Beijing, China: The European Tour has secured a long-term partnership with Sina Sports for the exclusive digital broadcast rights to all European Tour events.
The agreement will see Sina Sports live-streaming all European Tour tournaments exclusively on all Sina Sports platforms, effective immediately until the end of the 2021 season.
The European Tour currently features two Chinese golfers, Li Haotong, the first Chinese to break into the top-50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and three-time European Tour winner Wu Ashun.
In addition, as part of the partnership, Sina Sports’ newly-created in-house digital media agency will manage the European Tour’s official social media assets in China, including its Weibo and WeChat accounts, for the duration of the live-streaming deal.
Sina Sports recently launched an in-house digital media agency to serve rights holders, teams and athletes, having recently announced an exclusive Weibo operation and commercial deal in football with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Edinson Cavani.
With over 20 years of operational experience, Sina Sports is the largest content creator on Weibo with more than 100 million followers on their 80 Weibo accounts. The in-house agency will provide multi-faceted digital media services for athletes, federations and clubs as well as to seek marketing and sponsorship opportunities with Chinese companies.
Sina Sports began exclusive live broadcasts of the European Tour last November, with the Turkish Airlines Open reaching 210,000 views on Sina Golf’s Weibo account alone. At the event, Li finished second behind world number one Justin Rose.
The 23-year-old Li, along with Wu, are part of a wave of highly-regarded Chinese golfers establishing themselves on the global stage – a factor in the partnership between Sina Sports and the European Tour.
In 2018, Li held off Rory McIlroy to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by a single stroke, while Wu won his third European Tour title at the KLM Open in The Netherlands.
Arthur Wei, Sina Corporation Senior Vice President and Sina Sports General Manager, said: “With the growing presence of Chinese golfers and optimal viewing time, the European Tour is positioned to become a very popular sports property for Chinese fans and we are excited to partner with the European Tour for the next three-plus years.
“The possibility of large numbers of fans in China rooting for Chinese players regularly competing for titles at convenient viewing times is intriguing.”
Rufus Hack, Chief Content Officer at the European Tour, said: “The European Tour is delighted to agree this new partnership with Sina Sports, which will give golf fans across China access to every event on the European Tour as well as great additional content in their own language on WeChat and Weibo.”