“There’s more than meets the eye to this deal” – Why new partnership with Tencent could be a game changer for the Premier League in China

15 October 2020

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Photo: PA Images Chinese Manchester United fans celebrates a goal against Tottenham Hotspur at Shanghai Hongkou Stadium in International Championships Cup, Shanghai, China, 25 July 2019.

While the reported value of the Tencent deal is significantly lower than the previous PPTV contract, experts based in China believe the Premier League has much to gain through the large, engaged user base on the Tencent Sports platform.

The Premier League can also earn extra revenue in China this season through selling additional rights.

These include match highlights and live goal clips, with the craze for short-form content in China, in particular among Generation Z, driving the value of such deals.

However, Tencent, like all digital players in China, faces a range of challenges in attracting new paying subscribers to watch the matches.

Jonathan Dyson dyson@offthepitch.com

As the fallout from the sudden termination of the Premier League’s broadcast deal with PPTV in China rumbles on, the league and its clubs are looking to maximise the opportunities presented by its new deal with Tencent, announced last month.

Under the deal, which began on Saturday 19 September, viewers in China can watch all the remaining 372 Premier League matches live. Tencent is making more than half the games available for free, with the other fixtures available on Tencent Sports' membership service.

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