Shinai Sports, the Chinese streaming platform, has acquired exclusive digital media rights to this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Through the agreement, the showpiece women’s soccer tournament will be shown in China across Shinai Sports’ platforms such as the iQIYI sports channel, app, website, and QiyiguoTV.
The deal will see all 64 matches aired across the platform in Mainland China, with exclusive free-to-air broadcast rights to the Women’s World Cup still available in the region.
As well as live coverage, Shinai will provide “extensive” behind-the-scenes, insight, and analysis content throughout the tournament, which Australia and New Zealand will co-host from July 20 to August 20.
The announcement marks Shinai Sports’ first rights deal for a FIFA competition.
In November, Shinai agreed a media rights deal with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), replacing sports marketing firm Super Sports Media (SSM).
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Jean Christophe Petit, FIFA director of media partnerships, said: “We are hugely excited by this new partnership with Shinai Sports, which will bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 to digital platforms across Mainland of China.
“We look forward to working closely with Shinai Sports in the lead-up to the World Cup to promote the tournament and bring women’s football to new audiences in the country.”
The Chinese team – known as the Steel Roses – are the current AFC Women’s Asian Cup champions and have featured at the FIFA Women’s World Cup eight times, finishing as runners-up in 1999.
At this year’s World Cup, China will line up in Group D alongside England, Denmark, and one of next month's playoff winners.
China recently announced plans to submit a bid to host the Women’s World Cup for the third time in 2031. The country previously hosted the tournament in 1991 and 2007.
As part of an initiative to grow women’s soccer in the country, the General Administration of Sport of China, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, and the Chinese Football Association (CFA) issued a joint plan in October to stage the tournament.
Through the plan, called the Chinese Women’s Football Reform and Development Program, the authorities are keen to promote the development of women's soccer in China by 2035.
To achieve this goal, the Chinese team aims to reach the quarter-finals of the 2023 World Cup and the 2024 Olympic Games and ultimately secure a top-four finish in the 2031 World Cup and 2032 Olympics.
The Chinese authorities also aim to have the women’s team rank in the top tier in Asia by 2025 and be among the world’s leading teams by 2030.
After FIFA's decision to expand the competition, this year’s World Cup will be the first to feature 32 teams (previously 24).
In October, the European Broadcasting Union, the alliance of public service broadcasters, secured free-to-air rights to the Women’s World Cup in 28 countries including Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, and Turkey.
In Australia, Seven Network, the free-to-air commercial broadcaster, recently acquired rights through an exclusive sub-licensing deal with primary rightsholder Optus, the telecoms firm.
Optus will show every match on its subscription service but will sub-license one game per day, including all of Australia's fixtures, to Seven.
Rights in New Zealand were snapped up last year by leading pay-television broadcaster Sky.
FIFA launched a tender in Germany to sell media rights to the 2023 Women’s World Cup earlier this month with a deadline of February 14 set for bids.