Tencent steps in as Premier League’s broadcast replacement in China

September 18 – The English Premier League has agreed a new broadcast deal in China to cover the rest of the 2020-21 season after terminating its £564 million contract with PPTV earlier this month.

The agreement with digital media platform Tencent Sports means viewers in China will have access to matches from this weekend.

The previous deal with PPTV, signed in 2019 and due to run until 2022, ended after a £160 million payment due in March was reportedly not received. Financial details of the new set-up have not been disclosed though are believed to be less than half of the amount PPTV were paying.

The new agreement with Tencent will help Premier League clubs absorb some of the financial  hit caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced matches to be suspended for several months before the 2019-20 season resumed in June but behind closed doors.

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

“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.”

Tencent will broadcast half of all the matches available for free in China, with the remaining fixtures available via a membership service.

“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,” said Tencent Sports general manager Ewell Zhao.

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