Streaming services DAZN and U-Next have acquired co-exclusive rights to broadcast Spanish soccer’s LaLiga in Japan for the next five seasons.
Through the agreement, announced today (June 21), the platforms will stream all 380 matches per season live and on-demand, as well as six promotion playoffs and a range of other highlights, weekly previews, news, and review programs.
The long-term contract covers the 2023-24 to 2027-28 seasons.
DAZN’s deal, which is a renewal of its long-standing agreement with the league, also includes rights to broadcast matches from the second-tier Segunda Division.
The international streaming platform has held LaLiga rights in Japan since 2017. For U-Next, the deal represents its first with the Spanish top flight.
U-Next replaces Wowow as a domestic rightsholder after the pay-television operator recently opted to end its 20-year relationship with the league after failing to agree a renewed deal.
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The operator cited the top Spanish league’s “soaring” broadcasting rights fees for ending the long-standing association.
In terms of local interest, two Japanese internationals currently play in Spain – Takefusa Kubo at Real Sociedad and Gaku Shibasaki at Segunda outfit Leganés.
Melcior Soler, LaLiga’s audiovisual director, said: “At LaLiga we always look for best-in-class partners to deliver Spanish football to fans everywhere. The renewal of our agreement with DAZN and our new agreement with U-Next ensures people in Japan will be able to enjoy LaLiga to the fullest.”
Manabu Yamada, DAZN Japan’s executive vice president, stated “We are so excited to extend our long-standing partnership with LaLiga. DAZN Japan started streaming LaLiga in 2017, and we are thrilled that this extension means we will be delivering LaLiga to Japanese fans for more than 10 years.
“We are committed to continuing to provide the passion of LaLiga through live matches, highlights, and non-live content.”
Image: David Ramos/Getty Images