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SBD Global/November 15, 2012/Media

Now TV Wins EPL Rights In Hong Kong, Beats Out Rival Cable TV

Hong Kong's Now TV has regained the exclusive broadcasting rights of the EPL for three seasons, beginning with the current one in session, according to Choya Choi of THE STANDARD. The pay-TV operator had lost the broadcasting rights in '10 to Cable TV. A source reported that the new deal is costing Now TV around $200M, "believed to be lower than what Cable TV paid for the right to air the hugely popular competition." Cable "reportedly earned $60M a year from the broadcasts." With the EPL scheduled to air on Now TV, Cable contract holders "might have to switch subscribers to watch their favorite football league." Cable does however still hold the rights to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, which means "fans wanting to have the best of both worlds will be forced to shell out more in subscribing to both broadcasters" (THE STANDARD, 11/14). In Hong Kong, Mok & Perez noted Now TV's operator PCCW Managing Dir for TV & New Media Janice Lee said when asked if it would increase prices of its services: "As usual, we will introduce offers that provide the best value and best suit our customers' viewing needs." Additionally, Now TV holds the rights to air La Liga matches until '14-15, as well as the FA Cup and J.League games. Hong Kong Baptist University associate professor of journalism Yiu-ming said that losing the bid "was a big setback for Cable TV, which might lose many subscribers to Now TV" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 11/14).
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