The National Football League (NFL) has signed a three-year digital broadcast agreement with Tencent Sports, the sports arm of Chinese investment holding company Tencent.
Under the terms of the partnership, which makes Tencent Sports the exclusive live digital streaming media partner of the NFL in China, subscribers will be able to watch football coverage through Tencent's NFL sections on both mobile and desktop terminals including Tencent Sports, QQ.com, Tencent Video, Kuai Bao, Penguin Live, Tencent Sports app, Tencent Video app, Tencent News app, and the QQ and WeChat social networking services.
Tencent will air all of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games. It will also stream the post-season play-offs, the all-star Pro Bowl and the sport’s blue-chip event, the Super Bowl, during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The partnership also features other expanded non-game footage and programming rights, such as the NFL Draft, NFL Combine, and NFL Game Day.
"We are very excited about the NFL's future in China and proud of our partnership with Tencent," said Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner. "We are confident that this agreement will provide our growing number of Chinese fans with a better viewing experience and more opportunities for engagement with the NFL than ever before."
Richard Young, managing director of NFL China, added: "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."
The 2017/18 NFL season begins when Super Bowl champions New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs on 7th September.