Premier League signs new Chinese TV deal with Tencent

Premier League signs new Chinese TV deal with Tencent after pulling plug on £564m deal with PPTV last month over withheld £160m payment

  • The Premier League has announced it has got a new Chinese broadcast partner
  • The league terminated its existing contract with PPTV over a withheld payment
  • PPTV, owned by Suning, did not pay up after the league was halted by Covid-19
  • Chinese viewers will have access to the remaining 372 games from this weekend
  • Tencent will also make more than half of those matches available on free to air 

The Premier League has found a new broadcasting partner in China, signing a deal with Tencent for the remainder of this season after cutting ties with PPTV earlier this month.

The league terminated its contract with PPTV, owned by Suning Holdings, after the withholding of a payment due under the terms of the deal in March.

The three-year deal with PPTV was announced last summer but the disagreement led to the cancellation of the league’s most lucrative overseas TV contract worth £564m, which had two years left to run. 

The Premier League has a new Chinese broadcasting partner, signing a deal with Tencent

It is claimed the deal with Tencent is worth less than the fee PPTV was due to pay this season

After the opening round of fixtures were not broadcast in China, viewers will now have access to all the remaining 372 matches from this weekend.

The Premier League said Tencent would make more than half of the matches available free to air, with the remainder accessible via a subscription.

Clubs will also be able to share short in-play clips to engage with supporters in China, the first such deal the Premier League has done anywhere in the world.

The chairman of the European Club Association Andrea Agnelli said last week that the Premier League faces a rebate to broadcasters of £330m for the disruption to the 2019-20 season caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and its deal with PPTV was reported to be worth £564m over three seasons. 

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

‘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.’  

Chinese viewers will now have access to all the remaining 372 matches from this weekend

The Premier League last month pulled its hugely lucrative TV deal with PPTV, owned by Suning

It is believed the league will now focus on putting in place a longer-term deal, to cover the 2021-22 season and beyond.

As part of the deal, the Premier League also retains the right to sell a small number of matches to other free-to-air broadcasters in China.

According to the Financial Times, the deal with Tencent is worth less than the fee PPTV was due to pay this season

But top-flight teams have reportedly been told by Masters they will not lose money after funds were boosted by PPTV paying half of their contract before it was terminated.

It is claimed Tencent has 114million video subscribers. They also already have a deal in place with the NBA.   




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