Alibaba Group wants to expand the reach of its annual 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration and bring the live variety show to markets around the world.
Last year’s gross merchandise volume, which reached $30.8 billion, outstripped the online revenues of U.S. retail’s biggest shopping holiday from Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday to Cyber Monday, combined. The sales event runs in the hours leading up to the world’s biggest shopping day of the year. This year will be the 11th 11.11 festival.
Alibaba said it aims to broadcast the Gala on about 10 cable networks in China, Southeast Asia, Africa and North America. While the Gala broadcast in Southeast Asia last year, Alibaba said that 2019 would be the first time the event had a truly global audience.
While the participating overseas networks have yet to be confirmed, the e-commerce giant said that the daytime segment would be shown exclusively on Youku and China’s Zhejiang TV and Dragon TV. As in previous years, Alibaba will deliver interactive experiences for the audience and opportunities for brands to engage with consumers during the broadcast.
Since its inception in 2015, the countdown gala has become a red-carpet event including such celebrities as Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, Mariah Carey and Pharrell Williams, and sports stars David Beckham, Maria Sharapova and Kobe Bryant.
Alibaba has not announced the celebrity line-up for this year’s event.