Premier League ‘taking steps’ to return top-flight action to Chinese television

The Premier League is “taking steps” to get its teams back on Chinese television, the organisation’s chief executive Richard Masters has said.

The league terminated its existing contract in the country with rights holder PPTV, owned by Suning, last week after the withholding of a payment due under the terms of the deal in March.

The three-year deal with PPTV was announced last summer, and was reported to have been worth more than half a billion pounds.

Masters said he hoped it would not be long before Chinese fans of the Premier League would be able to watch the action again.

“The decision to terminate our agreement with Suning was a very difficult one and they had been a very good partner to us,” he said.

“We had some difficulties that we couldn’t resolve and we had to make the decision to move on. We know there are millions of fans in China who want to watch the Premier League so we are taking steps to resolve that situation.

“We need to make the right decision rather than the quickest decision, so we are getting on to that.

“Clearly it creates some financial issues but we are confident that we made the right commercial decision and the right strategic decision for the Premier League.”

Masters also said it was unlikely that the pre-season Asia Trophy would be taking place next summer.

“Having been centrally involved in organising previous Asia Trophies, it is an enormous undertaking and to make it happen, it requires an enormous amount of forward planning which we just haven’t been able to get done,” he said.

“We have been to China twice and Hong Kong on a number of occasions and had really positive experiences and I really hope we would be welcomed if we are ready to go back with whatever pre-season format we have in the future.”