August 22 – The Chinese Super League has announced plans to create online football games as it searches for new sources of revenue.
The nation’s premier competition has struck a six-year video gaming deal with Beijing-based studio Crazy Sports, based on the 16 CSL teams.
The partnership marks the CSL’s first foray into the online gaming industry and is set to last until 2022. Crazy Sports believe that streaming revenue from the CSL-themed games could reach 1 billion yuan ($150 million) in 2020 while CSL’s chairman Ma Chengquan said: “The Chinese Super League is dedicated to expanding the influence and commercial value of the league. The development of CSL-themed games is a new revenue growth point for the league.”
Crazy Sports, which also previously ran an online lottery platform through a separate business tie-up until the Chinese government started banning online lottery sales in 2015, said it hoped to convert its over 100 million sports lottery users to play the CSL games.
China has been at pains to produce as much football investment as possible since President Xi Jinping, a self-professed fan who repeatedly expressed his aim to the World Cup, came to power in 2012.
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