Premier League wins case against Chinese broadcaster PP Sports

Craig Hanson 4 months ago
Shutterstock

The company based in Hong Kong has been ordered to pay £157m in rights fees to the EPL

When the Premier League signed its broadcast partnership with PPLive Sports International in 2016, it was seen as a huge deal for both parties. It was to be worth more than £564m in TV rights, eclipsing the agreement with previous partner Super Sports Media. At the time the deal was touted as the league's largest overseas TV deal.

The broadcast partnership began at the start of the 2019-20 season and though it was supposed to last for three years, things didn't quite go to plan. The Premier League had already cancelled the deal before the end of that campaign, subsequently claiming £157m in unpaid fees from the broadcaster PPLive. The first payment was due in March 2020 but still hasn't been made.

A UK High Court judge has ordered the Chinese company to pay the money it owes to the Premier League. Justice Fraser attended a hearing in November before making his judgement this month, a judgement which will no doubt please the executives at the EPL.A

Fraser granted a "summary judgement" on this case, which he defined as something granted to a plaintiff when a defendant has "no real prospect" of defending their claim. Satisfied that the case was simple enough, the judge has ordered the Suning-owned broadcaster to make in full the outstanding payments which it owes to the league.

Following the cancellation of the initial deal itself, the Premier League looked to secure another one in the region, signing a one-season agreement with Chinese giant Tencent for live streaming rights to the 2020/21 campaign. 

After the successful conclusion of that period, the EPL signed an exclusive four-year partnership with streaming platform iQiyi Sports. This new deal runs until the end of the 2024/25 campaign with iQiyi subsequently selling the streaming rights to Migu, a China Mobile telecomms company. Live Premier League matches will therefore be shown on the Migu streaming platform throughout the duration of the agreement.

Both the temporary deal with Tencent and the long term agreement with iQiyi yield less annual revenue for the league but the ruling from the High Court judge is sure to please everyone, assuming PPLive are quick to pay back the money they owe.

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