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Hong Kong FA warns ATV over Premier League rights deal

The Hong Kong Football Association has warned free-to-air broadcaster ATV may lose its rights to the domestic Premier League competition.

In September, ATV secured the rights to the inaugural Premier League, the top division of football in Hong Kong, under a one-year deal in which the HKFA is paying the broadcaster HK$2.5m (€260,000/$322,000) to cover the league.

Other than covering a number of live and recorded matches, the South China Morning Post said ATV was also required to produce separate programming to promote the Premier League’s clubs and the sport in general before receiving the money.

However, the newspaper said the broadcaster has fulfilled only part of the agreement by covering live matches, while clubs have been disappointed by recorded games being scheduled late at night.

Under the terms of the contract, the HKFA is required to pay ATV the second half of the broadcasting fee this week, but at an association board meeting, members accused the company of failing to fulfil the terms of the contract in doing little to promote the sport.

“We will hold talks with ATV to sort things out and may terminate the contract if they continue to ignore the agreement between the two parties,” HKFA chairman Brian Leung Hung-tak said.

The Premier League replaced the old First Division for the 2014-15 season in a bid to revitalise club football in Hong Kong.