Digital sports content provider Perform Group has secured the rights to broadcast all games from Japan’s professional football league in a record US$2bn deal.
The ten-year deal kicks off for the 2017/18 season, with Perform’s live sports streaming service DAZN offering live broadcasts of all J1, J2 and J3 league tournaments. It will be the first time that all games from the leagues will be broadcast in Japan.
Perform claims that DAZN will be the first “truly dedicated pure sports internet TV service”, providing fans with unlimited access on all leading devices including smart TV sets, tablets and smartphones. It will regularly feature more than 20 live matches at any one time.
DAZN will also provide coverage of various European football leagues, including the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1, as well as the NBA, NFL, tennis, handball, ice-hockey, and darts. It will feature over 10,000 live events a year.
“This is fantastic news for Japanese football fans,” said Perform’s CEO Simon Denyer. “We are delighted to be working with the J.League on a partnership that will make live games accessible to fans, anytime, anywhere through the DAZN platform from 2017.”
Denyer said the deal was a major milestone for both Perform and sports fans across the world.
“With this service, consumers will be able to enjoy sport live and on demand without having to face expensive packages and lengthy contracts,” he continued. “With the help of the Internet, we are putting the power in consumers’ hands to watch their sport, their way.”
Mitsuru Murai, chairman of the Japan Professional Football League, added: “The agreement with Perform Group is the first long-term, large-scale agreement for broadcasting rights in the history of Japanese sport.
“J.League will use this foundation of this dramatic partnership to advance new and strategic investments, to improve the football environment, provide engaging stories, and to strengthen our industrial base.”
As part of the deal, J.League and DAZN will work with telecommunications giant NTT Group to enable Wi-Fi access in stadiums, providing “high-quality streaming services and an enhanced experience for fans both in and around the stadium”.