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PPTV: The best way to watch the CSL wherever you are in the world

As recent as two or three years ago, broadcasting of Chinese Super League matches was few and far between. If you had a club in your province or city, your local team’s matches may be broadcast, but that would be it.  That’s no longer the case anymore, Sina’s iPhone app offers plenty of live match coverage, but the best choice in China or anywhere else, is the app PPTV (available on iPhone or Android).

PPTV has a sponsorship deal with Shanghai Shenhua, but other than offering all Shenhua matches with mandarin and Shanghainese commentary (a nice touch), there is no slanted coverage.  On any CSL weekend, usually you can find the majority of matches available for your viewing pleasure. While CCTV is once again showing CSL matches and has two to four a weekend, with PPTV you can watch almost every  match. It also offers European league matches as well.

However, there is a catch, it’s all in Chinese, so here’s a step-by-step lesson regarding how to use the app. The screen below is the screen you’ll first see when you open the app on your device. The place to tap is the picture of the satelleite, the bottom middle image (the Chinese characters are 直播 (ie live broadcasts)).


After choosing live broadcasts, the next screen will have a variety of options, but to get straight to the sports broadcasts, click on sports (体育), the option second from the right at the top.


Some of the options may be listed as already over (已播完), while some, like the ones below, will be listed as reserve (预定). If you choose this option, you will receive a reminder when the match is about to start. When you see currently broadcasting (直播中), it’s a match that is available for your viewing pleasure. The list below is what is available for this Saturday and includes two J-League options (an even more current one includes a K-League match) and four CSL choices.


PPTV is also great as it offers a number of European league matches each weekend as well as plenty of great non-sports content. But most of all, for a CSL fan, whether in Beijing, a small town in Shanxi, or London, PPTV is a great way to follow your favorite team or player.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.



  1. Yiddo Huayi

    29/05/2013 at 18:20

    Many thanks for this info bcheng.

    Do you know if there is anywhere that shows China One games (specifically Chongqing FC – Chris Killen’s team)?

    Also nice to see the interview with Stephen Old.

    • bcheng

      30/05/2013 at 17:51

      PPTV usually has 1-3 China League One matches each weekend, though they are typically from Hebei, Guangdong, or Beijing, but try your luck, you may be able to catch Chongqing playing one of these sides.

      • Yiddo Huayi

        30/05/2013 at 18:12

        Great, thanks again.

        Have installed the app on my phone. Chongqing travel to Chengdu to take on the Blades this weekend. Both teams are doing it tough this season so should be a good tussle.

  2. Yiddo Huayi

    31/05/2013 at 08:31

    Great success! I see that the Chengdu Blades-Chongqing game is scheduled:

    “15:25 中甲第12轮 成都谢菲联vs重庆FC 来开始“

    But it looks like it is set down for 31 May (i.e. today) when all the draws elsewhere say 1 June:

    I guess i’ll find out later today if this is the case

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