UK Soccer’s Premier League Tears Up Lucrative China Broadcast Contract

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Former England defender Joleon Lescott was an important part of City's first two titles

Chinese streaming service PPTV has been withholding a 160 million pound payment to the Premier League, according to a United Kingdom report.

Reports last month claimed that PPTV, which is a division of Suning Holdings, had failed to pay $212M (£160M) due in March.

While the idea of Leo Messi playing in the Premier League is an exciting prospect for many involved in the English game, Liverpool defender Andy Robertson doesn't want to see the Argentine make the move.

In a statement posted on their official company Weibo account, PPLive Sports International said that it had held negotiations over the price of the rights with the league.

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PP said in a statement that after many rounds of talks disagreements remained on the value of the rights.

The decision leaves a huge hole in the Premier League's finances, having been just one year into a three-year contract with the Chinese broadcaster.

League CEO Christian Seifert said Thursday that he considered concerns about unfair competition to be exaggerated, even if some teams begin their seasons with fans and others don't, and that clubs hadn't voiced concerns.

"This development is taking place against the backdrop of increasingly sour relations between the United Kingdom and China", said Simon Chadwick, director of the Centre for the Eurasian Sport Industry.

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In November 2016, the Premier League signed its biggest TV deal outside the United Kingdom when Suning Holdings paid £564m (€633) to broadcast matches for three years, from 2019-2022, via its digital channel PPTV.

Last season, as the clubs prepared for Project Restart amid coronavirus lockdown restrictions, it was agreed to allow five substitutions and to increase the matchday squad from 18 to 20 to help players deal with so many games in such a short period of time.

Federation Internationale de Football Association and rule-making panel IFAB allowed leagues to use up to five substitutions in May as a way to reduce fatigue for players during a busy run of rescheduled games.

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