Football Sport

China signs huge Premier League TV deal

Written by Ben Blaschke

China’s digital broadcaster PPTV has signed a three-year, US$650 million deal to show the English Premier League from 2019.

According to Bloomberg, PPTV will take over the rights in a deal worth more than 12 times the US$18 million current rights holder Super Sport Media Group is paying annually.

Super Sport signed its six-year deal in 2012 at a cut-price rate with the Premier League focusing at the time on boosting viewership rather than maximizing profit. Now, with President Xi Jinping openly encouraging investment in football, spending has increased dramatically.

“What we have now in China that we didn’t have even three years ago is this massive competition for sports properties that’s driving prices up,” said Mark Dreyer, founder of Beijing website China Sports Insider. “While it’s still less than what broadcast rights go for in the UK or US, it is untested if Chinese consumers will pay to watch in enough numbers that these investments can be recouped.”

The new deal will almost certainly be the Premier League’s largest foreign television contract when it gets underway in 2019.