DAZN, the international over-the-top (OTT) subscription platform, will provide coverage of French soccer’s top-tier Ligue 1 in Japan after securing an exclusive deal covering the 2022-23 season.
DAZN’s coverage begins with today’s Trophee de Champions, the annual match between the winner of Ligue 1 and Coupe de France cup competition, between Paris St-Germain and Nantes.
The deal was agreed by BeIN Sports, Ligue 1’s international rights distribution partner until the end of 2023-24.
The deal will see wide coverage of the league return to Japan after only one broadcast deal for the league was secured ahead of the 2021-22 season. That deal included one live match per week for the international French-language channel TV5 Monde.
Previously, DAZN held Ligue 1 rights in Japan in deals covering the 2015-16 to 2017-18 and 2018-19 to 2020-21 seasons but decided not to renew last campaigns.
Several Japanese players are currently playing in Ligue 1, including Takumi Minamino (Monaco), Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg), Ado Onaiu (Toulouse), and Junya Ito (Reims).
The latest soccer rights add to DAZN’s portfolio of pre-season matches involving players from the Japan national team, including Sporting Lisbon versus Roma (July 19), Borussia Monchengladbach against Real Sociedad (July 23), Brighton versus Brentford (July 30), and Brighton taking on Espanyol on August 1.
The OTT platform most recently secured live rights in the country to the Soccer Champions Tour, the new five-team pre-season event in the US that saw European giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus compete in a series of friendly matches against Club America and Club Deportivo Guadalajara of Mexico’s Liga MX.
DAZN’s other soccer properties include Asian Football Confederation international fixtures and club competitions, UEFA European qualifiers and Nations League, the Japanese J. League, Italian Serie A, Italy's domestic Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, the Belgian First Division and Belgian Cup, the English FA Cup and Community Shield, and Spain’s LaLiga.
However, earlier this year DAZN lost its rights in the country to the English Premier League, with the rights going to South Korea-based Eclat media group in a three-season deal until the end of the 2024-25 season.
DAZN has a growing presence in Japan, with the rights to the Formula 1 motor racing series, American football’s NFL, WTA tennis tournaments, mixed martial arts promotion the Professional Fighters League, as well as six US Golf Association tournaments and two PGA of America events.
The 2022-23 Ligue 1 season is due to kick off this weekend (August 6) and end on June 4, 2023.
This season will include a break between November 14 and 27 December to cater to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to be held between November 21 and December 18 in Qatar.