IMG completes Chinese Super League rights extension

The IMG agency has sealed a three-year extension to its contract to sell and distribute global media rights to the Chinese Super League, the top tier of club football in China.

The agreement, which will run from 2018 to 2020, was first reported by TV Sports Markets on February 2 and has been confirmed today (Monday).

IMG signed the deal with China Sports Media, domestic rights-holder for the CSL. The new contract includes inflight rights, as well as continuing to advise the CSL on television production for the league.

Michael Mellor, senior vice-president of football for IMG Media, said: “The CSL continues to go from strength to strength with broadcast deals currently in place in nearly 100 countries around the world. Our aim is to grow this further over the coming three years in terms of both territories and audience.”

IMG also works with the CSL to provide strategic advice and insight, as well as represent certain centralised sponsorship packages. 

Zhao Jun, general manager of CSM, added: “CSM has enjoyed a long and broad relationship with IMG and especially over the last two years. IMG has used its international influence and expertise to successfully support CSL to expand the coverage into around 100 territories/countries, as well as achieving a positive impact to enhance the League’s profile.

“IMG’s experience with international leagues has also helped CSL to improve in areas such as world feed production, training and consulting.”

Most recent

Match-choice restrictions placed by Spain’s LaLiga on the free-to-air package in its UK and Ireland rights tenders for the 2019-22 cycle may limit interest from broadcasters, according to industry experts spoken to by SportBusiness Media.

Pay-television broadcaster BT Sport took advantage of Sky’s long-running concerns over wrestling body WWE’s OTT service to grab WWE rights in the UK and Ireland from its rival at a steep discount, SportBusiness Media understands.

As TikTok has grown into one of the world's most popular social-media apps during the past year, the short-form video-sharing platform has become an important tool for sports rights-holders to expand and engage their fanbases. 

Turkish agency Saran has negotiated a price reduction for rights to the English Premier League for the 2019-22 cycle, SportBusiness Media understands, the first time it has achieved this since acquiring the property at the turn of the decade.