LeTV beats now TV to win English Premier League

Watching soccer games may never be the same again. LeTV, the biggest online television network in China, is reported to have beaten PCCW’s now TV by winning rights to broadcast English Premier League for the coming three seasons.

LeTV will pay US$400 million-US$600 million for English Premier League rights in Hong Kong, twice the amount PCCW spent three years ago, according to the sports news provider Sportcal.

“LeTV has made a significant acquisition for its new Hong Kong service by winning the rights in the territory to English soccer’s Premier League starting in 2016-17.” said the report.

However, another market source said LeTV will share the rights with now TV while spokesperson of LeTV declined to comment on the deal.

The company provides over-the-top (OTT) internet television service that utilizes a broadband Internet connection to challenge the norms in the traditional TV industry.

PCCW is showing all 380 Premier League matches this season via Now TV, the IPTV pay-television broadcaster. It also broadcasts games on other platforms such as mobile devices.

Market observers say LeTV is eyeing a slice of Hong Kong’s lucrative advertising market, while using the city as a base to connect with overseas audiences.

Letv launched its Hong Kong service last year by selling its 50-inch 4K television sets. It hopes to become one of the top three Hong Kong pay-TV services in a market dominated by Cable TV and now TV.

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