On September 4, 2020, Beijing time, when the Premier League officially announced the termination of the broadcast rights contract with mainland China, it once caused a lot of shock among domestic Premier League fans. For a while, domestic and foreign conspiracy theories broke out, thinking that this is complicated with the entire 2020. The international situation is inseparable, but then the original copyright holder PP Sports also confirmed that it was a purely commercial act because it could not continue to perform the original agreement.
As a result, the prospects for future Premier League broadcasts in China began to become confusing, and it was unexpected that the first round of matches could not be broadcast on domestic platforms.
It was not until September 17 that the Premier League officially reached an agreement with Tencent Sports. According to media reports, Tencent Sports purchased the broadcasting rights for the remaining 37 games of the season at a low price of 10 million U.S. dollars, and this sudden farce was temporarily announced. One paragraph.
Although the domestic pay-to-watch game mechanism has been in place for many years, the controversy surrounding the broadcast rights of the game has never ceased in the past ten years. The "expansion" of this world's most capable football game in China seems to be unsuccessful. Not as easy to walk as they thought.
Rome was not built in a day. When the Premier League was first established in 1992, both its brilliance and the ability to attract money were far from being comparable to the present. When Serie A was popular in the country during the "Little World Cup" period, the previous generation of fans could only learn from the highlights. Learn about English football in
With the continuous expansion of opening up, since 1997, domestic local satellite TVs began to broadcast Premier League matches live. This is also the initial impression of domestic fans of the Premier League. Today's popular commentator, Mr. Zhan Jun, originally started him on Guangdong Satellite TV. Interpretive tour of the Premier League.
At that time, the price of broadcasting Premier League matches on local satellite TVs for a year was only more than 100,000 US dollars, and each satellite TV could easily recover the cost through advertising revenue.
In 2001, ESPN obtained the copyright of the Premier League matches in Asia, but because it was unable to obtain the permission to open channels in mainland China, ESPN could only distribute the broadcasting rights to local satellite TVs, earning some copyright fees and advertising fees.
However, with the continuous expansion of the Chinese market, the Premier League officially began to designate mainland China as a separate authorized area. However, due to the delay in launching an interpretation in mainland China, ESPN's interest in the Chinese market began to decline.
Therefore, in the 2007-2010 China mainland copyright bidding, it lost 50 million US dollars to Tiansheng Media, and Tiansheng Media, which has the authority to open channels locally, also gave Chinese fans the concept of paying for watching football for the first time. , But the price is to catch up with the entire company.
因此，在2007-2010年中国大陆版权竞标中，它向天盛传媒损失了5000万美元，而拥有在当地开放频道的权限的天盛传媒也给了中国球迷首次付费观看足球的概念。 。 ，但价格却要赶上整个公司。
In 2007, when Tiansheng Media acquired the copyright, the Premier League was in the "golden age". The "Golden Dollar Football" trend led by the Chelsea boss made a large number of top players land in the Premier League, and the record of the Premier League team also increased. From 2005 to 2009, consecutive years In the past five years, Premier League teams have entered the Champions League finals, and a large number of Premier League fans have also begun to emerge in China.
This allowed Song Zheng, the CEO of Tiansheng Media, to judge the situation blindly and optimistically. According to media reports, Song Zheng once said at an internal meeting, “There are 30 million Premier League fans in China, and we only need one tenth of them to pay for it. It succeeded."
Obviously, Tiansheng made a mistake in evaluating the consumption level and consumption habits of Chinese fans at that time. Tiansheng, which obtained the exclusive rights, initially chose not to distribute the rights to local TV, but to open its own paid channel "European Football".
The original price offered by Tiansheng was 1888 yuan/year. Not to mention that this price was 13 years ago, it was also a huge sum of money compared to the current price. At that time, it was possible to buy a medium and low-end TV.
Although Tiansheng adjusted it down to 588 yuan/year after being widely criticized, it was still very expensive, and Song Zheng’s aggressive method of "all pseudo-fans without paying to watch the game" was not successful, but angered instead. fan.
Domestic fans, who have not yet formed the habit of paying to watch games, opened the door to a new world of piracy signals under the dual stimulation of high prices and copyright dialects. It was also during the time when Tiansheng was acting, many domestic Premier League fans not only learned After using sopcast, I also improved my English listening skills.
