The English Premier League and Chinese sports media platform Tencent Sports on Thursday established a partnership on broadcasting the reminder of the 2020-21 season matches.
Tencent Sports, a subsidiary of Chinese internet giant Tencent, will broadcast all 372 remaining matches from the second round of Premier League which are scheduled to start on Saturday.
“We are excited to have agreed this partnership with Tencent, ensuring our supporters in China can enjoy following Premier League action throughout this season,” said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters.
“We and our clubs have an extremely passionate fanbase in China and are looking forward to working with the team at Tencent to engage with fans in new ways over the coming season,” he added.
Multiple Chinese media outlets revealed that Tencent Sports would pay 10 million U.S. dollars for the one-year contract.
“In collaboration with the Premier League, Tencent Sports hopes to leverage its platforms and technology to bring the drama of Premier League matches to fans and share with them the passion and excitement of football,” noted Ewell Zhao, Tencent Sports General Manager.
The collaboration between Premier League and Tencent came after the termination of the English top flight’s big-money contract with its former broadcaster PP Sports on September 3.
Streaming service PP Sports, owned by Chinese retail conglomerate Suning, had a reported 700 million U.S. dollars deal for the rights to show all Premier League matches on the Chinese mainland and Macao from 2019 to 2022.
But the partnership broke down as they failed to reach an agreement on controversies said to be mainly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, PP Sports said.
Premier League fans from the Chinese mainland didn’t have an official means to watch the first round matches of the new season, which kicked off on September 12.