Chinese sports and entertainment company Wuhan DDMC Culture Co has agreed to buy Super Sports Media, which currently holds the media rights for English soccer’s Premier League in China.
The deal is valued at US$500 million and DDMC will complete the takeover through its Hong Kong division, as per sportspromedia reports.
The deal is part of DDMC’s plans to strengthen its grip on foreign soccer rights in China, having recently set up a joint venture with Suning Commerce Group Co. The partnership means that the two parties will have control over the majority of European soccer rights, including those for Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga and the Premier League.
“The deal means we will have an integrated platform for content managing and operation, and strengthen our bargaining power against foreign content providers,” reuters has quoted a source close to the deal.
Super Sports Media has been showing coverage of the Premier League for the past seven years, and its current broadcast deal for England’s top flight runs out at the end of the 2018/19 season.
The network had been pushing for a new pay-per-view model, but last year was outbid by Suning-owned online streaming platform PPTV, which will hold the rights for three seasons from the 2019/20 campaign onwards.