Japanese soccer’s J. League is continuing to broaden its exposure globally after striking media rights agreements with Nigerian internet firm Sporty Internet and Thai soccer club BG Pathum United.
Under the new deals, both Sporty Internet and BG Pathum United will hold rights to top-tier J1 League matches for the remainder of the 2022 season.
The 2022 J1 League started on February 19 and is set to conclude on November 5 – ahead of the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
BG Pathum United will air matches through its YouTube channel and adds to the J.League’s existing deal with digital platform SiamSport.
The league also confirmed its media rights agreement with online streaming platform FanCode in India, which was first announced in March.
The J League is popular in Thailand due to the presence of Thai internationals Chanathip Songkrasin, one of Asia’s leading talents, FC Ryuku’s Sittichok Paso, and Chaowat Veerachat, of Cerezo Osaka.
Nigerian players featuring in the J. League include Emeka Basil, Origbaajo Ismaila, Onye Ogochukwu, Kenneth Otabor, Samuel Adiodun Saanumi, Oriola Sunday, and Peter Utaka.
The new deals were signed by Dentsu, the Japanese advertising giant, which holds the contract to market the international media rights to the J. League, having replaced international sports agency Sportfive whose deal expired at the end of 2019.
Dentsu’s deal excludes Japan, where over-the-top subscription platform DAZN holds rights in a 10-year, $2-billion deal, and China where rights were retained by sports marketing agency China Sports Media, with games shown on its K-Ball subsidiary.
Other J. League rights holders include Dubai Sports, which shows the league in 24 territories across the MENA region, i-Cable in Hong Kong, OneFootball in Italy and Brazil, Optus in Australia, SPOTV in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, and Sportdigital Fussball in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.