Rakuten, Inc. has confirmed the launch of Rakuten Sports, a new OTT platform that will initially deliver J League matches to a host of markets globally.
The platform will provide both live and on demand coverage of Japan’s top league, it will also broadcast an original series which follows former World Cup winner, Andres Iniesta, who currently plays for the Rakuten Group’s J.League soccer club, Vissel Kobe.
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.”
The platform will not only focus on football, but has also outlined ambitions to expand its offering with basketball, table tennis and other sports in the future. The sports entertainment platform also plans to introduce new user engagement capabilities that will allow global sports fans to interact with the content while communicating with other sports fans in new, innovative ways.
Masaaki Kimura, Senior Managing Director of the J.League (Japan Professional Football League) added: “It is our genuine pleasure to hear that Rakuten Sports will distribute Meiji Yasuda J1 League matches worldwide via their platform in the 2019 season.
“In addition to the international superstars like Andrés Iniesta and Fernando Torres playing in the league, we feel the growing global interest towards our league. We hope to have a positive synergy with Rakuten Sports and make the league become more attractive for all sports fans around the world to enjoy.”