Chinese viewers are tuning in inspite of those potential impediments. Many Chinese viewers communicate about the games via chat groups and more than 90% of them watch alone. During the 2018 season there were more than 709 million total video views of non-live NFL digital content, Live game digital viewership increased 72% the past year.
While from 6 p.m. to midnight the London audience can watch live NFL games televised by Sky Sports, in China the time change adds another challenge. For example through video streaming and mobile devices as part of the exclusive live digital agreement between NFL and the largest streaming platform in China Tencent, Sunday night games are shown Monday morning.
Managing director of NFL China Richard Young said that it was a very different consumption experience. The audiances could not having beer, guacamole and 20 friends over at 7 a.m.”
Super Bowl LIII drew a live of more than 8 million audiences in mainland China when it aired on the morning of the Lunar New Year’s Eve.It was grown exponentially and just over last year they had seen a tremendous amount of growth.
Besides watching football, the Chinese are playing it. In 2018 more than 300 teams across 14 cities participated in NFL flag football tournaments after only 36 teams across three cities in China did so in 2014.
Several of the AFLC All-Stars and about half of the CAFL players are American expatriates living in China. Quarterback Jarred Evans, who grew up in West Philadelphia right near Penn’s campus also played in the CAFL, faced Penn in the Global Ambassadors Bowl. It shows that the football is indeed a small world in China.
The youth in China are becoming interested in American football. More and more young Chinese football audiances wore the jerseys of their favorite NFL players with their first name on the back.