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WTT scores Migu broadcast rights deal to grow Chinese presence

Four-year partnership secures China Mobile streaming subsidiary full media rights.

10 November 2021 Ed Dixon

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  • Migu to leverage expertise in 4K, 8K, AI, VR and 5G
  • China has an estimated 250m table tennis fans, according to 2020 GlobalWebIndex study

World Table Tennis (WTT) has struck a broadcast partnership with Migu, the streaming subsidiary of China Mobile, to expand its reach across mainland China and Macao.

The four-year partnership designates Migu as the exclusive media partner of WTT in China, securing it full media rights, as well as exclusive production rights using technologies such as 4K, 8K, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). For WTT the inclusion of those technological provisions is designed to leverage Migu’s expertise in those areas.

In addition, both parties will formulate and release a smart venue guide for WTT events as part of efforts to further promote the digitalisation of table tennis events through ‘5G + table tennis’.

WTT, the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) commercial vehicle, added that further innovations will be reflected in production and other areas of WTT events.

WTT competitions, including the upcoming 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships, will be available on Migu Video, China Mobile Mo Bai He and other Migu platforms.

WTT will be hoping that the partnership will build on the success of the Chinese team at this summer’s Olympic Games, where it says table tennis broke all viewership and social records inside China. According to the 2020 GlobalWebIndex study, there are approximately 250 million avid table tennis fans in China, 67 per cent of whom are millennials or younger.

“This is a significant deal for WTT as it’s the largest deal to date in China for table tennis with such a big player in the sports broadcasting world,” said Steve Dainton, ITTF group chief executive and WTT director.

“Through this partnership with China Mobile Migu, WTT will be established as one of the powerhouse sports properties in China through their growing platform and, at the same time, enables us to continue with our long-term partners. We look forward to working with Migu to welcome the new era of table tennis to our Chinese fans.”

Liu Xin, general manager of China Mobile Migu, added: “Through this partnership with WTT, we perfectly integrate exciting table tennis content with China Mobile’s extensive user base, cutting edge technology and rich experience in event operation.

“Together, we will work towards the digital transformation of the table tennis industry, convey China’s sporting spirit and prowess, and realise the dream of being a sports powerhouse.”

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