coverage and content throughout the year."

For more, read the official press release here

SOURCE: NFL Communications