In another sign of how frothy the Chinese sports and film investment market has become, a Chinese company has acquired television rights for the English Premier League for a price ten times of the football club’s previous rates.
Chinese online TV and video content provider PPTV has agreed to broadcast the 380 matches each season of the English Premier League from 2019 to 2022 in China in a US$700 million deal, according to media reports.
The price is about ten times more expensive when compared to that of Hong Kong-based Super Sports Media Group, which paid around US$20 million a season for the rights from 2010 to 2019.
The valuation is rich in comparison to NBC, which acquired a six-year right for the English Premier League through 2022 for US$1 billion.
PPTV, controlled by China’s Suning retail group, also has the live rights to broadcast games from Spain’s La Liga in China. Suning owns Italian football club Inter Milan.
Sino-Europe Sports, a Chinese investor group, is to acquire A.C. Milan next month. Chinese investors have also made inroads in Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In January, China’s Le Sports agreed to provide live streaming of Major League Baseball in the Greater China region until the end of 2019, though it did not release financial details. Le Sports also said it would acquire rights to broadcast China’s main soccer championship for the next two years for RMB2.7 billion.
With Le Sports’ parent company LeEco facing cash shortages, it’s unclear how the deals have progressed.