Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA – Get Report) has acquired the rights to broadcast Pac-12 sports games across China through 2024 as American universities aim to market their schools to more Chinese students, Bloomberg reported.
The Pac-12, which includes powerhouses UCLA, USC, Stanford and Oregon, wants to grow “interest in our universities overseas, and particularly in China. Sports play a valuable role in bringing exposure and interest,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said.
This is the first time a college sports network will be available in China. Pac-12 Networks started in 2012 and broadcasts domestically on one national and six regional television networks. The Pac-12 has 27,000 Chinese nationals currently enrolled, with 12,000 alumni living in China.
Alibaba will show 175 live events and 100 hours of original Pac-12 programming annually. The slate includes football, men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, lacrosse and beach volleyball, some of which will be shown on Youku Tudou, China’s version of Alphabet Inc.-owned (GOOGL – Get Report) YouTube.
The financial terms of the deal weren’t made public, but it includes an extension of Alibaba’s sponsorship of the annual Pac-12 China Basketball Game through 2020. This year’s game features competitors UCLA and Georgia Tech Nov. 11 in Shanghai.