The newly-established China Arena Football League (CAFL) announced its TV agreement with Chinese online video platform iQIYI on Friday.
The CAFL is a league that features a variation of the American football sport, which is quite similar to the United States' National Football League (NFL) but is played indoors on a field that is half the size of those in the NFL.
It is actually the same as the US' Arena Football League that is played by two opposing teams with 8 players each instead of the standard 11 because of the smaller size of the playing surface.
Cri English reported that the inaugural season of CAFL will kick off this October in Beijing where six teams will compete, namely the Beijing Lions, Shanghai Skywalkers, Guangzhou Power, Shenzhen Naja, Dalian Dragon Kings, and Qingdao Clipper.
With the agreement, all of the league's 18 games is set to be seen live "only on iQIYI" starting in October 1st, according to the American Football International. The report continued to note that "all games will also be available for later viewing, along with a special weekly magazine show and daily fun features and information developed by the CAFL's own media company".
CAFL Founder and Chairman Martin E. Judge said in his message that the league is "delighted by the enthusiasm iQIYI has demonstrated for our sport" and that "such a quality media partner will be vital to our sport becoming as popular with the fans here, as it is in the United States".
Aside from the live games, iQIYI will also show "special behind the scene stories" of the teams and players that will be interlaced with the matches during the telecasts. Lou Tilley, an award-winning producer and announcer, is set to manage the productions.
"I am so excited to help the fans appreciate our great game. I have been here for almost five years getting to know our potential audience and sponsors, as well as the great young content professionals of iQIYI, and we are ready to present a first class sport in a most informative and entertaining fashion," Tilley said.