English Premier League sells Chinese TV rights for $700 million

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.
Robin Alam | Icon Sportswire | Corbis | Getty Images

The English Premier League has sold its television rights in China for $700 million in its biggest-ever overseas sale, a person familiar with the deal said on Thursday.

Online video streaming service PPTV sealed a three-year deal from the 2019-20 season, the person told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the negotiations are confidential with PPTV, a media division of China's Suning retail group which also owns Italian club Inter Milan.

PPTV's 2019-2022 deal is worth more than 10 times the current contract with Super Sports Media Group, which is paying around $20 million a season to air all 380 matches. PPTV also has the live rights for games from Spain's La Liga in China.

This is President Xi's three goals for Chinese football
This is President Xi's three goals for Chinese football

The Premier League has just started a new TV rights cycle, generating around 8.3 billion pounds ($10 billion) from broadcasters globally through 2019. The rights through 2022 have already been sold in the United States to NBC, which signed a $1 billion, six-year deal.

The PPTV deal is the latest big investment in soccer by China, where President Xi Jinping has made improving the Chinese games from the grassroots all the way to the international level a priority.

Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, and Wolverhampton Wanderers have received investment from China over the last year.

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