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DDMC Fortis bullish on AFC rights, despite conflicting signals from China

SINGAPORE - JULY 29: Patrick Murphy, CEO Catalyst Media Group and Minister S.Iswaran poses during the International Champions Cup match between FC Internazionale and Chelsea FC at National Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Singapore. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC)

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The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.