Instead of diehard fans, they would rather not watch the live broadcast and download the best of the Premier League recorded by ESPN every week.
The arrogant Tiansheng also suffered a blow. There are only 30,000 users willing to buy their channel. It was originally assumed that one-tenth of the fans would pay for it, but in fact only one-thousandth. This is the so-called "ideal is full, reality Very skinny".
Under the cruel blow of reality, Tiansheng Media finally had to give in and redistribute the copyright, but it was too late and bankruptcy was doomed. The first domestic attempt to pay to watch a game also failed because of Tiansheng Media’s aggressive approach.
However, Tiansheng’s failure does not mean the failure of the Chinese market. Xinying Sports, established by Tiansheng’s investor IDG, took over the broadcasting rights in mainland China and Macau from 2010 to 2013 for the same three years of 50 million US dollars. After learning the lessons of Tiansheng’s failure, they gave up exclusive broadcasting and continued their previous model of distribution of copyright.
Not only that, just as the Internet era began to sweep across China, they also began to cooperate with online platforms, so that students and young people who were the main force in watching the game at that time could watch the game conveniently and free of charge.
The prudent measures of Xinying Sports and the dividends of the times have greatly promoted the expansion of the Premier League in the Chinese market, and the prosperity of the domestic market has also caused the Chinese commentators under ESPN, represented by Zhan Jun, to return to China for development.
Xinying Sports has brought the Premier League back to the right track in the Chinese market and has been officially recognized by the Premier League, so the two sides decided to have a long-term cooperation, so in 2012 they signed a six-year worth of 1 billion yuan (about 158 million US dollars). ) Contract helped Xinying obtain the Premier League broadcast rights in Mainland China and Macau from 2013 to 2019.
The average annual copyright fee for this contract is only about 26 million US dollars. With the rise of domestic Internet platforms, Xinying's distribution platform is also increasing day by day.
Before the 2014-15 season, Xinying had each distributed to LeTV and PPTV at a price of 11 million U.S. dollars. The distribution of these two has basically recovered the cost. It can be seen that the period when Xinying mastered the copyright, the Premier League copyright office The profit brought is very substantial.
So in the 2014-15 season, Xinying Sports, which had enough confidence, began to test the fan payment model. Only part of the free games were distributed, and some of the paid games must be paid on Xinying Sports’s own platform, and it was opened. A variety of paid packages, for example, you can buy a single game, or you can buy a whole season, the most popular of which is to buy a "die loyalty" package for a team's all-season game.
It only takes 68 yuan to watch 38 games of your home team, and each game only costs less than 2 yuan, which is more than enough for the consumption level of fans at the time. This conscientious price has also made many fans begin to accept the mechanism of paying to watch the game. Although it is still possible to watch English streaming through hotlinks, the native language commentary and smoother line coupled with the people-friendly price have allowed Xinying Sports to complete Tiansheng. A dream that can be realized.
Of course, it must also be emphasized here that the reason why the packages represented by the "dead loyalists" can be of high quality and low price is that Xinying was able to recoup the cost through the distribution of copyright at that time, which was a product of a specific era.
Although Xinying Sports, which started the pay-to-pay era, suffered from technical problems such as signal interruption from time to time, as well as the problems of fans complaining about the uneven level of the team.
However, Xinying, who has caught up with the dividends of the Internet era, has become the most successful copyright agent in mainland China in the Premier League fee era, and has also made an indelible contribution to the popularization of fees for domestic fans.
The successful operation of Xinying Sports has made the competition for the broadcasting rights of domestic sports events become fierce. Although there have been farce such as LeTV Sports when the big bubble was burst, it has not affected the popularity of sports events on the Internet platform.
Suning Group took a fancy to the "big cake" of sports event broadcasting. In 2015, its PPTV bought the broadcasting rights of La Liga in mainland China from 2015 to 2020 at a price of 250 million euros in 5 years, starting the hot copyright market. His first shot also paved the way for the subsequent high-priced capture of the Premier League copyright.
The successful model of Xinying Sports still essentially reflects the strong ability of attracting money in the Premier League. The time when Xinying started the charging model was when the Premier League’s overseas profits reached a peak.
According to the "Daily Mail" statistics, in the three years from 2016 to 19, the profit of Premier League broadcast fees reached 8.1 billion pounds, surpassing the sum of the remaining four major leagues in the same period.
