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J.League appoints Lagardere Sports and Rakuten to distribute media rights

The Japan Professional Football League (J.League) has appointed Lagardere Sports and Rakuten to distribute its media rights.

The appointment will see J.League matches available to a global audience on Rakuten’s sports entertainment platform, Rakuten Sports for the 2019 season.

Rakuten also plans to introduce new innovative ways for J.League fans to interact with each other around the world on the platform.

“Rakuten believes in the power of sport to transcend language and cultural barriers – a power that connects people and creates communities,” said Makoto Arima, the executive vice president and oresident 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."

Rakuten currently carries Iniesta TV on its platform to feature behind the scenes footage of former Barcelona and Spain player Andrés Iniesta, who currently plays for the J.League soccer club it owns, Vissel Kobe.

Featured by The Drum