Cancellation of Chinese TV deal raises major doubts on future of Premier League's commercial pull

4 September 2020

Wolves
Photo: PA Images "I don't think we have even scratched the surface of what this means for the clubs financially," says Dr Paul Widdop, a senior lecturer in sports development at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Though the drop in broadcasting payments is problematic for clubs, the knock-on effects of the Premier League's termination of its TV deal with Chinese PPTV could be far more severe.

Chinese firms have little reason to sponsor Premier League clubs if they are unable to reach their home-audience, according to several experts.

More importantly, however, is the fact that hundreds of top flight sponsors have now lost access to the world's second-most populous country.

Not having exposure to a market as competitive as the Chinese is a big risk at a time when rival leagues are making strides.

Emil Gjerding Nielson and Mads Meisner nielson@offthepitch.com

It raised eyebrows when the Premier League said it had terminated its £564 million TV deal with China's PPTV two years before time.

Clubs are already struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the unfortunate timing of the decision. While the deal was significant - the biggest at the time it was signed in November 2016 – it only accounted for around six per cent of the total value of the Premier League's broadcast rights of £9.2 billion in the 2019-22 cycle (not accounting for potential Covid-19 rebates).

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