BEIJING – The English Premier League announced on Thursday that they have terminated their cooperation with Chinese broadcaster PP Sports.

PP Sports, owned by Chinese retail giant Suning Group, had signed a three-year deal with Premier League in 2019. The broadcaster has reportedly withheld a payment of 160 million pounds rights fees which were due to happen in March.

“The Premier League confirms that it has today terminated its agreements for Premier League coverage in China with its license in that territory, the Premier League will not be commenting further on the matter at this stage,” read a statement.

A PP Sports source told Xinhua, they have paid 50 percents of the negotiated fees at the initial stage of the three-year circle.

PP Sports released a statement on Thursday night, claiming the termination was just a “strategic adjustment”.

“COVID-19 brought us lot of challenges, which were highlighted in the copyright negotiations. We are regretful to announce the termination with Premier League despite rounds of negotiations,” read a statement.

“Our development will not be redirected. It is just a strategic adjustment based on reality. We will continue to hand the best services to our fans and partners,” it added. 

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