Premier League signs Chinese TV deal

The Premier League has sold its China TV rights for about US$700 million, reports said.

A source familiar with the deal said the rights were sold to PPTV in a three-year deal.

PPTV is a streaming Web site.

If confirmed, the deal would be a substantial upgrade after the Premier League sold its rights to China cheaply in the past. Its deal with Super Sport Media Group is worth about US$18 million per year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said the nation aims to become a football power and the Chinese Super League has spent a lot on transfer fees to bolster its playing and coaching ranks, a program that is expected to resume in January when the transfer window opens.

Investors have been buying teams and TV rights, agreeing to sponsorship deals, and setting up streaming platforms.

The Premier League claims to have 174 million fans in China.

The Chinese Super League has 16 teams, with Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao winning this year's 30-game season by seven points over second-placed Jiangsu Suning.