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PL to allow overseas markets to see games for free

The Premier League is planning to overhaul the way it sells its overseas rights as part of a drive to further grow the appeal of English top-flight football in emerging markets such as China, Africa and India, reports The Guardian. Previously the league has tended to sell the rights to the highest bidder. But in the overseas markets it will look to make at least one package of live matches ¬available to a free-to-air broadcaster in a bid to expand its reach.

The Premier League, which sells the rights itself on a territory-by-territory basis, has become the most popular football league in the world over the past decade, available in 662m homes.

At its two-day AGM the Premier League is hopeful of persuading the chairmen that it is worth taking a hit in emerging markets in return for growing their reach.

They are likely to argue that not only will a longer-term approach lead to bigger returns further down the line, but will increase their own possibilities for merchandise sales, tours and other spin-off benefits.

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