“The clubs are going to have to be smarter” – Why Premier League clubs need to embrace the age of digital disruption if they are to succeed in China 

5 November 2020

Photo: PA Images Chinese fans hold banners to show support to Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. of English League champions at a hotel for the Premier League Asia Trophy 2019 in Shanghai, China, 14 July 2019.

Clubs from the English top-flight are looking to boost their revenues in China following the recent cancellation of the PPTV broadcast deal.

The new one-year contract with Tencent is likely to significantly increase viewing figures for Premier League matches in the country, enhancing the appeal of teams to Chinese brands.

However, experts based in China recommend that clubs also create more of their own content, such as TV shows and live streams specifically for their Chinese fans.

Short-form content is also increasingly important, with live clips available through the Tencent deal, and a growing number of clubs on Douyin (known as TikTok internationally).

Jonathan Dyson dyson@offthepitch.com

As the dust starts to settle on the Premier League’s previous broadcast contract in China with PPTV, the pressure is growing on English top-flight clubs to increase their commercial revenues in the Chinese market and monetise their large fanbases in the country more effectively.

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