Chinese Super League announces raft of new deals

IMG, PPTV and the CCTV Network pick up rights to Chinese club soccer’s top flight.

Chinese Super League announces raft of new deals

Chinese club soccer’s top tier, the Chinese Super League (CSL), has announced a raft of new deals for its 2018 season.

Global sports agency IMG has agreed a three-year extension to its deal with China Sports Media (CSM), the domestic rights holder for the CSL, to sell and distribute global media rights to the CSL from 2018 to 2020.

The new contract includes in-flight rights, and IMG will also continue to advise the CSL on television production for the league.

Michael Mellor, senior vice president of soccer for IMG Media, said: “The CSL continues to go from strength to strength with broadcast deals currently in place in nearly 100 countries around the world. Our aim is to grow this further over the coming three years in terms of both territories and audience.”

Zhao Jun, general manager of CSM, added: “CSM has enjoyed a long and broad relationship with IMG and especially over the last two years. IMG has used its international influence and expertise to successfully support CSL to expand the coverage into around 100 territories, as well as achieving a positive impact to enhance the league’s profile.

“IMG’s experience with international leagues has also helped CSL to improve in areas such as world feed production, training and consulting.”

Meanwhile, PPTV has extended its agreement with the CSL in a deal which sees it remain as the exclusive ‘new media partner’ of the league for the 2018/19 season.

The Chinese video-streaming website will show all 240 CSL matches on its digital platforms, which include its PPTV website, app, and CIBN Sports, a sports broadcasting platform installed on smart TVs.

Meanwhile, highlights and some original content will feature on around 1,000 outdoor LED screens owned by PPTV’s parent company Suning Group and set up in cities around China.

Suning Sports has already acquired exclusive media rights to a series of soccer properties, including Spain’s La Liga and England’s Premier League, among others.

In addition, according to a post by CSM on social media platform Weibo, the state-backed China Central Television (CCTV) Network will broadcast two matches in each round of the CSL, while local TV stations will show all home and away games of their local CSL teams.

The 2018 CSL season got underway on 2nd March.