Pre­mier League sells Chi­nese TV rights for US$700m

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT -

LON­DON (AP): THE ENGLISH Pre­mier League has sold its tele­vi­sion rights in China for US$700 mil­lion in its big­gest-ever over­seas sale, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the deal said on Thurs­day.

On­line video stream­ing ser­vice PPTV sealed a three-year deal to broad­cast all 380 matches each sea­son across China from 2019-20, the per­son told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause de­tails of the ne­go­ti­a­tions are con­fi­den­tial with PPTV, a me­dia divi­sion of China’s Sun­ing re­tail group which also owns Ital­ian club Inter Milan.

PPTV’s 2019-2022 deal is worth more than 10 times the cur­rent con­tract with Su­per Sports Me­dia Group, which is pay­ing around $20 mil­lion a sea­son. PPTV also has the live rights for games from Spain’s La Liga in China.

The bumper Pre­mier League agree­ment is a sign of the an­tic­i­pated en­dur­ing at­trac­tion of the world’s rich­est foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion just as there has been dis­cus­sion in Eng­land about de­clin­ing do­mes­tic rat­ings for games.

NEW TV RIGHTS CY­CLE

The Pre­mier League has just started a new TV rights cy­cle, gen­er­at­ing around £8.3 bil­lion (US$10 bil­lion) from broad­cast­ers through 2019, with more than £5.1 bil­lion com­ing from English pay-tv net­works.

The rights through 2022 have al­ready been sold in the United States to NBC, which signed a $1 bil­lion, six-year deal. The wind­fall from PPTV eclipses NBC’s con­tract in the lat­est hefty in­vest­ment in foot­ball by China.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has made im­prov­ing Chi­nese foot­ball a pri­or­ity, from the grass­roots to the in­ter­na­tional team. Chi­nese busi­ness­men have re­sponded to the pres­i­dent’s call by el­e­vat­ing the coun­try’s in­flu­ence in global foot­ball.

Manchester City, West Bromwich Al­bion, As­ton Villa, and Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers have re­ceived in­vest­ment from China over the last year.

In Italy, Inter’s ri­val, AC Milan, is also set to fall un­der Chi­nese own­er­ship next month when Sino-Europe Sports com­pletes its takeover from three-time for­mer pre­mier and bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Sil­vio Ber­lus­coni.

China is also look­ing to host the World Cup for the first time af­ter Chi­nese con­glom­er­ate Wanda Group signed up as a FIFA spon­sor un­til 2030.

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