NBA Gets Exclusive Partner

Tencent Holdings Ltd. has announced an agreement to be the National Basketball Association’s exclusive online partner in China. 

The company has recently been strengthening its alliances to increase the amount of entertainment content it offers to China’s Internet users. Tencent is one of China’s biggest online game providers and social networks.

It will now offer NBA games and related programs on its websites and mobile apps, which are used by hundreds of millions of people.

The collaboration will also launch League Pass, a fee service that allows subscribers to stream games online as they happen. It is the first time such a service has been offered in China. At present, various online channels show NBA games in China, but from now on Tencent will have exclusive rights on the Internet.

The partnership, which goes into effect July 1, gives Tencent a marked edge in entertainment content over competition such as e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings and search engine Baidu. Last month, Tencent announced it was partnering with Sony Corporation to be the China agent for the company’s huge library of music following similar deals with Time Warner’s HBO Network and the Warner Music Group.