Premier League Inks Streaming Rights Deal in China

    • The Premier League signed a streaming rights deal in China with iQiyi, providing clarity to a situation thrown into flux.
    • A previous deal with PPTV fell apart.

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The Premier League sold exclusive digital broadcast rights in China, stabilizing a situation that turned chaotic when its previous deal fell apart.

The top English soccer league agreed to a deal with iQiyi Sports that begins in August and runs to the end of the 2024-25 season.

iQiyi, a streaming company created by China’s top search engine company Baidu and marketing firm Super Sports Media, will show games without ads in multiple languages. Season-long subscriptions cost $49.

  • The league had signed a three-year, $719.8 million pact with Suning-owned PPTV in 2019, but that unraveled after one year. The two sides are now in a legal battle over breach-of-contract claims made by the Premier League. 
  • The league kept itself on the air in the world’s most populous country with a one-year deal with Tencent, reportedly worth less than $10 million.
  • Its new contract is believed to be worth half as much annually as the PPTV deal.

The Premier League is the second to only the NBA as the most popular sports league in China

Launched in 2018, iQiyi has media rights to LaLiga and the Asian Football Confederation. It also streamed the Euro football championship match between England and Italy, as well as tennis’ Australian Open and Wimbledon.