Chinese search engine company Baidu is rumored to be talking with U.K. digital sports media group Perform Group to establish a joint venture in China.
Perform's core business is purchasing digital copyrights of various high-level sports events, displaying those events on online with its powerful digital editing capacity, and attracting money with its traffic. In addition, Perform specializes in sports data consulting analysis and advertising sponsorship marketing.
Perform has digital copyrights of over 200 kinds of sporting events. In 2014, the group purchased a ten-year digital content and production rights for the WTA for over USD500 million, which set a copyright price record in the women's sports industry. Early in 2012, the group already claimed 105 million audience members in the sports sector.
If the two parties form a partnership, Baidu will be able to enter the live sporting events and sports marketing sectors.
At present, high-level live sporting events have become an important competitive field for Chinese Internet information and video companies. At the beginning of 2015, Tencent gained a five-year exclusive Internet broadcast rights for NBA games in China for USD500 million. Le Sports also gained Internet rights for F1 between 2014 and 2017.
Financial terms and organizational structure of the rumored joint venture have not yet been released.