The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has announced the renewal of its partnership with H&A Media ©Getty Images

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has renewed its partnership with China’s number one streaming platform to keep the sport present in the region until Paris 2024.

After four years working together, major international slalom and flatwater canoeing events will continue to be broadcast on Chinese streaming platform as part of a renewed deal with H&A Media. 

The deal is set to run until December 2024, extending a collaboration which has already shown great results from the last couple of years and will progress until the Games. 

"China is a very important market for the ICF, and we were thrilled to have record-breaking audience figures in the China market for coverage of canoe and kayak events at Tokyo 2020," said ICF digital and marketing manager Adam Collins.

"It is essential we have continued strong media visibility to build on this momentum as we embark on the next Olympic cycle.

"In 2019, half of ICF’s main televised events took place in China, and a good showing of strong Chinese paddlers helped us achieve 30.1 million viewers across six events broadcast on Huya. 

"In 2021, despite no events taking place in China and virtually no Chinese paddlers, we still attracted 11.52 million viewers on the platform."

Around 931,369 Chinese viewers tuned in to Huya to watch sprint paddler Zhang Dong qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics two years ago. 

"The data and audience feedback over the past three years gives us confidence that Huya as a youth-orientated digital platform, will help drive audiences for our sport," said Collins.

China's Liu Hao won the silver medal in the men's canoe single 1000 metres final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
China's Liu Hao won the silver medal in the men's canoe single 1000 metres final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

"Live-streaming offers immediate and accurate audience feedback on the popularity of international sports properties into the China market," said H&A Media managing director Guy Horne.

"Between our Lausanne and Beijing teams, Huya TV and ICF event organisers, we have created a model which is generating long-term growth for canoeing."

The new deal means the scheduled ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup events in Racice in Czech Republic will be streamed live on Huya, as well as the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, due to be held in Augsburg, Germany in July. 

Mengya Sun and Shixiao Xu won the women's canoe double 500 metres competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, while Liu Hao and Zhang Peng claimed silver in the men's double rowing 1,000m race.