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China Sports Media retains China national football teams rights

The China Sports Media agency has extended its exclusive broadcast production and distribution agreement with the Chinese Football Association for four more years until 2023.

The renewal includes rights to the “Team China” series, the games featuring the men’s and women’s national teams, along with age-grade teams and the men’s and women’s 5-a-side teams.

CSM, the commercial rights-holder to the Chinese Super League, was first appointed to the role by the CFA in 2015 as part of the government drive to enhance football’s standing in the world’s most populous nation. At the time, the CFA held a competitive bidding process for rights until then held by state broadcaster CCTV.

Announcing the extended agreement today, CSM said that it would “continue to deeply involve itself in the production and promotion of the games on mainland China and beyond.”

The agency added: “The past four-year partnership has witnessed an overall enhancement of the Team China series by CSM continuously introducing state of the art technologies like Dolby Atmos and Virtual Reality etc., and also bringing the debut of 5G in Chinese soccer this year to provide additional possibilities to spectators in the stadium and in front of screens.”

The virtual reality and 5G offerings, along with a 4K signal production, were put in place for China’s home friendly games against the Philippines and Tajikistan in June. The games marked the return of Italy’s Marcello Lippi as China’s national team manager.

Rights to China’s games in the final round of 2022 and 2026 World Cup qualifiers are held by DDMC Fortis as part of the joint venture’s centralised agreement for the Asian Football Confederation rights from 2021 to 2028.

CSM assumed the distribution of international rights to the CFA Cup and the CFA Super Cup at the start of this year, and appointed the Mediapro agency to sell the rights in the Asia-Pacific region.

Broadcast agreements for the club team tournaments have been sealed with iCable (Hong Kong), SpoTV (Korea), Charlton (Israel), Channel 11 (Portugal), OneSoccer (Canada), StarTimes and Sportradar.