Japan’s Rakuten launches global sports streaming service

Japan’s Rakuten has launched a live and on-demand sports OTT service that will show coverage of J League football in various parts of the world include areas of Eastern Europe.

Rakuten Sports will be available in more than 140 countries and regions worldwide, excluding Japan. The European countries where it will be available include Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Kosovo.

The service’s content portfolio will also feature the original series Iniesta TV which follows Spain’s Andrés Iniesta who plays for the Rakuten Group’s J.League soccer club, Vissel Kobe.

Rakuten has partnered with Lagardère Sports, the international media rights distributor of Japan’s professional football league, to distribute 2019 season J.League matches.

“Rakuten believes in the power of sport to transcend language and cultural barriers – a power that connects people and creates communities,” said Makoto Arima, Rakuten Group executive vice president, chief revenue officer and president of Rakuten’s Media & Sports Company.

“We are delighted to deliver the joy of sports to people around the world, which is why Rakuten has worked alongside our partners to bring a diverse lineup of sports initiatives to life. Rakuten Sports represents an important part of this mission. We hope to contribute to the continued growth of the J.League by sharing what the league has to offer with soccer fans around the world.”

Rakuten Sports plans to add basketball, table tennis and other sports to its output in the future.


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