Chinese soccer fans are delighted at their team's World Cup draw but whether they can watch the games on television depends on a bitter struggle over broadcast rights. In the South Korean city of Pusan on Saturday, China was drawn with Brazil, Turkey and Costa Rica, one of the weakest groups, giving it an outside chance of qualifying for the second round. But fans will be unable to watch the games unless China Central Television (CCTV) and a Hong Kong company that bought the Chinese broadcast rights strike a deal, according to today's 21st Century Business Herald. The unnamed Hong Kong company signed a US$12 million contract last Friday with Prisma, part of the German company Kirch that acquired broadcast rights for next year's and the 2006 World cups from FIFA, the game's governing body, at the start of this year. CCTV offered Prisma US$5 million for the Chinese rights for the 2002 World Cup and US$7 million for the 2006 World Cup but the German companies rejected the offer as too low. Although CCTV can earn at least 300 million yuan (about HK$286.49 million) from advertising during the games, enabling it to make a much improved offer, it did not do so, believing that it had no competitor. Although it is angry that another firm has signed the deal, CCTV says the Hong Kong company has no broadcasting rights within the mainland and will be forced to negotiate with it. It cites an order dated January 24 last year from the State Broadcasting and Film Bureau that gives CCTV the sole right to negotiate, buy and sell television rights from the Asian and Olympic Games, the World Cup and national athletic games. One sports marketing manager said CCTV was not used to paying market rates. CCTV had paid only 11 million yuan to broadcast 78 games from the Chinese professional soccer league, an average of 140,000 yuan per game - a fraction of that paid by television stations in Europe, where the major clubs earn more from television than any other source of revenue.