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China, Digital & Media, Governance & Commercial Growth, Leaders Podcast, Sport Business | Mar 21, 2018
Episode 33: In conversation with CSL GM Alex Dong and CSM CEO Zhao Jun.

Can the Chinese Super League move from flashy transfer spending to sustainable investment and full-house attending? How does the league intend to play its part in youth development across Chinese soccer? And what, exactly, is holding back a nation of 1.4 billion from becoming a genuinely viable and lucrative pay-TV market? In the second of a Chinese football double-header, episode 33 of the Leaders podcast will address all of this, and more.

By James Emmett

The Leaders Sport Business Summit will return to Beijing for its second edition on 25th and 26th July this year, and the development of the Chinese football industry, and the challenges and opportunities inherent in it, will form a key part of the agenda.

In this episode of the Leaders podcast, new Chinese Super League (CSL) GM Alex Dong, and Zhao Jun, the CEO of the CSM agency which holds the rights to China’s top-tier soccer league, give their inside takes on how far the sport has come in the country, and the direction of travel it finds itself on.

The CSL is, by most objective measures, the number one soccer league in Asia, and its youthful new GM has grand plans for to propel it to a a dominant position. Zhao Jun, meanwhile, is the woman credited with catalysing a period of intense growth in CSL, having signed a deal to take five years’ worth of CSL commercial rights for 8 billion Yuan ($1.2 billion) in 2015. That deal turned out to be overly ambitious, but after a period of intense renegotiation, a new agreement worth 11 billion Yuan ($1.7 billion) over ten years was reached in the off season before the current campaign. 

Listen to the interview below, and subscribe today on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, or your chosen podcast platform.

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