CCTV-IMG joint venture partners with the NFL for reality and highlights programs (IMG)

25 September 2009 17 h 38 min 28 comments

NFL Super Bowl to Be Broadcast Live on Chinese National Television

CCTV IMG Sports Management Company, the 20-year joint venture between China’s CCTV, the world’s largest television broadcaster, and IMG Worldwide, the premier sports, entertainment and media company, announced today an agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to develop, produce, distribute and exhibit an NFL reality-based television series and an NFL highlights show in China.

The agreement includes a live broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV from Dolphin Stadium in South Florida on Sunday, February 7, 2010 (Monday, February 8 in China). 

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

The original television series, entitled “NFL China Blitz,” will be comprised of 16 30-minute episodes developed in conjunction with the NFL and produced in the Chinese language by CCTV.  Broadcasts of the series will run from October 29, 2009 through February 11, 2010.  The highlights programs will include 22 weekly 30-minute shows with Chinese in-studio commentators to coincide with each week of the 2009 NFL regular-season and postseason.

“We are delighted to have played a role in helping the NFL, one of the world’s most prestigious sports leagues, gain exposure to over 800 million people in China,” said Ted Forstmann, chairman and chief executive of IMG.  “This agreement represents the first true example of the kind of original programming that we expect the joint venture to produce over the next 20 years.”

“We are committed to growing our sport around the world, including in China,” said Steve Bornstein, NFL executive vice president, media.  “This initiative is an exciting way for us to bring all of the passion and pageantry of the NFL, both on and off the field, to the Chinese audience in a new and innovative format.”

The reality series component of the agreement will feature the most popular and successful youth band in Chinese pop culture, “May Day.” The band sings songs mostly in Mandarin and is admired for expressing its hope for world peace through music.  In the series, two teams which will include members of “May Day,” will undertake a series of competitive tasks revolving around the core values of the NFL.  Points will be awarded to the winning team for each task and the team with the highest point total at the end of the series will win a unique prize.  Each of the 16 original programs will be filmed in various U.S. cities. 

The highlights programs will be localized by the NFL and will include an NFL-provided script with CCTV talent hosting the weekly show.

In addition to the reality series and the NFL highlights show, the agreement calls for the live broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV, on February 8, 2010 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Beijing time on CCTV, with Mandarin commentary.

The agreement also includes a regular schedule of advertisements and promotions of the series and the highlights programs throughout China. In addition, both the CCTV IMG joint venture and the NFL have the right to sell sponsorship packages and syndication for the programs

Source: IMG (24/09/2009)

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