Tencent Sports has reached an agreement with the French Tennis Federation (FFT) to become China’s exclusive digital broadcaster of the French Open until 2021.
As part of the five-year deal, the media group will continue to offer live streaming of the qualifying tournaments and the draw, as well as highlights from the main event. Additionally, Tencent Sports will broadcast the entire Roland Garros tennis tournament on its digital platforms starting from 2019.
The deal does not affect regular Chinese television coverage of the event, which will continue to be aired on China Central Television (CCTV).
Bernard Guidicelli, president of the FFT, said: “We are very pleased to have signed this contract with Tencent Sports. This agreement will ensure that we can further increase Roland-Garros's reach in this part of the world.
“This agreement is also fully in line with our drive to develop Roland-Garros abroad and particularly in China, which has been a priority area for the FFT for several years. We have a special relationship with China, as shown by the cooperation agreement signed with the Chinese Tennis Association and the continued presence in the country of the Roland-Garros in the City event, which took place in Shanghai this year.”
Ewell Zhao, the general manager of Tencent Sports, added: “Roland-Garros is the one and only Grand Slam tennis tournament held on clay, marking the pinnacle of the spring clay-court season. This exclusive digital media partnership between Roland-Garros and Tencent Sports sees Roland-Garros and China embark on a new journey together today.
“Tencent Sports will leverage its status as the leading online sports platform in China to keep growing Roland-Garros's influence, and to jointly popularise and develop tennis in China by the means of live streaming, news coverage, commentary from industry experts and interactions with users.”
The 2017 French Open has entered its second week of matches, and will conclude with the men’s and women’s finals this weekend.