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NBA, Tencent announce China digital partnership

Deal includes launch of NBA League Pass, NBA Game Time App

POSTED: Jan 29, 2015 9:44 PM ET

Official release

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— The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Tencent Holdings Limited ("Tencent", HKSE: 0700), a leading provider of comprehensive Internet services in China, today announced a five-year expansion of their partnership that will create the league's largest international digital partnership. The new partnership will be effective on July 1, 2015.

As the Exclusive Official Digital Partner of the NBA in China, Tencent will feature a record number of live NBA games and deliver enhanced original NBA programming and highlights, including NBA preseason and regular-season games, NBA All-Star, the NBA Playoffs, The Finals, NBA Summer League and the NBA Draft through personal computers system and mobile devices. NBA live games and content will be available for fans to access through Tencent's NBA sections on QQ.com, v.QQ.com, QQ and Mobile QQ, Qzone, Weixin, Tencent Video app, and Tencent News app.

Tencent and the NBA will launch the first-ever NBA LEAGUE PASS offering in China, providing fans with access to a full season of live and on-demand NBA games online and via mobile devices.

"The NBA represents both a widely-followed sport and an active healthy way of life in China," said Martin Lau, President of Tencent. "This multi-year agreement enables us to bring substantially more NBA games and content to consumers than has ever been available in the past, and we look forward to working with the NBA league, teams and players to further enhance the sport's profile and popularity."

"NBA fans in China are among the most passionate and knowledgeable basketball fans in the world, and we are thrilled to expand our partnership with Tencent," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "Tencent is one of the most innovative, leading brands in China, and their extensive reach will give our fans unparalleled access to the league and its teams."

"This groundbreaking partnership will reach hundreds of millions of daily users across Tencent," said NBA China CEO David Shoemaker. "As the popularity of the NBA continues to soar in China, our fans will receive unprecedented NBA content, interactive gaming, customized communities, and merchandise on QQ.com, Weixin, Tencent Video and News apps, and other Tencent platforms throughout the year."

Tencent and the NBA will also jointly manage and operate the NBA's digital assets in China, including the official NBA online destination NBA.com/China and sites for all 30 NBA teams, NBA events and merchandise. Additionally, Tencent will launch the NBA Game Time Application, featuring extensive video highlights, news and statistics, providing fans with the most comprehensive access to the NBA on mobile. Tencent will further support the NBA in growing its social media presence on Tencent platforms including Weixin, QQ and Qzone, among others.

The NBA and Tencent will unveil the NBA Community including an NBA dedicated gaming section within the Tencent Games platform, a more integrated social commerce platform, and a premium subscription service offering registered users special access to NBA content on Tencent. The NBA's partnership with Tencent will also include the development of NBA-themed interactive games, and the promotion of existing NBA-licensed interactive games, designed for mobile devices and distributed on Tencent's platforms. Additionally, NBA ID, the league's loyalty program in China, will be integrated into the NBA Community providing fans the opportunity to earn points for using NBA services and redeem them for special privileges and merchandise.

About the NBA

The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women's National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with offices in 13 markets worldwide, games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2014-15 season featured a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories. NBA Digital's assets include NBA TV, which is available in 60 million U.S. homes, and NBA.com, which recorded 26.9 billion page views during the 2013-14 season, with more than half of all visitors originating from outside of North America. The NBA is the No. 1 professional sports league on social media, with more than 750 million likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league and its teams and players have donated more than $242 million to charity, completed more than 3 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 915 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.

About Tencent

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Every day, hundreds of millions of people communicate, share experiences, consume information and seek entertainment through our integrated platforms. Tencent's diversified services include QQ and Weixin/WeChat for communications; Qzone for social networking; QQ Game Platform for online games; QQ.com and Tencent News for information, and Tencent Video for premium video content.

Tencent was founded in Shenzhen in 1998 and went public on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004. The Company is one of the 50 constituent stocks of the Hang Seng Index. Tencent seeks to evolve with the Internet by investing in innovation, providing a hospitable environment for partners, and staying close to users.

For more information, please visit www.tencent.com/ir.