The annual revenue for the Chinese Super League (CSL) in 2015 amounted to 1.5 billion yuan (230 million US dollars), according to message from the shareholders’ meeting of CSL company on Friday.
The main part of the revenue comes from broadcasting rights, which account for one billion yuan (155 million dollars) this year. Ti’ao Dongli (also known as China Sports Media), a Beijing-based company specializing in sports events broadcast, announced the purchase of broadcasting rights last May for the CSL for 8 billion yuan (1.3 billion dollars) over five years covering 2016-2020. The television rights of CSL for the 2015 season fetched only 50 million yuan (7.8 million dollars).
Ti’ao Dongli needs to pay the CSL company 155 million dollars annually in the first two seasons, then double the payment to 310 million dollars yearly in the remaining three seasons.
The title sponsor of CSL will pay 170 million yuan (26.3 million dollars) to the league. The CSL can collect about a total of 250 million yuan (38.7 million dollars) from its seven partner sponsors, which vary their payments from 20 to 80 million yuan (3.1 to 12.5 million dollars). Besides, the two official providers of CSL will offer 50 million yuan (7.74 million dollars) each in 2015.
Ten percent of the annual revenue will be turned over to the Chinese Football Association (CFA) and the remainder will be carved up among the 16 clubs at the top flight. The exact allocative plan will be worked out prior to the end of the season.
Flush with cash from television rights and sponsorship, the CSL’s spending spree hit record high ahead of the 2016 season, as the clubs splurged a total of 300 million dollars on star players. The league’s big-name signings included Shakhtar Donetsk’s Alex Teixeira, Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez and Ramires from Chelsea.
Marked by Teixeira’s record 54-million-dollar fee, the CSL’s pre-season expenditure exceeded the English Premier League’s 275 million dollars outlay, and put Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, and France’s Ligue 1 in the shade.
LeSports, China’s leading internet-based sports company, announced a wide-ranging strategic partnership with Ti’ao Dongli recently, acquiring online multimedia rights to the CSL in a deal worth 2.7 billion yuan (420 million dollars), headlined by exclusive global broadcast rights covering five seasons for the CSL. LeSports will live stream CSL matches starting in 2016 in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, the U.S., Canada, India and much of Southeast Asia.
“In the long term it will be definitely among the top five leagues in the world,” Yu Hang, vice-president of Strategy at LeSports, said this week.
“We see MLS (Major League Soccer) doing very well, CSL playing well, and I don’t see a problem with CSL being among the top five within five years.”