The World: Beijing - Guangdong TV to air football matches for free

Guangdong TV, the Chinese free-to-air television broadcaster, has struck a deal to air English Premier League football matches during the 2009/10 season.

Before the agreement, the pay-TV broadcaster Win TV had held exclusive rights to the matches in an unpopular deal that restricted access for most Chinese football fans.

Viewing figures for matches fell from 30 million to just 20,000 after Win TV picked up the rights in 2007.

Guangdong TV will pay Win TV around $2.6 million to broadcast a Premier League game and a highlights package each week during the season.