Premier League suing PP Sports for media rights contract default

The English Premier League is suing its former Chinese media-rights partner PP Sports for $215.3 million for not paying the full cost of the previous broadcast. As early as September 3rd, the Premier League and PP Sports, the Chinese broadcaster, respectively announced the termination of their partnership.

The Premier League declined to comment, according to Bloomberg. PP Sports also did not respond at the time of writing.

PPLive Sports International Ltd is a subsidiary of Suning. They are accused of skipping a $210.3 million payment for live matches and another $5 million for highlight packages and interest, according to a report by Bloomberg.

PPLive said in an Aug. 26 letter that it would break the agreements, and the league in its filing said there was no legal basis for the broadcaster to do so. The league has since signed a less lucrative deal in China with Tencent.

Earlier on September 5th, PP Sports had decided to file a lawsuit against the Premier League.

According to industry sources, PP Sports has paid half of the agreed fee when the Premier League’s three-year licensing period actually started.

On September 17th, shortly after the Premier League’s contract with PP Sports was dissolved, the Premier League announced a partnership agreement with Tencent Sports. Tencent Sports will broadcast the remaining 372 Premier League games for the rest of the new season, more than half of which will be broadcast free of charge, with other matches to be offered through Tencent Sports’ membership service.

The Premier League’s revenue far outstrips rivals such as the Bundesliga or La Liga. But the cancellation of the contract, its largest, has been a big blow. It comes in addition to a loss of around 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in sales last season because of Covid-19, according to Deloitte.