Tencent leads online battle for World Cup advertising revenue

09:05, June 22, 2010      

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Tencent, a leading portal and instant messaging company, has ranked top so far in online World Cup advertising among China's other major websites.

The fact that the World Cup has attracted so much attention, coupled with the country's expanded Internet connectivity accounts for the jump in overall revenue, which could reach 350 million yuan ($51.24 million), said Ji Chendong, information and communication technologies consultant with Frost & Sullivan.

Ji said Tencent's ability to draw in viewers is partially due to QQ, the firm's wildly popular instant messaging service that has hundreds of millions of users online everyday.

The online audience for this year's World Cup could hit 580 million, a massive increase over the 82 million viewers in 2006, said Ji.

As of Monday, Tencent led competitors like Sina and Sohu by having 41 ad customers for its World Cup programs, said Tian Weibin, a PR agent with Tencent.

The brand names include Coca-Cola, Volvo, China Mobile, Microsoft, Tian said.

After Tencent, Sina obtained 39 ads for the World Cup, Sohu had 21, and NetEase trailed far behind with only 10 online ad clients, Xu Shaolian, the director of sports with Chengdu Business Daily, wrote on his blog Sunday.

This ranking is unlikely to change throughout the event because all of the ad clients signed on before the matches kicked off.

Tencent's emergence as the leader is a reversal of its fortunes from the last World Cup in 2006.

The IT giant ranked fourth with 15 million yuan ($2.2 million) in ad revenues after Sina, Sohu and NetEase, according to iResearch Consulting Group.

But this year Tencent cooperated with China Network TV (CNTV) providing live feeds of the 64 matches of the World Cup.

Instead of working with CNTV, Sina and Sohu chose to work with China Central TV and PPLive, whose online transmissions are believed to suffer from delays.

The ad revenues of the World Cup are on average 3 percent of annual online ad in-come, Ji said.

Source: Global Times

(Editor:黄硕)

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