Chinese Internet portal Sina.com (SINA) says it has obtained Chinese online broadcasting rights for the English Premier League and Italian Series A soccer matches.
Tong Chen, executive vice president and chief editor of Sina Corporation, says, "These two deals are not only a perfect complement to our already strong offering of domestic and international sports events, but also reaffirm Sina's position as a pre-eminent online sports broadcaster in China. Leveraging our unique advantages as a leading online portal and our first- class video streaming technology, Sina is able to provide Chinese soccer fans with enhanced multimedia experiences, integrating comprehensive sports news coverage, timely commentaries and interactive sports communities."
Starting from August 11, 2007, Chinese soccer fans will be able to watch English Premier League matches live either via paid TV or the Internet. As the availability of paid TV is limited in China, Sina brings Chinese soccer fans more options by offering live, online broadcast of the games. Sina has not stated how much it is paying for these exclusive rights.
Sina's Broadband will carry live, online coverage of all 1,140 English Premier League matches for the next three seasons lasting until 2010. Web users will be able to subscribe on an annual, monthly, and per-game basis at Rmb380, Rmb38 and Rmb3.8, respectively. In addition, Sina Sport Channel's in- depth coverage will also feature replays of the most exciting action plays on a free-of-charge basis.
Separately, Sina also obtained the rights to provide live, online broadcast of the Italian Series A in China. It has not revealed further details.