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NFL (National Football League)

Mandarin-speaking Tom Brady and an NFL predicting dog star in New England Patriots’ China-exclusive video series

First North American sports team to create series of shows for Chinese market are expected to feature when the league eventually touches down for first game

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2018, 2:44pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2018, 2:44pm

Not content with leading the NFL in Super Bowl wins since the turn of the millennium the New England Patriots are leading the charge for the league in China.

The five-time Super Bowl champions became the first team to produce exclusive content for football fans on the mainland with the launch of Foxborough TV during the China broadcast of their game against the Detroit Lions last month.

The face of the franchise, quarterback Tom Brady, is at the forefront of the video offensive, breaking out the Mandarin skills he showed when wishing Chinese fans a happy Year of the Rooster on his social media in 2017.

Brady hosted the first of the eight episode series to be broadcast through the regular season and is also fronting his own monthly 15-minute series, the Tom Brady China Show.

China’s NFL fans will get to see Brady interview teammates, reveal his training regime and show off his chopstick skills, while Foxborough TV is set to focus on Chinese fans’ own stories and game previews.

The Patriots are the first NFL team and first North American side in any sport to launch a China-specific video content series.

Foxborough TV was launched on the team’s WeChat and Sina Weibo channels and on the Tencent Sports website.

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Tencent broadcast the NFL in China after signing a three-year digital distribution deal in 2017 that includes games and accompanying NFL content such as NFL Hard Knocks and A Football Life.

The Patriots have long been pioneers among NFL teams in the China market. They were the first team to have an office in China but closed it in 2008 amid the economic downturn in the US.

The league has had an office in China for over a decade but they are yet to stage their first game there despite a pre-season game being planned for Beijing as early as 2007.

Brady said during his 2017 visit to China that it was his dream to play an NFL game in the country. That could happen as early as next year and the Patriots would be expected to feature in the inaugural game.

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson launched an NFL-branded China flag football league on his visit this summer as part of the league’s ongoing China campaign.

Meanwhile, Brady led the Patriots to a thrilling win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.