Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV has extended its rights deal covering tennis’ Australian Open grand slam until 2026.

A multi-year deal between CCTV – owned by China Media Group – and the Tennis Australia governing body was unveiled today. The 2024 Australian Open hard-court tournament in Melbourne is taking place currently, running between January 14 and 28.

Tennis Australia has said the renewal of the broadcast rights agreement involves “new opportunities for China Media Group’s digital platforms,” such as the streaming of select daily matches alongside linear TV coverage.

The original tie-up between CMG and Tennis Australia dates back over 20 years.

The tie-up also includes CCTV covering the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Playoff, set to take place in China in December this year, ahead of next year’s Australian Open.

XU Qiang, director of CMG Sports, said: “We have been partners for over 20 years and China consistently provides one of the highest viewerships of the tournament around the world. Australian Open 2023 was a historic year for Chinese players, with six women and three men competing in the main draw.

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“As a long-term partner of Tennis Australia, we believe that in the new cycle, the coverage across CMG’s multiple platforms will further boost the popularity and influence of the Australian Open in China and elevate the cooperation between the two sides to a new level.”

In terms of other event broadcast partners for the championships, multiple deals covering key markets were concluded in 2023, including agreements in the US, Latin America, Canada, the Caribbean, India, and New Zealand.

Domestic rights are held by commercial broadcaster Nine Network.

This year’s tournament will see players compete for a record prize pool of AU$86.5 million ($58.67 million).