A Chinese broadcaster has been ordered by the Supreme Court in London to pay at least $213 million to the Premier League for the collapse of one of the league’s most lucrative international rights deals.
The league ended the deal last year after PPTV failed to pay two installments of the dues owed, citing a schedule change caused by the 100-day pandemic-enforced break in games in 2020 and the lack of fans in stadiums when the games were resumed. in June.
Given the season finally coming to a close, the judge dismissed the arguments of the streaming service, which is owned by Suning, the Chinese retail giant that also controls Italian champions Internazionale.
“In many commercial contracts, events other than those anticipated by one or even both contracting parties may occur,” Judge Peter Fraser said in a ruling published Tuesday. “That does not mean that the court will rewrite the parties’ agreement and impose different terms on them to suit those subsequent events. That is not the function of contract law.”
The judge said the league payments of $210.3 million and $2.673 million must be made by the broadcaster’s parent company, PPLive Sports International, along with interest and legal fees.
In fact, the judge said in his ruling that last year the broadcaster failed to pay “a significant amount of outstanding legal fees” that it owed its lawyers.
The Premier League said it was pleased with the ruling. “The Premier League will vigorously enforce its contractual rights if no other option is available,” a statement said. “The competition notes the judge’s opinion that PPLive had ‘no real chance of success’ defending the claim. The bar is high for summary proceedings and this decision underlines the strength of the competition’s case.
“The league will now begin recovering the fees and charges owed by PPLive.”