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SPFL strikes deal to show games in China

Tue 21st Jul 2015 | Television & Broadcasting

Live Scottish football will be beamed on TV screens in China for the first time next season as part of a new three-year deal between the SPFL and international partners Letv Sports and MP & Silva.

The SPFL and Letv Sports, China’s leading digital broadcast platform for sports, announced the exclusive partnership ahead of the upcoming season, which will also feature new title sponsor Ladbrokes.

The deal, which marks the first time that Letv Sports will enjoy SPFL rights, will see games streamed live across all forms of China’s traditional TV channel, IPTV and all its online and mobile services. It will provide Letv Sports users with live coverage of at least 55 Ladbrokes Premiership matches and other SPFL matches per season, with professional commentary in Mandarin and all in HD. The ground-breaking partnership creates a new platform to increase the SPFL and Scottish football’s exposure across the world’s most populous country.

Mr. Lei Zhenjian, Chief Executive Officer of Letv Sports, said: “We are honoured to partner with the SPFL, it is a great addition to our expanding line-up of premium sports content. Football’s popularity is rising in China, and Letv Sports is committed to acquire as many of the world’s top sports properties as possible to serve our sports fans in China. We look forward to working closely with SPFL and MP & Silva to build on the growing football fan base.”

The deal forms part of a wider, 10-year international rights agreement between the SPFL and MP & Silva which sells rights to the region for the benefit of all 42 SPFL member clubs over that period. With the 55 games per season, there are rights to broadcast Scottish League Cup and Petrofac Training Cup matches live.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “The SPFL is delighted to partner with Letv Sports to broadcast live Ladbrokes Premiership action in China. It’s a fantastic deal for Scottish football, with China’s leading digital platform, and further demonstrates the international interest in our national sport.

“Clearly, this is a massive market and gives our member clubs a great opportunity to sell themselves to the world’s fastest growing economy. Scottish football has an unrivalled history and so many positive stories to tell and we very much look forward to working with Letv Sports and MP & Silva to do just that in the three seasons ahead.”

Letv Sports is China’s fastest-growing sports media platform, following the recent acquisition of major sports properties to expand its portfolio of content, and having amassed more than 120 sports media rights in 17 categories such as football, basketball, motor sports, cycling, equestrian, marathon and combat sports.

Letv Sports is a subsidiary under Le Holdings, which has interests including TV sets, mobile devices and e-commerce. Le Holdings have introduced new and innovative business models that have attracted extensive media attention. In addition to the sports content available on all Letv’s platforms, their unique integrated business offerings also includes events, smart hardware and value-added services such as online gaming and professional training services.

Image: Action Images via Reuters / Graham Stuart

Posted by: Kev Howland

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