Sport Bible to spread table tennis gospel

Table Tennis England has agreed a broadcast rights deal with fast-growing youth publisher, TheLADbible Group to show matches via TheSPORTbible.

The England Leopards European qualifying tie against Greece will be streamed live on The Sport Bible’s Facebook page on November 1.

The production will be provided by 1080 Media via four cameras trained on the court, with full commentary and player interviews.

The Sport Bible is one of the UK’s most visited sports media websites. It has more than eight-and-a-half million fans on Facebook. Table tennis is one of the first sports to be screened live on TheSPORTbible alongside boxing and mixed martial arts.

Mark Taffler, Head of Commercial at Table Tennis England, said: “This is an exciting initiative and shows that Table Tennis England are determined to look at innovative projects to help our sport grow.

“We are particularly keen to reach new and younger audiences and The Sport Bible have a fantastic track record in reaching that demographic, so we’re really pleased to be working with them.

“We’re planning to deliver a fantastic show in partnership with 1080 Media, which will also appeal to existing fans of table tennis.

“It’s part of our mission to get everyone talking about table tennis and this deal is a big part of that.”

Arian Kalantari, Co-Founder, TheLADbible Group, added:

“We’re continually innovating in the live video space on Facebook, so we’re looking forward to working with the team at Table Tennis England to bring the sport to a potential audience of millions.  Our early tests with live sport on Facebook has shown that large audiences exist for sports that don’t necessarily get a primetime TV slot.”

The England versus Greece match is a European Championships qualifying tie and the England Leopards teams consists of the 2016 World Championship bronze medallists Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford and Sam Walker, who were all part of Team GB in Rio. Table Tennis England is currently exploring partnerships with commercial organisations to ensure that live streaming continues to be one of the ways it markets the sport.