With a 2-0 victory over Fiorentina, Chinese-owned Inter Milan returned to the top of the Serie A table on Friday night, but fans in China missed out as the match was not televised.
Italian football website Calciomercato.com announced that PP Sports, which had the broadcast rights for China, allegedly lost them after failing to make a payment to IMG.
In a contract negotiated in 2017, IMG paid EUR 340 million per season for the global media rights for the 2018-19 to 2020-21 seasons.
The reports follow PP Sports’ loss of the English Premier League rights last season, with the two sides now suing each other. They applied for US$116 million last month from EPL at the High Court in London.
For a fraction of the contract reached with the former network, Tencent acquired the rights for the current season.
Suning, the Chinese retail giant who took ownership of Inter Milan in 2016, controls PP Sports.
With the Financial Times claiming on Friday that they are looking for US$200 million in emergency financing, Suning has been confirmed as looking for investors in the Milan giants. The club refuted rumors last month that it will be sold.
On Wednesday, the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore announced online that British venture capitalists BC Partners had made a final bid for the club to Suning.
“All our matches are important, because of the problems that have little to do with football, this is a delicate moment,” Inter CEO Guiseppe Marotta told Sky Sports Italia ahead of the match against Fiorentina.
“We, the management of the club, manage it in the best way.”
Marotta said, “The positive results make the environment more compact, even the big issues become small.” Things are going well, and we hope things are resolved quickly to bring peace of mind.
It is a concern affecting our shareholders, who are responsible individuals and who will continue to make wise choices for the project. It is a condition that affects our shareholders, not Inter.
With courage, commitment, and a sense of belonging, we will move forward. It’s a time of world financial contraction and what’s going on at Inter is happening at other clubs as well.”