The Premier League terminates it’s lucrative Chinese television contract over a payment dispute; the NBA opens its largest store in the world in China; and Australia announces its hosting rights of the 2020 Rugby Championship. For these stories and more, check out the Red Phoenix Global Sports Update:

Premier League “Taking Steps” to Return to Chinese TV

The Premier League announced the decision last week to pull the plug on a lucrative television rights contract with Chinese broadcaster PPTV after a dispute over a missed payment. PPTV agreed to a $675 million deal for the right to broadcast all 380 Premier League matches per season from 2019 to 2022 but failed to make a $204 million payment due in March for the 2019/2020 season. The Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters stated that the organization is “taking steps” to get its teams back on Chinese television. The teams are estimated to lose $706 million in revenue if unable to increase capacity beyond the socially-distanced levels agreed for 1st October. Full Story Sports Pro Media (9/11)

World’s largest NBA Store Opens in Guangzhou, China

NBA China, Nike, and Topsports, a leading sportswear retailer and service provider in China, announced the opening of the largest NBA store in the world in Guangzhou, China. The flagship store is located in the commercial zone of Xihu in Guangzhou, featuring 2,680 square meters of retail space over two stories, “allowing fans to embark on an exciting NBA style tour”. The store offers a wide variety of authentic NBA products, including jerseys, footwear, trading cards, and accessories. Full Story Asianet News (9/10)

S. Korea Exploring Soccer Friendlies in Europe in Nov.

The Korea Football Association is considering taking the South Korean national team to Europe to play two friendlies during the international match window on November 9th.  The team hasn’t played any official game in 2020 due to COVID-19. Full Story Yonhap News (9/12)

Rugby Championship Tournament to be Hosted by Australia

Australia confirmed the 2020 Rugby Championship hosting rights in November-December. The tournament will comprise a six-week, 12-match, “home and away” tournament involving Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The matches will be mostly double-headers, utilizing ANZ Stadium, Bankwest Stadium and McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle. The Wallabies will also play two Bledisloe Cup Tests in New Zealand preceding the tournament in October. Full Story ABC News (9/11)

Bordeaux Activates Virtual Overlay Technology in Yibo Betting Sponsorship

The Girondins de Bordeaux have signed a partnership with Yibo, an Asian online betting company, which will be the first brand to be displayed in virtual advertising during matches. The multi-year agreement makes Yibo the first brand to present content as part of the new virtual overlay-enabled stadium LED developed by the club in collaboration with AIM and the LFP teams (Professional Football League). Yibo will activate the sponsorship in China and other Asian markets with multiple events. Full Story Sports Business (9/11)

French Open to Allow 11,500 Fans per Day Between the Three Showcourts

The French Tennis Federation just announced that only 11,500 spectators will be allowed to attend the 2020 Gland Slam Tournament each day. Fans will be split into three different zones for the event at Roland Garros, which takes place between September 27 and October 11. The French Open was rescheduled from the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizers had originally hoped to have up to 60 percent of the usual capacity. Full Story Reuters (9/7)

Riot Games Reports 70% Viewership Increase for LEC Summer Finals

League of Legends publisher Riot Games has reported viewership figures for the Summer Finals match between G2 Esports and Fnatic, which finished off LEC’s 2020 season. The match reached an average minute audience of 819.4K, which Riot reports as a 70% increase over the 2019 finals. The hours watched across the full Summer Split reached 40 million, an 85% increase from the previous year. Full Story Reuters (9/11)

Tokyo Olympics are Most Costly Summer Games in History

A recent study from Britain’s University of Oxford indicated that the Tokyo Olympics are already the most expensive Summer Games on record. It claims that the outlay on the Tokyo Olympics has already more than doubled to $15.84 billion, and that the postponement is likely to add several billion dollars more. When the organizing committee won the right to host the games in 2013, the Tokyo cost budget was $7.3 billion. Full Story ABC News (9/4)

NBA Approves Sponsor Branding on Player Practice Jerseys

The NBA has approved plans to allow teams to place sponsorships on practice jerseys. By expanding sponsorship and branding opportunities, the NBA hopes to recover part of the losses brought on by Covid-19. The practice jerseys sponsorships will most likely be less costly than traditional jersey sponsorship, but have the potential to be larger and stand out more than the small patches allowed on team jerseys. Full Story Sports Pro Media (9/15)

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