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China’s LeTV has snapped up the Hong Kong rights to the English Premier League (EPL) according to a report in the South China Morning Post on Tuesday.
China’s biggest online video company is set to pay $400 million-plus for exclusive rights for three years, beginning next season, more than double what current rights holder PCCW’s Now TV paid for a similar three-year deal.
The dramatic uptick in the value of rights for Hong Kong follows similarly big increases for EPL rights in the U.S. and South Africa as the world’s most popular soccer league continues to slowly announce its new global rights agreements for the next three-year cycle, which begins in 2016. The EPL had previously announced a blockbuster domestic deal worth $7.81 billion, split between Sky and BT.
Beijing-based LeTV is aggressively expanding into the Hong Kong pay TV market, which has been dominated until recently by Now TV and i-Cable.
LeTV announced in June that it would invest up to $774 million in the territory, bringing new OTT technology as well as securing a number of exclusive television properties. The company also announced that it would spend $13 million on Hong Kong-produced dramas in the coming years.
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