The Premier League have been awarded almost $213 million (£157 million) by the high court over their television deal with Chinese broadcaster PPLive Sports International Ltd — the official company name for PP Sports.
PP Sports, owned by Suning Holdings Group who also own Inter Milan, paid £523 million for the right to stream all 380 Premier League games per season in China between 2019-22. It was the Premier League’s most lucrative overseas annual 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 an installment of $210 million (£155 million) on March 2020 and over the following six months. The missed payment occurred two weeks before the 2019-20 season was interrupted by the pandemic.
The Premier League terminated their contract with PP Sports in September 2020, as was their right. It is understood the league has rejected requests to renegotiate the contract or even extend it by three years on more favourable terms.
Instead, the Premier League agreed a four-year deal with Chinese streaming platform iQIYI in July.
The contract gave iQiyi exclusive coverage of the English top flight to be broadcast in mainland China and Macao.
A Premier League statement read: “The Premier League welcomes the judgment handed down by the High Court today relating to non-payment of fees by PPLive, its former broadcast partner in China.
“The Premier League will robustly enforce its contractual rights when it has no other option available. The league notes the judge’s view that PPLive had ‘no real prospect of success’ defending the claim. The bar is high for a summary judgment application and this decision highlights the strength of the league’s case.
“The league will now begin the process of recovering the fees and costs owed by PPLive.”
(Photo: Joe Prior/Visionhaus)