LeTV nets Premier League rights for Hong Kong


Rebecca Hawkes

| 23 September 2015

Chinese digital media giant LeTV has won the exclusive rights to broadcast the English Premier League in Hong Kong for three seasons beginning August 2016.

The deal, worth a reported US$400 million, is said to be double that struck by PCCW for its three-year agreement with the Premier League, which concludes at the end of the 2015-2016 season.

LeTv currently broadcasts Premier League matches via online and mobile platforms in mainland China as a sub-licensee of Super Sports Media Group, the Premier League's broadcast partner for mainland China and Macau.

"We've enjoyed a great partnership with the English Premier League in the past few years as a digital broadcaster in mainland China. And we're very excited now to extend this cooperation to Hong Kong. Together, we'll bring a fantastic English Premier League offering to local fans," said Lei Zhenjian, chief executive, Letv Sports.

LeTV also holds the rights in mainland China to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1.

In addition to its online video platform, LeTV has diversified into the production of smart TVs, smart bicycles, vehicles and smartphones. It launched its Hong Kong pay-TV service in 2014, accompanied by its 50" 4K Ultra HD TV sets.

"The audience can watch the games on our TV, our mobile phones, and in future they will be available to all Internet users via our smartphone apps," said Mok Chui-tin, CEO Asia-Pacific, LeTV. Detailed subscription plans are yet to be unveiled by the company.

Mok dismissed rumours, however, that any concrete deal had been reached with a third party, after local reports suggested PCCW's IPTV network nowTV would also continue broadcasting some EPL matches in Hong Kong from next season.

PCCW's nowTV will continue to show every Premier League match this season.