Sportel experts explore Chinese OTT growth prospects

October 27, 2016

The market for paid online sports video in China with its over 700 million internet users will continue to grow and has the potential to transform sport in China, ambulance according to participants in a panel session at the 27th annual SportelMonaco event at the Grimaldi Forum here this afternoon.


In the session, seek presented by LeSports, China’s leading internet sports platform, representatives from two of the world’s biggest sports properties, the NFL and the NBA, agreed that OTT will become increasingly important as a platform for their content.

LeSports has already seen subscriptions leap to over 2 million since the launch of its pay offer in China in April of this year. The average audience including free-TV windows is averaging 19 million viewers per day.

“The problem isn’t whether the customers are willing to pay,” said Yu Hang, Chief Operating Officer at LeSports. ”It’s whether the content is worth it.”

LeSports is the exclusive rights holder of the Chinese Super League, among many other properties. He said the aim of Le Sports is to create a “lifestyle” environment in which live content sits along with a wide range of other opportunities for fans.

Calling the potential impact of OTT on the sports market “transformational,” Richard Young, Managing Director, NFL China, said:  “A challenge in China is that sport is not as big as in other places. In the future, it will play a bigger part in people’s lives.”

“OTT is the place we want to be with the fans consuming content on digital.” Matthew Brabants, Senior VP, Global Media Distribution & Business Operations of the NBA, which has an deal with LeSports in Hong Kong.

The session was moderated by Jay Stuart, iSportconnect’s Editor at Large.

iSportconnect and LeSports are partners in LeSportsConnects – The China Sports Forum, taking place at Mission Hills, China from November 28-30, 2016. For more information visit