Media Rights: Premier League terminates China deal over payment dispute

The Premier League has terminated its media rights contract with Chinese streaming service PPTV over a payment dispute. The £490m three-year contract comes to an abrupt end only after one season.

PPTV will now not be able to showcase the Premier League games. This will also be a huge revenue loss to the top flight English football league.

The decision was provoked by the PPTV decision to withhold Premier League’s £160 million payment in March this year. The broadcast network is owned by the Chinese conglomerate Suning, which also owns the Serie A club AC Milan.

PPTV had acquired the replaced Super Sports as the Premier League broadcaster for China in a £ 564 mn deal for the 2019-2022 cycle. The deal was finalised in 2016. It was a major financial boost for the Premier League, which would get only £ 160 mn from Super Sports for the 2013/14-2018/19 rights period.

A Premier League in a statement today (Thursday) confirmed that the deal has been called off. “The Premier League confirms that it has today terminated its agreements for Premier League coverage in China with its licensee in that territory. The Premier League will not be commenting further on the matter at this stage,” read the Premier League statement.

PPTV too announced that the Premier League contract is off. “After many rounds of talks, there remain disagreements on the value of rights between PPTV and the Premier League. Regrettably, we have not reached an agreement with the Premier League,” states PPTV.

“Despite PPTV paying more than the copyright cycle fee to Premier League in advance, as agreed, PPTV will terminate its cooperation with the Premier League.”

The payment dispute had erupted after the Premier League action was halted abruptly due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The league was resumed and concluded later as the games were played behind the closed doors.

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