The deal, which was one of the EPL’s most lucrative international broadcast rights agreements, was terminated after PPTV failed to pay two instalments of its owed rights fees. The Suning-owned streamer at the time justified this by the league’s 100-day pause in early 2020.
This argument however was dismissed by London courts as the league did eventually resume and conclude in what it dubbed ‘Project Restart’.
Judge Peter Fraser ordered PPTV to pay the outstanding payments of US$210.3 million and US$2.673 million, along with interest and legal costs.
In his published ruling, the judge said: “In many commercial contracts events may transpire other than as anticipated by one, or even both, contracting parties. That does not mean that the court will rewrite the parties’ bargain and impose different terms upon them to suit those later events. That is not the function of the law of contract.”
The Premier League welcomed the judgement, stating: “The Premier League will robustly enforce its contractual rights when it has no other option available. The League notes the judge’s view that PPLive had “no real prospect of success” defending the claim. The bar is high for a summary judgement application and this decision highlights the strength of the League’s case. The League will now begin the process of recovering the fees and costs owed by PPLive.”
Elsewhere, The Times has reported that the FA will not sell live streaming rights for the FA Cup to betting companies in its next tender. The association currently licences matches in the competition to Bet365 for new and existing customers who place a £5 bet.
However, scrutiny in recent years over the FA’s relationship with the gambling industry has seen it roll back some of its dealings – including a brand partnership with Ladbrokes.
The report concludes that betting brands’ exclusivity on select FA Cup Games would end after the current season, and that those matches could be simulcast on the FA’s digital platforms going forward.
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