Kuaishou Obtains Copyright to Livestream UEFA Champions League

Chinese media outlet 36Kr reported on Monday that Kuaishou Sports has reached a copyright deal with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), becoming the official livestreaming and short video platform for the UEFA Champions League this season (2021/2022), obtaining authorization for short video re-creation of competition content.

Kuaishou will broadcast the knockout stage of the Champions League free of charge from February 16, and will invite popular commentators to accompany users to watch the competition. The deal shows that UEFA has sold the copyright of the game in separate stages. Kuaishou is choosing to broadcast the competition after the Beijing Winter Olympics, hoping its audience can form a long-term consumption habit.

Starting from 2020, Kuaishou Sports has inked copyright deal for popular sports events, including Serie A, the Super Bowl, NBA, CBA, Copa América, and the World Snooker Championship.

In June last year, Kuaishou obtained the on-demand rights and re-creation in form of short videos for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Previously, it was rumored that Kuaishou spent 2.5 billion yuan ($394 million) on these two projects, which are of great importance for the platform. Kuaishou said the report has been grossly exaggerated in an interview with 36Kr.

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According to a professional related to sports copyright, “Compared with copyright for livestreaming, the price of on-demand copyright is lower. The copyright of re-creation in form of short videos is usually only one-third to one-fifth of the normal copyright, or even lower.”