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XFMedia to distribute soccer in China

Media group gets rights to 2009-2012 seasons

BEIJING — The soccer-mad Chinese will be able to see the UEFA Europa League soccer tournament after media group Xinhua Finance Media said Thursday it had signed a distribution agreement for the 2009- 2012 seasons.

The deal with the sport’s European governing body UEFA gives XFMedia the right to distribute and broadcast all of the 205 live matches, as well as delayed matches and highlights programs via TV, Internet and mobile platforms in mainland China except delayed VOD Internet.

The UEFA Europa League, which until this season was called the UEFA Cup, is a knockout tournament and is Europe’s second-most important club competition after the Champions League.

“Soccer is China’s most popular sport and one of the great national sporting passions of China,” said XFMedia CEO Fredy Bush. “European soccer is followed avidly by Chinese soccer fans and the UEFA Europa League is the kind of high quality programming that our advertisers are looking for.”

She said the company planned to keep expanding its involvement in sports TV.

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