TikTok to stream Britain's Billie Jean King Cup tie v Mexico


FILE PHOTO: The TikTok logo is pictured outside the company's U.S. head office in Culver City, California, U.S., September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Billie Jean King Cup playoff against Mexico this weekend will be the first UK sports event to be broadcast live on TikTok, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) said on Friday.

The tie, taking place in London, is one of 16 being played to decide which nations advance to next year's qualifiers for the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

TikTok, the Chinese social media and video platform, has moved into live streaming of sports events including five sessions of live action from the X Games.

It also partnered with the NFL to produce buildup coverage for this year's Super Bowl.

This is its first venture into tennis and while there will be no fans at the venue, the LTA said TikTok's coverage would bring the action into living rooms.

"With no supporters cheering from the stands, we are bringing the courtside experience to everyone at home," Adam Hewlett, Head of Brand Marketing at the LTA, said.

"With more and more live events moving to social media platforms, we have a huge opportunity to lead the industry in producing the UK's first live sports coverage on TikTok.

"Our channel will be the home of all the event build-up, best moments, behind-the-scenes footage and live match action from this weekend's tie."

This year alone there have been 3.2 billion views of tennis video content on TikTok and Hewlett believes its popularity with a young audience can help to drive participation in the sport.

"We are always looking for innovative ways to bring people closer to our professional and grassroots games," he said. "Our partnership with TikTok will play a vital role in opening tennis up and getting more people to give tennis a go."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)

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