One of the leading Chinese streaming platforms, Youku, officially announced this morning (May 29th) that they had obtained the media rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia, by becoming an official designated new media partner of CCTV.
Under this partnership, they have received the rights to live stream, on-demand videos, match highlights and others. Chinese audiences will therefore be able to watch high-definition live streaming of all 64 matches of the World Cup on the Youku mobile app and website. Users of Youku’s Android app for large-screen devices, CIBN Kumiao Yingshi, Alibaba’s Internet TV box Tianmao Mohe and the Alibaba smart projector Tianmao Moping, can also watch high-definition content of the World Cup.
Up to now, Youku is the second company in China following China Mobile that have partnered with CCTV for live streaming of the World Cup. It is also the only streaming platform among the top 3 platforms, namely, Youku, iQiyi and Tencent in China to have obtained the rights.
Youku belongs to the Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group. The parent company of Youku, Heyi Group (合一集团), was acquired by Alibaba in 2015 for USD5.6bn and now serves as an important online video and entertainment platform of Alibaba.
This acquisition of the World Cup media rights is seen as a signal of Youku fully entering the sports content market and as a match to Youku’s strategy on the combination of e-retailing and content.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick