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Broadcast rights: fierce battlefield in China's sports industry

By Yutang Sports Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 18:00

One of China’s emerging online sports streaming provider, PPTV Sports, used the Spanish word “Hola” a couple of days ago to inform the media about the press conference held today, indicating the company would have something important to release and it could be closely related to Spain.

Rumors occurred yesterday when some Chinese media incited Spanish newspaper AS reporting that China’s CCTV 5 would secure the rights package of La Liga for the next five years. And it would cost the state’s leading TV sports channel 375 million euros.

But with the press conference being held this afternoon, all the dust has settled as PPTV Sports announced the remarkable 5-year deal for the exclusive media rights to present La Liga in mainland China alongside Taiwan and Macau from 2015-2020 with 250 million euros.

The question is how could an emerging online sports brand defeat a long renowned satellite sports channel in the battle of La Liga deal at a much lower price?

Well, this could be something astonishing years before as traditional TV channels had long been dominating the rights to broadcast major sports events such as Premier League, La Liga or Bundesliga. But with the emergences of online sports streaming platforms, including the likes of Super Sports, Letv Sports or Tecent Sports, traditional TV channels led by CCTV 5 is now on real pressure in this sector.

CCTV 5 used to be the premier choice both for sports events and advertisers with its great viewership and exposure, but it only took years for the chasers to catch up and play a part especially after capital flowing into sports industry.

But it is still fairly to say that CCTV 5 remains a key sports channel and there is little chance that the likes of La Liga, Premier League would “vanish” from this site for a relative long time. Despite the lost to PPTV Sports in the La Liga deal, the leading traditional sports platform could still partner with the latter in distribution of matches.

In a word, the situation for Chinese traditional sports TV channels led by CCTV 5 is very challenging as money-backed sports brands has speeded up in acquiring exclusive rights of major sports events. But also this would force these media giants to explore more in order to avoid being out-played.  



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