Friday, November 18, 2016 11:13 pm
The English Premier League has sold its television rights in China to streaming service PPTV for around 700 million dollars, a source said.
The amount is several times the size of past deals as it cashes in on a growing enthusiasm for soccer.
The three-year deal with PPTV, part of retail group Suning, is one of the Premier League’s largest ever deals abroad.
The deals will kick in from the 2019/20 season, the source said. He could not be named as the deal is not yet public.
The Premier League has not confirmed the deal. PPTV, one of China’s largest streaming services which already owns the rights to Spain’s La Liga, declined to comment.
Under President Xi Jinping, China has been looking to expand its global presence in the sport.
It has invested billions of dollars to develop grassroots soccer academies, brought high-profile players and managers into China from overseas.
It is buying into global assets from Italian club Inter Milan to Manchester City.
The Premier League has seen television revenues shoot up globally in recent years.
TV group Sky last year agreed to pay 4.2 billion pounds (5.21 billion dollars) to show 126 live English Premier League matches a season from 2016 to 2019.
NBC last year paid around one billion dollars for a six-year deal to broadcast the league in the U.S. until the end of the 2021/2022 season, near double the cost of their previous three-year deal.
Beijing-based Super Sports Media are the current rights holders in China.
Local media reports are suggesting they paid more than one billion yuan (145.13 million dollars) for a six-year deal until the end of the 2018-19 seasons. (Reuters/NAN)