DAZN bolsters rights portfolio with AFC Champions League

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Digital sports streaming service DAZN has struck a new media rights agreement with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in Japan, covering the next eight years through to 2028.

Under the terms of the deal, DAZN will screen the AFC’s national team and club competitions, including the AFC 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and the flagship AFC Champions League.

The arrangement also elevates DAZN’s position in the region, having launched in Japan after acquiring the rights for the country’s top-tier J.League from 2016 to 2026 in a 10-year tie-up.

In August last year, the streaming platform negotiated a two-year extension of the agreement until 2028.

“We are delighted and excited to have been awarded the AFC Champions League rights for eight seasons,” commented Martyn Jones, Executive Vice President, DAZN Japan. “Investment in Japanese football has been central to our group strategy since launching in 2016, and we’re 100% committed to enhancing the industry.

“Through our partnership with J.League we’ve evolved the viewing experience for existing and the next generation of fans so the acquisition of the AFC Champions League is another major milestone. J.League and Japanese football is exciting, high quality and has numerous emerging superstars that we have the opportunity to follow domestically but now also on the journey to be the best in Asia.”

Coverage kicks off with the AFC Champions Group Stage in the East Zone, scheduled for 22 June.

AFC General Secretary, Dato’ Windsor John, added: “The AFC is pleased to welcome DAZN to the AFC family of media partners. With two Japanese clubs winning the most coveted Asian continental club title in the last four editions, Japan have proven to be a major force in the AFC Champions League.

“It is therefore crucial that we continue to provide our passionate fans in Japan with greater opportunities to support their teams through unprecedented coverage of the AFC Champions League and we thank DAZN for underlining their confidence and belief in the AFC’s brand and competitions.”

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