WinTV a Major Loser

I previously talked about Guangdong TV's purchase of the English Premiership tv rights a number of times on this blog, here is just one example. Now That's Beijing has offered up proof of how huge a disaster Guangdong TV's PPV plan turned out to be. Here is a bit of what they had to say in their Sports Roundup:

However, the number of viewers who actually tune in to each game is thought to
be around 10,000 – falling well short of the EPL’s high expectations. By
comparison, the NBA, which is aired on free-view CCTV 5 and BTV 6, commands
nearly one hundred times as many viewers per game. The EPL’s eagerness to accept
the highest bid from the Chinese market did not take into account that many
Chinese would be unwilling to pay the relatively expensive viewing costs.

Exorbitant prices and failure to get off the ground in major cities for the start of the season were two of the plan's biggest problems. Now the only question is will they continue insisting on keeping things PPV for next season or will Guangdong TV's investment really go down the toilet and will they move to free tv? For Guangdong TV, this is a disaster, but I don't think it influences the EPL too much. EPL games start very late at night here and only the most dedicated fans, typically expats, bother staying up to watch all the matches. While there are huge number of "fans", typically they follow their team through the web (downloading torrents of games and reading websites) and in the news. Perhaps that would have changed if, like the NBA, games were on free tv, but its hard to say. However, 10,000 fans per game is such a minute figure, I'm guessing infomercials that run at the same hour as the EPL matches get more than 10,000 viewers. Hell, the blank screens that go up when the tv channels go off the air probably get 10,000 viewers (though all drunk, but in that sense, not much different from those soccer fans staying up to watch the matches). It will be interesting to see, especially considering the length of this relationship, what changes the EPL "proposes".

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