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Chinese digital platforms acquire Bundesliga rights

The three new deals were brokered by the China Sports Media (CSM) agency.

Chinese digital platforms Migu, Huya, and Dongqiudi have successfully acquired the rights for Bundesliga in a deal which will sanction from the 2021-2022 season.

As the new Bundesliga season is just around the corner, all three platforms managed to pull off a two-year deal. The Huya deal was described as ‘1+1’ in Chinese media, insinuating that the second season is optional. The three new deals were brokered by the China Sports Media (CSM) agency.

Compared to the league’s previous deals in the market the value of Bundesliga digital rights in China is understood to have fallen off drastically thanks to the troubled streaming platform PP Sports.

Migu, the video streaming platform run by telco China Mobile has taken up the responsibility for a wide-ranging partnership covering live rights and other video content, and joint initiatives with the league to support and grow the Bundesliga fanbase in China.

Migu has arisen as one of the leading sports video platforms in China, adding to its sports collection with a host of new deals. It managed to telecast Bundesliga matches last season under a sublicensing deal with PP Sports.

Huya focuses mostly on esports and gaming content and is based on user-generated content. It has recently shown a keen interest in traditional sports especially by acquiring the rights for Copa America which was again a deal brokered by CSM.

Dongqiudi is one of China’s leading football apps and has got live rights for all matches each season. The content on Dongqiudi covers news, blogs, and user-generated content, rather than video coverage of matches. In April 2021 it made its first major live streaming rights acquisition, with a non-exclusive deal for Chinese Super League rights.

CSM is stated to be also brokering deals with free-to-air linear broadcasters. SportsMoney.cn reported that deals have been agreed with regional linear broadcasters in Guangdong and Tianjin.
Bundesliga is involved in direct talks with state broadcaster CCTV about a free-to-air linear rights deal without the involvement of CSM as reported by SportsMoney.cn.

After the five-year deal between Bundesliga and PP sports which was running from 2018-19 to 2022-23 was terminated, the German competition’s rights were available in the Chinese market.

The new deal which has been signed with the three parties has a comparatively lower value than the PP sports deal. When the deal between Bundesliga and PP sports was agreed, the Chinese platform had paid a humongous number of fees and was supposed to be unsustainable. Just as the pandemic proved fatal for various digital platforms it dealt heavy damage to PP sports as they were not able to pay the deal fee to Bundesliga on proper time and the deal was terminated which was later followed by the Chinese league and the Premier League deal terminations.

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