Chinese internet company LeTV, which operates the Le Sports service, has acquired exclusive rights in Hong Kong for football’s 2018 FIFA World Cup. Their aim is to dominate Hong Kong’s sports and entertainment market, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper.
The leading Chinese online streaming company made the announcement on Thursday January 14th. The deal means that LeTV will hold the exclusive rights to all FIFA World Cup matches from 2016 to 2018. This includes all qualifying matches and the games in the group and knockout stages that will take place from June 14 - July 15 2018 in Russia.
The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. However, according to sources, TVB, who had the rights to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Hong Kong, paid more than US$40 million for the privilege. Cable TV paid US$34 million for the 2010 rights and US$10 million for the 2006 rights.
This deal follows the ambitious company’s earlier acquisition of English Premier League rights for three years from next season, which reportedly cost more than US$400 million. As well as this the company is currently negotiating for NBA rights.
Meanwhile, the company also announced that it has changed its name to LeEco to demonstrate its cross-platform reach.
Proofread by John Devlin