Premier League finances hit as China contract cancelled
Premier League finances hit as China contract cancelled
Premier League ends Chinese TV deal with immediate effect
04 September, 2020, 11:53
Premier League clubs considered negotiating a new payment plan with Suning or terminating the deal last month and have voted for the latter at Thursday's shareholder's meeting.
The Premier League, the leading United Kingdom soccer division, has terminated its massive $747 million (£564 million) TV rights contract with China's PPTV two years early due to unpaid payments, it said Thursday.
PPTV is owned by Suning Holdings, the Chinese group which also has a controlling stake in Serie A side Inter Milan.
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It is understood the reasons for the termination are financial rather than political.
In a statement posted on its official Weibo account, PPLive said it had tried to renegotiate the price of the rights with the league, blaming the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic.
The decision means that state television broadcaster CCTV, which has the rights to broadcast Premier League matches in China, will not show the start of the new season, scheduled for September 12.
PPTV said in a statement that after many rounds of talks disagreements remained on the value of the rights.
The Premier League is not the only sports rights holder to encounter problems in China in recent times.
The breakdown between the Premier League and one of its largest overseas markets could have a major impact on United Kingdom club finances.
The agreement marked a huge increase in revenue on the previous deal, which had been with Beijing-based Super Sports Media for £110m (€123) over six years until the end of the 2018/19 season.
The Premier League struck the deal back in 2016 when a number of companies were also buying English football clubs.
The loss of income for the Premier League will be significant and could have an impact on clubs' finances.
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