LaLiga ends Chinese rights deal with Super Sports Media in payline

  • The long-term contract was to last until 2029
  • The commercial joint venture is not affected by the CONTESTATION

La Liga, Spain’s soccer elite, has ended its broadcast partnership with Super Sports Media in China, claiming the media company failed to meet its payments.

Super Sports Media has signed an agreement to become the league’s exclusive broadcaster in China 2019, distributing content through its majority-owned iQIYI Sports over-the-top (OTT) platform and 18 regional TV channels in the country. The rights had also been sublicensed to China Mobile and its mobile streaming service Migu.

There were seven years left on the deal, but LaLiga have now confirmed they are taking legal action against Super Sports Media and are presumably looking for a new broadcast partner.

“Given the continuing situation of non-payment and, consequently, non-compliance with the terms agreed between the two parties, LaLiga announces the termination of the contractual relationship with Super Sports Media for audiovisual rights in China,” said a LaLiga spokesperson.

“In addition to the termination of the contract, which bound both parties until the end of the 2028/29 season, LaLiga has taken the necessary legal actions in order to safeguard the interests of the competition.”

Prior to this deterioration in relations, LaLiga seemed quite happy with Super Sports Media given that it had partnered with the company and Mediapro in a 15-year joint venture designed to expand the league’s business activity in China.

LaLiga confirmed SportsPro that the Spanish Football Commercial & Marketing Company (SFCM) partnership is not affected by the dispute: “Despite the termination of the contract, due to the unpaid bills of Super Sports, the JV will continue to exist and operate as it has done since his creation .”

It is not the first time that a major European soccer league has had problems with a Chinese broadcast partner. In September 2020, the Premier League ended their deal with PP Sports just a year into a three-season deal, saying they owed two installments worth £157million ($213million). of dollars). A High Court judge ruled in favor of the English football league earlier this year, although UK media suggest the Premier League has yet to receive any such compensation.

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Elaine R. Knight