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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Why the Tencent Sports APP is leading the way

After two years of development, the Tencent Sports APP is the industry standard. It has the highest number of users and the most daily active users of all sports media apps across both iOS and Android devices.

The partnership with ESPN means that Tencent Sports can deliver the latest and most comprehensive news from all global sports.

For the Red Card 2017, we asked Ewell Zhao, General Manager of Tencent Sports Operations to provide ‘A word from the experts’. Below is the full conversation between Mailman and Mr Zhao.

1. What impact are sports news APPs having on Chinese football fans’ life?

Mobile technology has a huge impact on match coverage and fan engagement. According to research from Zenith Media, the mobile internet usage will reach 75% in 2017, from 40% in 2012, and 68% in 2016. Most football fans prefer to consume content and watch live streaming from their mobile devices. With the development of this technology and user experience, usage of sports news APP will increase accordingly.

Football fans’ stickiness and level of activity on sports news APPs is very high. The new content such as tournament and match highlights and short-form videos all enrich fans’ viewing experience.

2. What is Tencent Sports’ strategy in football and how does it look attract the fans?

Besides the NBA, we have copyright for several of the biggest football IPs, including the EPL, UCL and UEL. We always take careful research before every decision to purchase an IP and believe that they can fulfil our fans.

We believe that football fans are totally different from basketball fans. Football fans grew up with broadcasting of Europe’s five major leagues, while basketball fans grew up more recently with NBA games and the Yao Ming era. Football IPs can be a perfect supplement for our business.

As a broadcasting platform, Tencent Sports are improving the overall content quality. We can have 30 games simultaneously broadcast in a 2 hour time period and guarantee a high quality watching experience. We have a strong team of commentators as well as merchandising and game experiences.

3. In your opinion, what’s the trend of the internet football industry in 2017?

China’s young netizens nowadays cannot leave their mobile devices alone and are now used to watching high quality sports matches and content.

Media networks will continue to develop consumers’ habits of paying for high quality sports games and move the industry forwards together. The first priority is to provide a high quality watching experience, and at the same time, be involved in merchandising, ticketing and fan engagement campaigns. These will all help to attract more consumers that are willing to pay for the overall experience.

As for the copyrights, the future does not necessarily mean paying unbelievable fees, media networks should target our consumers accurately and make our voice louder.

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