News24.com | Premier League agrees new broadcast deal in China with Tencent

News24.com | Premier League agrees new broadcast deal in China with Tencent

The official Premier League logo (Getty Images)

The official Premier League logo (Getty Images)

The Premier League announced on Thursday that it had agreed a new
broadcast deal in China for the rest of the season with Tencent Sports
following the termination of its previous agreement.

Viewers will have access to all the remaining 372 matches of
England’s top-flight football league via Tencent’s digital platforms
from Saturday.

More than half of all matches will be available for free to fans in
China, with the remaining fixtures available on Tencent Sports’
membership service.

The Premier League, which restarted last weekend after a seven-week
break, terminated its contract with Chinese broadcaster PPTV earlier
this month after a dispute over a missed payment.

PPTV had agreed a reported $700 million deal for the right to
broadcast all 380 Premier League matches per season from 2019 to 2022.

However, the first season of that deal was hit by the coronavirus
pandemic, with a three-month shutdown between March and June, before the
campaign was completed behind closed doors.

PPTV reportedly failed to make a payment due in March for coverage of the 2019/20 season.

“We are excited to have agreed this partnership with Tencent ensuring
our supporters in China can enjoy following Premier League action
throughout this season,” said Premier League chief executive Richard
Masters.

“We and our clubs have an extremely passionate fanbase in China and
are looking forward to working with the team at Tencent to engage with
fans in new ways over the coming season.”

Through the partnership, clubs will be able to share in-game clips
during matches with supporters and the Premier League will launch an
official channel featuring videos and features.

Tencent Sports general manager Ewell Zhao said: “The Premier League
is one of the world’s most popular sports competitions and has many fans
in China.

“In collaboration with the Premier League, Tencent Sports hopes to
leverage its platforms and technology to bring the drama of Premier
League matches to fans and share with them the passion and excitement of
football.”

The Tencent deal will come as a huge relief to the English
top-flight, which is already facing huge losses due to coronavirus.
Domestic and international broadcasters are due a rebate worth £330
million for the 2019/20 season failing to finish on time,
while the new season has started with all matches still played without
spectators.

China, with its 1.4 billion population and the world’s second-biggest
economy, is a prime growth market for the Premier League. Along with
the NBA, the Premier League is the most-watched foreign sports
competition in China.

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