NBA 2K League announces Tencent as Chinese distribution partner

The NBA 2K League has named Chinese investment holding conglomerate Tencent as its first distribution partner in China.

The deal will see Tencent broadcast condensed versions of playoffs and finals games from the second season of the NBA 2K League across Tencent Sports, Tencent Video, and Tencent News.

Photo credit: NBA 2K League

Brendan Donohue, Managing Director at NBA 2K League discussed the deal in a release: “Today is another incredible step forward in the NBA 2K League continuing to grow as a global league. Tencent is the ideal partner to distribute our games and bring the excitement of the NBA 2K League to fans in China, and this partnership illustrates the popularity of esports and interest in the NBA 2K League among its hundreds of millions of daily users.”

Coverage will begin with the 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs on July 24th, with the best-of-three quarterfinals and semifinals taking place over three days. The playoffs will then culminate with the best-of-five finals on August 3rd.

Ewell Zhao, General Manager of Tencent Sports added: “The NBA 2K League is a world-famous professional esports league. Tencent Sports hopes the NBA 2K League will provide a new way to bring the charm of basketball and sports to more people.”

NBA 2K League recently announced Snickers as its official chocolate bar. Gaming chair brand Raynor Gaming, sportswear brand Champion, peripheral brand HyperX and AT&T are also sponsors of the league. 

Esports Insider says: Tencent is already a major player within the gaming and esports market, so it makes sense that it wants a piece of the NBA 2K League pie. With Tencent’s expertise in the vast Chinese market and access to millions of users, there is no doubt that the league will receive a whole new wave of viewership – but will the esport connect with Chinese fans like it does with those in North America?