On October 7th, according to Bloomberg, the Premier League will sue PP Sports for $215.3 million for not paying the full cost of the previous broadcast. As early as September 3rd, the Premier League and PP Sports, the Chinese broadcaster, respectively announced the termination of their partnership. On September 5th, the journalists learned that PP Sports had decided to file a lawsuit against the Premier League.
The Premier League declined to comment, according to Bloomberg. PP Sports also did not respond at the time of writing.
It comes after the Daily Mail, the British media, published an article saying that the Premier League’s sky-high copyright bubble, triggered by the new crown virus, may be bursting. Due to the outbreak, the fee that was supposed to be paid in March was put on hold, i.e. PP Sport will have to pay the Premier League 80 per cent of the full three-year copyright period by March 2020.
And that is becoming the trigger for differences between the two sides.
According to industry sources, PP Sports has paid half of the agreed fee when the Premier League’s three-year copyright period actually starts at less than 20 per cent of the schedule – that is, PP Sports pays 50 per cent of the copyright period fee when only 20 per cent of the three-year copyright period is implemented. If PP Sports sues the Premier League, most of them require the Premier League to refund costs that exceed the actual copyright enforcement period and the costs of the season’s losses due to the impact of the outbreak.
In deciding to sue the Premier League, PP Sport said the global outbreak presented many challenges, highlighted in copyright negotiations. “After many rounds of talks, PP Sports and the Premier League have differences in copyright value, we regret that we have not been able to reach an agreement with the Premier League at this time, although PP Sports has been in accordance with the agreement to the Premier League overpaid the copyright cycle fee, but PP Sports will terminate its cooperation with the Premier League.”
On September 17th, shortly after the Premier League’s contract with PP Sports was dissolved, the Premier League announced a partnership agreement with Tencent Sports. Tencent Sports will broadcast the remaining 372 Premier League games for the rest of the new season, more than half of which will be broadcast free of charge, with other matches to be offered through Tencent Sports’ membership service.
According to Bloomberg, sporting events around the world have been affected by government restrictions on public gatherings to control the spread of the new crown virus. Although the Premier League has some lucrative broadcast contracts, it has been plagued by the outbreak and has asked broadcasters to give rebates on rescheduled matches and schedules.
Kieran maguire, a lecturer in football finance at the University of Liverpool, said the Premier League had no choice but to hold the Chinese broadcaster accountable through the courts.