Premier League Abruptly Ends Broadcast Agreement in China, Creating Revenue Gap

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LONDON (AP) — The Premier League is without a broadcast partner in China after ending one of its most lucrative international agreements.

The league did not give a reason on Thursday for the termination of its agreement with streaming service PPTV after one season of a three-year contract through 2022, reportedly worth 550 million pounds ($718 million).

British newspaper The Daily Mail reported last month that PPTV withheld a payment of 160 million pounds ($209 million) in rights fees that were due in March. That was when the Premier League was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The league responded to the failure of Suning, the Chinese retail giant which owns digital channel PPTV, to meet the March deadline by rejecting its offer for a three-year contract extension to cover the 2022-25 seasons.

Suning owns Italian club Inter Milan and PPTV has a deal to broadcast Serie A through 2021.

The collapse of the deal could affect the finances of clubs who have already been hit by the impact of the coronavirus.