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Suning Sports, Alisports suspend collaboration: media report

By Vicky 16 Aug 2019

The latest news out today is that Suning Sports and Alisports have suspended their ongoing work to build a joint-venture company for sports events broadcasting and are waiting to renegotiate the terms of their partnership arrangement. 

PPTV, an online sports streaming platform of Suning Sports and Youku, an online streaming platform of Alibaba, was assumed to be directly involved in the creation of the joint-venture company. Chinese online media HuXiu reports that some staff from PPTV who previously left to work in Youku on relevant matters have now returned. 

On August 7, Youku Sports announced that due to restrictions, live streaming and on-demand content of football events will not be available anymore on its platforms from August 8 and that they will return membership fees and stop charging related monthly subscriber fees. These football contents were part of the collaboration between the two parties and included events such as the Chinese Super League, AFC events, Bundesliga and Serie A. 

The news of the collaboration came in July, a month ago when some media reports stated  that the new company was called Chengshi, which means orange lion. 

HuXiu quoted some insider from Youku saying the reason of the “break-up” is because Suning Sports raised prices just before the two parties started to negotiate the purchase and Alisports found the price too high to accept. 

HuXiu says the drive behind the collaboration came from both sides. On one hand, Suning Sports found the expensive sports media rights had not brought the expected results and expectations to Suning’s online e-retail business and instead have been a huge burden. On the other hand, Alisports have always wanted to add sports events broadcasts and content to its content platform to help build its business eco-system. 

PPTV, or Suning Sports, holds media rights to a range of diversified football events, such as the Chinese Super League, AFC events, the English Premier League, Bundesliga and Serie A. The accumulated investments to sports media rights are estimated to be over CNY10bn. There are also ongoing expenses on operation and hardware/software costs. However, Suning’s financial report published at the end of July shows that the profit of for H1 2019 dropped by 77.24%. 

Reference: NetEase 

Proofread by Levison Makuvise

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