OTT & Digital

J League hands Dentsu reins to international rights through 2022

CSM also renews deal with Japanese soccer league for Chinese rights.

by Steven Impey

J League hands Dentsu reins to international rights through 2022

Japanese advertising giant Dentsu has acquired international rights to the J League between 2020 and 2022, while the China Sports Media (CSM) agency has extended a rights agreement with Japan’s top-flight soccer competition in China.

The decision means that Dentsu, which has been a marketing partner of the J League since 2014, will take over responsibilities for the distribution of the league’s rights overseas from French rights agency Lagardere Sports, whose existing agreement comes to an end after the 2019 J League season.


Under the terms of its rights renewal, CSM subsidiary Win Power will show all 306 games from the top-tier J1 League and 462 games from the second-tier J2 League via its K-Ball streaming service. CSM also advises the Japanese soccer league on its Chinese marketing operation, with the agency launching and managing the J League’s official Weibo account.

Dentsu will now assess the J League’s current international broadcast partner portfolio before engaging in discussions regarding new rights deals.

As it stands, J League’s broadcast partnerships include SportKlub in the Balkans, Hong Kong Cable Television, Thai satellite operator TrueVisions, and the multi-territory streaming service DAZN, which also has domestic rights.

Earlier in the year, Lagardere Sports confirmed a J League rights distribution deal with the Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten for the duration of the 2019 season. The agreement announced in June sees J League matches aired via the Rakuten Sports dedication streaming platform in more than 140 overseas markets.

Rakuten’s J League service is mostly targeted at soccer fans in countries across Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos. However, it is also available in the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Brazil.