The Premier League has received nearly $ 213 million (£ 157 million) from the High Court for its television deal with Chinese broadcaster PPLive Sports International Ltd – the official name of the PP Sports company.
PP Sports, owned by Suning Holdings Group which also owns Inter Milan, paid £ 523million for the right to broadcast all 380 Premier League games per season in China between 2019-22. It was the Premier League’s most lucrative annual overseas contract in the current three-year rights cycle.
The main installment of PP Sports’ payment for last season, however, never arrived.
They failed to pay a down payment of $ 210million (£ 155million) in March 2020 and for the next six months. The missed payment came two weeks before the 2019-20 season was cut short by the pandemic.
The Premier League ended their contract with PP Sports in September 2020, as was their right. It is understood that the league has rejected requests for renegotiation of the contract or even a three-year extension on more favorable terms.
Instead, the Premier League struck a four-year deal with Chinese streaming platform iQIYI in July.
The contract gave iQiyi exclusive coverage of the English elite which will air in mainland China and Macau.
A Premier League statement read: “The Premier League welcomes today’s High Court ruling regarding the non-payment of fees by PPLive, its former broadcast partner in China.
“The Premier League will firmly enforce their contractual rights when they have no other option available. The league notes the judge’s opinion that PPLive had” no real prospect of success “in defending the claim. The bar is high for a summary judgment request and this ruling underscores the strength of the league’s case.
“The league will now begin the process of recovering fees and costs owed by PPLive.”
(Photo: Joe Prior / Visionhaus)