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CMC’s future: embracing VR sports broadcasting

By Chen Yaping 07 Apr 2016

According to Shanghai-based China Media Capital (CMC), its two subsidiaries Ti’ao Dongli and Whaley Technology are about to introduce virtual reality (VR) technologies into their sports broadcasting businesses.

As stated in a report posted yesterday, the pair will provide VR streaming services during the broadcasting of the Chinese Super League (CSL), the CFA Cup and other major events.

In the past year, the Chinese sports industry has seen rapid development. Heavy investments have been put into media rights, club acquisitions and events marketing. CMC, as an industry participant, prefers to acquire sport IPs. The president Li Ruigang, puts emphasis on the upstream industry.

Notably, last December, CMC and CITIC Capital invested US$400 million to acquire over 13% of City Football Group which owns Manchester City FC. In this January, it announced an investment of around US$100 million in SECA World.

But Li believes that Chinese investors should go beyond pure investment, which is a part of reasons why CMC has become even more focused on VR technology. For him, this is a best opportunity to turn valuable sport IPs into commercial success.

CMC has been working closely with VR and investment companies such as the Silicon Valley-based Jaunt VR, Disney, Google and Redpoint Ventures. As CMC President Li Ruigang put it, “Sporting events, especially major football games, are one of the most important resources that will fit in with VR technology.”

“It is a trend that VR technology will transform the traditional model of sports broadcasting and programme production, ” Chairman of Ti'ao Dongli Li Yidong stated.

Ti'ao Dongli, also known as China Sports Media, acquired broadcasting rights last May to the CSL for 8 billion yuan (1.3 billion dollars) over five years covering 2016-2020.

“With the help of a better sporting ecosystem, we are looking to provide a new and exciting experience for the Chinese audience, by integrating CMC’s substantial content, programme production and advanced technologies.” Li added.

Whaley Technology is an important internet-based entertainment arm of CMC. It has set up one of the most creative VR teams in China.

“VR technology will ensure our leading role in China’s digital entertainment industry,” said Li Huaiyu, CEO of Whaley Technology, “and starting with sports programme production, we are aiming to bring more surprises into the ‘VR Arena’.”
Proofread by John Devlin.

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