• Andrew Collins

6 Obvious Errors in FC Business China ‘Issue 83’

The bed rock of Football and Business in Europe is supported largely by the credible publication FC Business.  So it disappoints me to read this months March ‘Issue 83’ China edition features over 20 errors littered throughout the feature.  I’m going to share just 6 obvious occasions, so not bore you.


It is worth pointing out that prior to this issue hitting our desks, we (like others) were approached by the business sales department to be a paid sponsor of the issue, given it was on China. Unfortunately our business does not support paid media, since the nature of our service is very high touch. However, we were happy to provide our own data to support their publication.  Our group has been responsible for many of the worlds best football teams and leagues development across China’s digital landscape, acquiring a number of firsts in the market and have been investing to create an authoritative report with the annual Red Card:  China’s Digital Football Index for the past 4 years.  The pedigree was there.

Instead a sponsor came in, with little, if no prior experience in football, digital, and China, which produced an issue missing many of the real opportunities coming out of the mainland today. This otherwise would have been a great feature to cover, especially given this months news with Beijing announcing reforms to address football development in China.


The Top 6 Mistakes

1. FC Business said: “while Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa with a small following are also involved….”


Reality: Tottenham Hotspur has 2.2 million followers on both Sina and Tencent Weibo. (Aston Villa has approx 300,000 followers, only 100,000 less than their Twitter following). Spurs are regarded as one of the best performing clubs across digital in china.

2. FC Business said: “Youku, arguably China’s most popular video site, hold rights to watch live Premier League matches”


Reality: Youku have never held rights to watch live Premier League matches. Super Sports hold the current broadcasting rights for the Premier League, and auction certain fixtures off to LeTv and PPTV.

3. FC Business said: “Tottenham Hotspur have an impressive (Youku) channel with over 700,000 followers as do Aston Villa with nearly 66,000 subscribers to their account.”


Reality: Tottenham Hotspur have over 750,000+ views of their Youku videos and is the most watched channel for football on Youku. Subscribers are less than 300. Aston Villa have 73,000+ views of their Youku videos, and only 38 subscribers. Note: Chinese internet users don’t typically follow channels but watch avidly.

4. FC Business said: “CCTV 5 is the country’s main source for viewing it (football) and had the rights to the recent 2014 World Cup as well as Premier League…”


Reality: CCTV 5 has never had the Premier League broadcasting rights, and does not even show the highlights.

5. FC Business said: “Weibo – 70 million monthly active users”


Reality: Weibo has 175.7 million monthly active users as of March 2015

6. FC Business quoted:  According to the Chinese Digital Media Premier League Table: Swansea City has a Chinese website


Reality:  Swansea City do not have an official presence online in China

Most of the readers behind the magazine are well aware of the above facts so I’m not sharing anything new, however we thought it pertinent to respond given there was no follow up from FC Business following a brief call with the editor.

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