The English Premier League has terminated its TV deal in China. Valued at more than $700 million, it was the most lucrative overseas deal for the world’s most-watched sports league.
Suning Holdings, the broadcast partner, had failed to pay $200 million due in March. It was in the first year of the three-year deal.
2020 hasn’t been kind to the Premier League, which was required to pay back millions of dollars to broadcast partners because of coronavirus disruptions.
The U.K. banned Chinese tech giant Huawei in July, creating political tension. At this time, however, it appears the deal fell apart purely because the broadcaster failed to pay.
Suning owns Italian soccer club Inter Milan and agreed to the deal with the Premier League to pay more than 12 times the previous Chinese media rights deal.
International rights fees make up approximately half of the Premier League’s $11.7 billion in broadcast rights revenue from its 2019-2022 cycle. The league is broadcast in more than 200 territories across the world.