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LeTV picks up World Cup rights in Hong Kong

Chinese internet company LeTV, which operates the Le Sports service, has acquired exclusive rights in Hong Kong for football’s 2018 Fifa World Cup, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper.

The deal includes all qualifying matches for the tournament, beginning this year, as well as all group and knockout games at the event itself, which will take place in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018.

The newspaper said that LeTV had also announced it will change its name to LeEco to “demonstrate the company’s cross-platform reach”. It is unclear whether the rebranding will affect the Le Sports name.

The report added that LeTV is in talks to acquire rights for the North American NBA basketball league to add to a portfolio that will include coverage of football’s English Premier League for three seasons, from 2016-17 to 2018-19.

The value of the Fifa rights deal was not disclosed. Free-to-air and pay-television broadcaster TVB paid more than $40m (€37m) for the rights to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the newspaper said.