The success of the Premier League’s successful business operation model has also increased broadcast fees, and market bubbles have grown wildly. Taking Hong Kong, China as an example, the broadcast fee of approximately £42 million per year in 2013-16 will soar to 92 million in the next three-year contract. The pound has more than doubled.
Such a crazy market also made Xinying Sports’s previous six-year US$156 million contract doomed to go into history, so Suning Group entered the market strongly. At the end of 2016, PPTV announced that it would offer three-year US$721 million (equivalent to GBP 5.64). The astronomical price of 100 million) successfully bid for the broadcast rights of the Premier League in mainland China in 2019-22.
如此疯狂的市场也使新英体育此前六年的价值1.56亿美元的合同注定要成为历史，因此苏宁集团强劲地进入了这一市场。 2016年底，PPTV宣布将提供三年期7.21亿美元（相当于5.64英镑）的资金。 1亿的天价）成功竞标了2019-22年度英超联赛在中国大陆的转播权。
This sky-high order caused widespread controversy at the time. Many industry insiders questioned whether the Premier League was worth the price and whether Suning could recover the cost.
Perhaps this price is not expensive in the official view of the Premier League, because according to the official statistics of the Premier League, China has 174 million Premier League fans, so on average, as long as each person is willing to pay less than RMB 10 per year, the cost can be recovered.
Obviously, although we have no way of knowing the official source of this data in the Premier League, the data of 174 million fans is really outrageous. Not to mention only the Premier League. Even if the total number of fans in the major leagues is 174 million, even this data. One-tenth of that is not always there.
In the previous season, if the league exclusive season package pre-sold by PP Sports members is 198 yuan, at least 8 million people are required to recover the copyright fee. Even if half of the price can be shared through distribution and advertising, 4 million members are almost It is an impossible task.
Therefore, in the opinion of many people in the industry at that time, PP Sports will inevitably “make money at a loss”, and it will become hot for subsequent financing.
What is even more unlikely is that at the beginning of 2020, the sudden new crown pneumonia burst the biggest "bubble" in the industry. The three-month offseason brought heavy losses to the Premier League and major broadcasters, so the Premier League officials also agreed to the refund requirements of the long-term cooperation Sky Sports and other broadcast platforms.
PP Sports, which paid half of the contract fee, also applied for a refund to the Premier League, and hoped to use Sky Sports to refund and extend the contract to ease the pressure on the flow of funds, but was rejected by the Premier League official and asked PP Sports to comply with the regulations. To fulfill the contract, that is, to pay 80% of the cost in March this year.
PP Sports支付了合同费用的一半，也申请向英超联赛退款，并希望使用Sky Sports退款和延长合同以缓解资金流动压力，但遭到英超拒绝官方并要求PP Sports遵守规定。为了履行合同，即在今年3月支付费用的80％。
PP Sports, which had already paid 50% of the cost, decided that it could not recover the cost in time and decided to stop the loss in time, no longer continue to pay the remaining costs, so that the contract was suspended and the bubble burst.
It now seems that despite the passage of time, PP Sports seems to have made the same mistake as Tiansheng Media in another way, and it is still under the cooperation of the Premier League.
Both were bidding for the broadcast rights of the Premier League at the high price at the time, and both miscalculated the profit margin and the consumption habits of fans.
Once the price of the watching package is unacceptable, you can always look back at the piracy. On the other hand, the one-time purchase of bundled sales packages for all-season games does not fit the current reality of Chinese fans and will cause a lot of waste. Most fans can't even watch the games of their home team, let alone all-season games.
Moreover, compared with the NBA, the European League has an inherent disadvantage in football. The main force and consumers of watching sports in China are still young people represented by college students. Compared with the night, there is more time to watch the games during the day, while the Premier League games are basically at night or even late at night, and basically on weekends.
For many young people, weekend nights are a time to watch other people's multiplayer exercises instead of doing them personally. In all respects, the already falsely high number of fans who are really willing to purchase the full set package will definitely shrink significantly.
The termination of the contract is bound to make the Premier League official and domestic broadcast platforms re-evaluate the true market value of the Premier League, and the broadcast rights market will return to rationality.
It is not surprising that the Premier League official finally reached an agreement with Tencent Sports, because for the Premier League official, suitable buyers are already very limited.
