STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

MLB signs deal with China's largest tech company

Major League Baseball is tapping into the Chinese market in a big way.On Tuesday, it announced a deal with Chi...

Posted: Apr 3, 2018 7:17 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2018 7:17 PM

Major League Baseball is tapping into the Chinese market in a big way.

On Tuesday, it announced a deal with China's biggest tech company, Tencent, to stream 125 games this season. Tencent boasts more than 1 billion active users on its social media networks.

The deal kicks off Wednesday with a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels.

Tencent will stream regular season games on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The social network will also stream the All-Star Game, postseason games, the World Series and a weekly highlight show.

MLB is just the latest league to expand its presence in China, joining similar efforts and partnerships made by the NBA, NFL and NHL, which hope to tap into a potentially massive Chinese audience. The NBA and NFL also have deals with Tencent.

"Tencent has continued to collaborate with the world's top sports leagues securing broadcast rights for basketball, soccer, tennis, winter sports, football and now baseball," Tencent Vice President Caitlyn Chen said in a statement. "In recent years, baseball has developed rapidly in China, which wouldn't happen without MLB's dedicated promotion in China for over a decade."

Tencent will also become the official partner of MLB Baseball Park, a baseball show that travels around China. The show already garners over 3.5 million fans annually. The tech company will also develop and host an MLB Fan Club in China.

Related: China to US: We'll match your tariffs in 'scale' and 'intensity'

The new deal is part of a major push by MLB to expand its presence in the country.

MLB's first streaming deal in the country was with Chinese media company LeSports, but the current partnership with Tencent provides the league with a much bigger platform.

MLB opened its first office in China in 2007 and launched three development centers in the country to help hone Chinese baseball talent.

Three graduates of the development centers signed MLB contracts, including "Itchy" Xu Guiyan with the Baltimore Orioles, Hai-Cheng Gong with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Justin Qiangba with the Boston Red Sox. None are active members of those teams.

A growing number of players from the development centers have gone on to play college baseball in the US, China, Taiwan and Korea. Some have competed on the China National Team and in the China Baseball League.

MLB has also made a push to expand into more Chinese schools, colleges and universities. More than 40 new baseball facilities have been built since April 2017. As part of the streaming deal with MLB, Tencent will broadcast the league's youth baseball and development events.

Last year, MLB partnered with China Education TV, a national network, to air select MLB shows and games. CETV reaches nearly one billion viewers.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33068

Reported Deaths: 2068
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9524558
Lake3494175
Cass15897
Allen141966
St. Joseph122134
Hendricks114268
Hamilton113292
Elkhart110128
Johnson1092106
Madison58459
Porter50522
Bartholomew49034
Clark47941
LaPorte42022
Tippecanoe3823
Howard37824
Delaware37636
Jackson3721
Shelby36822
Hancock32727
Floyd31739
Boone30535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2592
Montgomery23417
White2308
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Noble20421
Grant19721
Dubois1903
Harrison18921
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16512
Warrick16528
Dearborn16521
Vigo1538
Lawrence15223
Miami1401
Putnam1357
Jennings1294
Orange12422
Scott1203
Ripley1106
Franklin1098
Kosciusko1011
Carroll933
Daviess8416
Steuben812
Marshall801
Newton7610
Wayne756
Fayette747
Wabash742
LaGrange682
Jasper661
Washington511
Jay490
Fulton471
Clay461
Rush452
Randolph453
Jefferson431
Pulaski410
Whitley383
Owen351
Sullivan341
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke323
Perry280
Wells270
Benton260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford222
Parke190
Spencer191
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0161
West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 79°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Cooler, less humid weather ahead by the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events