Migu, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Mobile Communications, has secured live broadcast rights to English soccer’s top-tier Premier League, through a four-year sub-licensing deal with iQIYI Sports.
Migu will be able to show live action from the Premier League until the end of the 2024-25 season, through an arrangement with iQIYI, which holds the main rights package for the league in China.
The deal came into effect in time for the first round of Premier League fixtures over the weekend, with matches being made available on the Migu Video platform.
iQIYI itself had entered into a four-year broadcast rights deal with the Premier League in late July.
iQIYI will have exclusive rights to the competition in China and Macau until the end of 2024-25, filling a sizeable gap in the Premier League’s international broadcast portfolio.
The platform has launched the Premier League All Season Pass, which gives fans the option of watching every game from the upcoming season, starting on 13 August, for Yn298 ($46).
PP Sports, a rival Chinese streaming service owned by domestic retail corporation Suning, previously held Premier League rights, but that deal was terminated ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season, delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Premier League claimed that PP Sports had missed payments due as part of its three-year, £700 million deal.
PP Sports was said to have failed to honour a $210.3 million payment for live games and a further $5 million to cover highlights and interest, in an agreement that involved the sub-licensing of matches to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
The league subsequently agreed a one-year rights deal with streaming giant Tencent, only for the 2020-21 campaign, although this was reported to be worth significantly less than what PP Sports was contracted to pay.
Migu meanwhile will also show action from German soccer’s Bundesliga next season, alongside fellow digital platforms Huya, Dongquidi and Tencent, in deals brokered by the China Sports Media agency.
Migu has taken up the responsibility for a wide-ranging partnership covering live rights and other video content, and joint initiatives with the league to support and grow the Bundesliga fanbase in China.
The digital service had shown Bundesliga matches last season under a sublicensing deal with PP Sports.