World Table Tennis (WTT) has expanded its broadcast footprint across Mainland China and Macao through a ground-breaking agreement with MIGU, the streaming subsidiary of China Mobile, China’s leading telecommunications company.
This four-year partnership signifies a major breakthrough for WTT in terms of media rights in the history of table tennis, further highlighting the sport’s remarkable growth and burgeoning market value in recent years.
As part of the strategic partnership, MIGU will become the exclusive media partner of WTT in China, with full media rights in Mainland China and Macao Special Administrative Region, as well as exclusive production rights using new technologies such as 4K, 8K, VR and AI. At the same time, both parties will jointly formulate and release a “5G smart venue guide for WTT events” to further promote the digitalisation of table tennis events through “5G + table tennis”. The unprecedented deal also includes the opportunity to leverage MIGU’s expertise in 4K, 8K, AI, VR, and 5G, plus further innovations that will be reflected in production and other areas of WTT Events.
Table tennis fans in China can now enjoy all WTT events on MIGU Video, China Mobile Mo Bai He and other MIGU platforms. They can look forward to the much anticipated and prestigious 2021 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, USA, starting on 23 November.
The relationship will build on the mammoth success of the Chinese team at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where Table Tennis broke all viewing and social records inside China.
WTT Council Chair and President of the Chinese Table Tennis Association Liu Guoliang, said: “Table tennis is one of the most popular sports in China. This partnership with China Mobile MIGU will deliver more table tennis content to fans in China, so that they can watch their national heroes and favourite stars in action, anytime, anywhere.”
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Group CEO and WTT Director Steve Dainton said: “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. 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.”
China has long been a dominant force in table tennis, with Olympic champions Ma Long and Chen Meng currently spearheading the country’s charge on the global stage.
Fan interest in table tennis in China remains high, with the 2020 GlobalWebIndex study indicating that there are 250 million avid fans in the country, 67% of whom are millennials or younger. WTT and MIGU will work closely together to increase the volume of fans and convert them into WTT fans on MIGU’s platform.
General Manager of China Mobile MIGU Liu Xin said: “As the world’s largest communication operator, China Mobile seeks to actively build a ubiquitous and integrated computing network, develop digital intelligence innovation, and promote 5G for the public, industries and scale development. As a digital content expert under China Mobile, MIGU is committed to creating a better life for all through culture + technology. 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.”