The copyright contract of the Chinese Super League (CSL) will be extended by another five years.
This was announced at the CSL's shareholders' meeting on Wednesday. The CSL and Ti'ao Dongli, the copyright owner, reached an agreement to extend the original five-year contract to a 10-year one and to raise the price from 8 billion yuan (about 1.25 billion US dollars) to 11 billion yuan (about 1.73 billion dollars).
The Beijing-based company Ti'ao Dongli bought the CSL 2016-2020 television rights at a stunning 8 billion yuan in 2015.
"We hope to step forward in terms of exposure and [hope] all the investors can make money in this growing market." said Li Yidong, chairman of Ti'ao Donli in 2015.
Ti'ao Dongli's unchallengeable bid in 2015 showed their confidence in the future of the CSL. League attendance in the last two seasons has been the highest in Asia. Ti'ao Dongli established its own TV broadcast center and overseas broadcasting in the 2016-17 season which covered 96 countries and regions.
The Chinese Football Association issued two rules last year aimed at cutting the numbers of foreign players allowed in top-flight teams and forcing the teams to give more chance to the homegrown players.
All 16 teams in the Chinese Super League are allowed to sign a maximum of five foreign players from anywhere in the world as the 'Asian quota' is abolished, but only three can be included in match-day lineups. Two U23 players from each team must be homegrown players and one of them must be in the starting 11.