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IMG inks landmark deal with China’s CCTV

IMG Worldwide, the sports and entertainment production company, has inked a landmark deal with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV to develop and produce sports events and programming.

The company, which will set up a joint venture company – CCTV-IMG Sports Management, has struck a 20-year deal with the broadcaster and hopes the success of this year’s Beijing Olympics will boost the country’s appetite for new sports.

IMG operates a number of major production companies including sports production outfit TWI, entertainment producer Tiger Aspect and factual producer Darlow Smithson. It was recently involved in the Board of Control for Cricket’s (BCC) move to set up the Indian Premier League cricket tournament and is also involved in other major events such as Wimbledon Tennis and soccer’s the English Premier League.

Much of CCTV’s sport coverage airs on terrestrial channel CCTV-5, but it will also look to air content across its channels and cable networks.

IMG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ted Forstmann said: “Today we are bringing together two international companies with unparalleled global reach.  Pairing IMG’s expertise in creating and developing high-profile sporting events with the unprecedented reach of China Central Television, China’s leading television broadcast and media company, will generate many different opportunities to enhance the sports and media landscape in China.  ‘CCTV-IMG Sports Management’ will be a formidable international brand-capable of developing compelling sports and entertainment content for many years to come.”