China’s leading online video hub Youku is broadcasting all matches of this year’s AFC Asian Cup live, as it looks to expand its high-definition sports-streaming services.
Running from Jan. 5 to Feb. 1 in the United Arab Emirates, the tournament is the biggest-ever edition, contested by 24 teams instead of the 16-team format that had been in place for the past 10 years.
It is the second major sporting event to tap Youku’s high frame-rate streaming technology, after the FIFA 2018 World Cup in June. Leveraging artificial intelligence technologies to predict movements, the Alibaba-owned online video hub will livestream all 51 matches at 50 frames per second, providing a significantly more-detailed and realistic viewing experience than the TV broadcasting standard of 25fps.
To enrich the viewing experience, Youku is offering a range of digital content to engage users as they watch the games, from sports commentary and fan trivia quizzes to prize giveaways.
Last month, Youku and the National Football League announced a digital partnership to bring its football programming to Chinese fans, including game highlights and behind-the-scenes stories of the Super Bowl, NFL Kickoff, Thanksgiving and the NFL International series.