First of all, we must exclude CCTV. In addition to the suspension of the Premier League due to non-market factors, the high quotation of the Premier League was the main reason why CCTV abandoned the Premier League at the beginning of the century. It was not until 2015 that the low-cost distribution of Xinying Sports allowed the Premier League to return to CCTV. . For the Premier League official who "only recognizes money", CCTV is not suitable to be the exclusive agent.
Ali Sports is also considered to be a popular "receiver". After all, Ali is evenly matched with Tencent in terms of financial resources. However, since the Premier League has already started war, the receiver must quickly complete the preparations for broadcasting, and Ali Sports lacks the foundation for event broadcasters. Inability to broadcast high-quality events in a short period of time.
So the last "receiver" can only be Tencent Sports. The partner is not surprising, but if the transaction price is 10 million US dollars according to media reports, few people really think of it.
Of course, we all know that this account cannot be calculated simply, because PP Sports paid half of the three-year contract, which is the price of one and a half years, so Suning and half of the original contract paid have to be included. The cost of the season, which is about 94 million pounds (approximately 122 million US dollars). However, this price is for the Premier League, the contract with PP Sports and the contract with Tencent Sports are two different things, and for the latter it is the real price of cabbage.
当然，我们都知道不能简单地计算此帐户，因为PP Sports支付了三年合同的一半，即一年半的价格，所以必须将苏宁和原始支付的合同的一半包括在内。本赛季的成本约为9400万英镑（约合1.22亿美元）。但是，这个价格是针对英超联赛的，与PP Sports的合同和与Tencent Sports的合同是两回事，而对于后者，这是白菜的实际价格。
The outside world generally believes that this is the favor of the Premier League official who sold it to Tencent after receiving part of the previous PP Sports fee, in order to seek long-term cooperation in the future.
After all, Tencent Sports is a more powerful partner than PP Sports. The two parties may have privately reached a written or oral agreement for the subsequent years of cooperation, but in reality, this is good for both parties.
From the perspective of Tencent Sports, they have previous Premier League broadcast experience, coupled with long-term broadcast of other events and good technical equipment and team, it can be regarded as a familiar road to returning to the old industry.
And after the NBA storm last year, the market value of their original NBA has shrunk, and the Premier League may be a new opportunity for them.
From the perspective of the Premier League, it is clear that their demand for Tencent and the Chinese market behind it is higher than the latter's demand for the former. This has to mention the current embarrassing situation facing the UK.
At the beginning of the year, after the completion of Brexit, the "stable happiness" that the British wanted did not come. Instead, the troublesome aftermath was replaced. During the one-year transition period, the British needed to negotiate trade agreements with the EU and other countries. In order to complete the "soft landing" in the finishing work.
Almost three-quarters of the one-year transition period has passed. The agreement between Britain and the EU has not progressed but has been deadlocked because of the "Internal Market Act" that the British Parliament plans to pass recently. If an agreement is not reached, the United Kingdom will Next year, a "hard landing" means leaving the EU without an agreement.
This means that products entering the EU will be subject to tariffs, and more importantly, the pound and the euro may not be freely convertible, causing a sharp depreciation of the pound, and the British economy suffering a severe setback, which will greatly affect the attraction of Premier League teams Power and the healthy development of the Premier League.
At this time, the Chinese market is particularly important. The current Premier League certainly prefers to use price cuts as a bargaining chip in exchange for extending the contract.
Therefore, although the cabbage price of US$10 million is a temporary plan and cannot be extended to next season, the author is still optimistic that Tencent can gain an advantage in future negotiations with the Premier League and obtain the future Premier League copyright at a price that tends to be rational. .
What's left is how Tencent Sports will continue to promote the Premier League in the domestic market, and use their best ability to let users willingly recharge their money.
Finally, it must be said that although many fans jokingly stated at the beginning of the month when the Premier League terminated their contract, “you can watch piracy in the future”, but under the premise of copyright protection, paying to watch the game is still the general trend.
In recent years, my country has continuously promised the international community to increase its opening up to attract investment. Strengthening copyright protection is a prerequisite for many countries’ willingness to invest. Moreover, China’s own patents and copyrights are rapidly increasing worldwide, and the protection of copyrights in other countries is also Copyrights that benefit one's own country are protected in other countries.
Of course, it will take time for Chinese fans to fully adapt to copyright consumption, and a more rational market will help accelerate the speed of fans' adaptation.