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CSL still have a long way to catch up with ‘big five’

By He Lanying 30 Sep 2015

The news last week that Ti’ao Power will pay RMB 8 billion for the rights to produce and broadcast Chinese Super League (CSL) matches over the next five years caused a big stir across the sports industry in China.

The figure is nearly 20 times more than the previous one. Discussions on whether it is worth 8 billion yuan to have the rights and how to earn the money back drew great attention from fans, media and industry pundits alike. 8 billion! It’s really a big money or sky-high price as some people call it, paid for the rights to a domestic league matches.

It seems to be a very attractive and juicy deal on the surface, but when you put it into the context of international environment, it’s nothing to be surprised at when compared to the ‘big five’ European football leagues and other sports leagues in the world.

The rights fee for the new circle of NBA broadcasting is estimated at 24 billion US dollars for a total of 9 seasons. That is an averaged $ 6.9 billion for each season. The domestic broadcasting deal signed by Premier League with BT and Sky for next three seasons is valued at more than 5.1 billion pounds (6.9 billion euros)in total, 2.3 billion euros for each of the three seasons, which is equivalent to 10 times of the money received by CSL. The current deal for La Liga is valued at 800 million euros per season, which is 3.5 times more than CSL. The deal for Serie A is estimated at 915 million euros, 4 times of CSL. And the revenue received by Bundesliga and Ligue 1 is 485.7 million euros and 607 million euros per season respectively, representing 2.12 and 2.68 times of CSL.

A part from the domestic broadcast revenue, CSL still have a long way to go to catch up with other leagues in terms of the completive level, influence of the league, fan base, sponsorship deal achieved etc.

The 8 billion yuan deal may be very attractive on the surface, but must be spent the right way. How the money can drip down to the programs like grass-roots initiatives that need money urgently to development is the question that should to be considered and solved right now. 

Source: Yangtse Evening Post

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