NBA and Tencent have renewed and signed a contract that enables Tencent to retain the digital media copyrights of the NBA for the 2020-2025 seasons. The contract is reportedly worth $1.5 billion over 5 years, almost three times the existing contract between the two parties.
Tencent and the NBA started renewal negotiations last year, but had not reached a deal by the end of March when the exclusive negotiation phase ended. Alisports then entered at this stage and began competing for the rights against Tencent.
NBA China submitted proposals from the two companies to the NBA headquarters, with their bidding quotes said to be more or less the same. The NBA headquarters organized a meeting to discuss the matter, but did not make a decision immediately and after several days of consideration, they decided to partner with Tencent again.
Tencent hold the current exclusive new media rights of the NBA, which were acquired in early 2015 for $500 million for 5 years. Over a year later, Tencent bought the rights to the NBA League Pass for 2016-2020 for RMB 200 million. Therefore, over the last 4 years of the current deal, Tencent own the digital media streaming rights to all 1230 regular season games and all playoff games of an NBA season.
According to a previous interview with Zhao Guochen, the Operations General Manager of Tencent Sports, the copyrights cost for Tencent increased after they bought the NBA League Pass rights for 4 years in 2016, but that they have managed to break-even in 2016 and 2017. That Tencent insisted on acquiring all platform media rights in the renewal deal should be indicative that Tencent are satisfied with what they have received from the deals with NBA.
Reference: Lanxiong Sports
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick