The English Premier League announced it had signed a one-year streaming deal for $10 million with Tencent Sports on Sept. 16, which is much cheaper than the previous contract with PPTV for $240 million a year. Tencent Sports will broadcast all the remaining 372 Premier League matches for the 2020/21 season.
Tencent will offer half of the matches for free and the rest will only be available for Tencent Sports members. Besides Tencent Sports, supporters will also be able to follow the latest news and updates about the competitions, clubs and players via other official Tencent’s platforms, including WeChat, QQ, Tencent News APP, Tencent Video, Penguin Live App, and Kan Dian.
On Sept. 3, Premier League terminated its three-year contract with another Chinese platform, PPTV, which was supposed to end in 2022. According to the Daily Mail, PPTV should have paid £160 million to the Premier League in March. PPTV claimed the value of its streaming service has shrunk because of the Covid-19 pandemic and searched for a discount or deferred payment with the Premier League. The Premier League declined the proposal, and then the contract terminated.
Up to now, all “The Big Five” European Leagues have reached consensus with the Chinese platform for next season’s broadcast. Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, and French Ligue have achieved agreements with PPTV, and Spain’s La Liga will keep in cooperation with iQIYI Sports. To some extent, Tencent’s partnership with the Premier League compensates its vacancy in the football sector as most football broadcast rights belonged to PPTV and iQIYI Sport.