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Zhao Jun Exclusive: Branding CSL needs iconic local players

By Pu Yang Saturday, 10 Oct 2015 18:00

“The rights to CSL are special for Ti’ao Power”, their managing director Mrs. Zhao Jun said to Yutang Sports in a recent interview.

Despite the expensive price (RMB8b), the desire of owners at Ti’ao Power to win the CSL broadcast rights for the next five seasons had been remarkably strong as the company has been responsible for the media rights to China’s first division soccer league since 14 years ago when it was still called Chinese Football League A.

To reply to people’s curiosity, Zhao Jun explained that they offered the money because of “long-term accompany which generate emotions and intimacy” and “the firm confidence in the future of Chinese soccer”.

It is widely argued, however, there would be limited ways to cover the expense let alone make money from it. But in Zhao’s perspective, “Every company has rational motive when making investment”.

“We’re more willing to invest into Chinese soccer even though we, as rights holders, pay attention to various kinds of sports events.We rarely involve in bidding for rights to overseas events because we would like to contribute to Chinese soccer down-to-earth by keeping the capital within China”.

In terms of the execution, Ti’ao Power would help some local sports channels improve the production and equipment including broadcast vans, advanced cameras and other technological supports.

In addition, Mrs. Zhao revealed that “Big Match” is set to be presented from next season, assuring at least one key match each round. Above that, they would provide both domestic and international signal channels when producing the competition.

In Mrs. Zhao’s eyes, it can’t be like “one fits all” when producing and broadcasting the CSL in the upcoming seasons. And they will not put significant extra pressure on some broadcasters in sharing the costs as local sports channels are not playing key roles in generating revenues.

For the emerging online streaming platforms, which adopt distinct commercial modes with traditional TV stations, it would take much more to operate in presenting those matches despite more ways to make revenues, Zhao commented.

Overall, the CSL needs to reestablish the brand with the boosts from separation from Chinese governmental administration to the pricy deals for broadcast rights.

“Shaping idols, idols for youths especially, is one of the key entry point to build the brand of CSL”, commented Mrs. Zhao. “Compared to the Gold Age with the likes of Hao Haidong as representative, the CSL today seemingly lack iconic local players.”

Tags: brand CSL


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