Well, not exactly, but lucky, lucky Chinese sports fans will now be able to watch the Scottish Premiership (previously known as the SPL) on PPTV, a popular Chinese online TV streaming platform. Details of the deal haven’t been released, but you have to imagine PPTV isn’t paying anything for the rights, and the SPFL isn’t in much of a state to pay to place their league on Chinese screens, so it would likely be a low risk venture on both sides: free content for PPTV and a chance to grow the brand (such as it is) for the SPFL. There must be some money in it though, since it was brokered by MP & Silva, the SPFL’s new international licensing parter. Continue reading China’s next big thing: Scottish football
Today is one of those rare sports days in the Chinese capital, especially given that it’s a Tuesday. For those with nothing better to do (and plenty of money), you can spend the day watching the Tour of Beijing, which finishes its fifth and final stage near the Bird’s Nest today. Then head into the stadium itself to see the Brazilian national soccer team play. Leave at half time and jump into your helicopter to head to the west of town in time to catch some of the game between the LA Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at the Mastercard Arena.
Xi Jinping likes his soccer. So much so, in fact, that the game put him out of action for two weeks last year while he was playing with his staff, sparking rumors of a mysterious disappearance, according to the South China Morning Post. He also likes to talk about the beautiful game: way before his “Chinese Dream” became de rigeur, he had a soccer dream – that China would first qualify for, then host, and finally win, the World Cup.
It’s been another big week for Chinese telecoms firm Huawei in the world of sports. Firstly, as previously mentioned, the company sponsored the ITU World Triathlon Grand Finale in London last weekend (and, as an aside, the ITU is the International Triathlon Union, not the International Telecommunications Union, as originally mentioned in this (now corrected, but still) shocker of a piece by Sir Simon Jenkins), meaning plenty of prominent signage for Huawei all over London’s Hyde Park.
Dennis Rodman is the gift that keeps on giving. The former NBA player, who now counts North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un among his close friends after trips there in February and September this year, has talked Irish betting firm Paddy Power into backing his proposed basketball tournament, set to take place in Pyongyang in January 2014.
The North Korean national team will face an All-Star selection chosen by Rodman. The mind boggles when you start to think of who might play in this game. Stephon Marbury, for example, would only have a short flight over from Beijing… Continue reading Dennis Rodman’s North Korean circus coming to town in January
The far northeastern province of Heilongjiang came into China’s National Games with 43 medals already in the bank. Yes, you read that right. 17 gold medals were “won” before the official start of the Games, and only one of those was due to an event being scheduled ahead of the opening ceremony. That’s because some bright spark had the idea of converting medals from previous events into medals that actually count at the National Games:
I’ve written before about Chinese telecoms company Huawei using sports and entertainment to combat the atrocious PR it tends to get around the world. That trend is continuing, but the company now appears to be spurning the US and focusing more on Europe.
Sun Yang won his third individual gold medal at the FINA World Championships, adding the 1,500m title to his wins in the 400m and 800m. He kept pace with Canadian Ryan Cochrane for most of the race, and then blasted away in the final two lengths. It was well outside his own world record pace, but he never looked troubled. What’s more, he could easily have had a fourth gold: his anchor leg in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay, which pulled China up into the bronze medal position, was a full second quicker than anyone else swam in either the individual or relay events.
I wrote about the state of Hong Kong stadium last week, after which two more Barclays Asia Trophy games took place and another player was injured. I don’t usually sympathize with players who get paid tens (and sometimes hundreds) of thousands of pounds per week for kicking a ball around a field, but that changes somewhat when their safety is willfully put at risk simply because the Premier League must make money at all costs.
The Manchester United squad was pictured watching the games on Saturday. Do these faces look like they are happy about playing here this evening?
Hong Kong has been drawing lots of negative attention this week – specifically the semi-flooded state of the Hong Kong Stadium pitch, on which the Barclays Asia Trophy is being played. It consists of 3 EPL teams and a local side sliding through puddles under the guise of vaguely competitive soccer.