The Premier League has launched legal action against Chinese broadcaster PPLive Sports International Ltd - the Suning-owned company which pulled out of screening its live games in September.
The league subsequently signed a one-year streaming deal with Tencent, and has now brought a reported £170 million lawsuit against its former broadcast partner.
In court papers, first reported by Bloomberg, the league has accused PPLive Sports of defaulting on a £163 million payment for live matches as well as highlights packages.
According to The Telegraph, the league’s new deal with Tencent is reported to be worth £20 million up front, while the league has also reassured its clubs they will not lose out as a result of the loss of PPLive Sports.
The Premier League pulled out of its three-year agreement with the Suning company, however the broadcaster had already paid half of its previous agreement.
The news comes as the league, together with The FA and the EFL, sent an open letter to fans in which it laid out measures it hopes will bring spectators back into stadiums in the coming months.
In September, Premier League CEO Richard Masters said it was ‘absolutely critical’ to get fans back into stadiums, and indicated that clubs could face a £700 million shortfall across the 2020/21 season if no spectators were to be admitted.