Chinese tune to early morning Argentinean football

Over seven million Chinese fans viewed the most recent Buenos Aires derby between Boca Juniors and River Plate. Argentine football has been broadcast in China since last January and is rapidly gaining in popularity, despite the time differences, leaving it at a disadvantage when compared to the Spanish Primera Liga, Italian Serie A or English Premier League. Viewing figures are notably on the up, according to data obtained by Spanish news agency EFE. Matches go out at an unsociable time on TV on Monday mornings but some 2.3 million spectators are tuning in.

Channels CCTV5 and Feng Yun are the stations that have backed the inititaive. Viewers are being offered the three most important live games of each round from the 2006 Torneo Clausura. On prime time on Mondays it is possible to see the highlights of each round on the Total Soccer program, Soccer Investor reported (19 Oct).