DAZN claims ‘huge moment’ for Japanese service with SoftBank deal

DAZN, the OTT service operated by digital sports media company Perform, has boosted its position in Japan by taking over a rival service operated by telco SoftBank.

The rights portfolio held by SportsNavi Live will now fall under the wing of DAZN, which launched in Japan in August 2016.

DAZN commercial director Joe Markowski said the agreement marks a “huge moment” for the service in Japan.

Concerning the new sports properties it will offer through the deal, he said: “We’ll be exclusively broadcasting the incredibly popular Nippon Baseball League, having acquired the rights to 11 of the 12 teams currently competing in Japan’s premier baseball competition.

“As well as this we’ll have more games than ever before from the English Premier League and Spain’s LaLiga, so Japanese fans can enjoy seeing how the likes of national team superstars Shinji Okazaki, Maya Yoshida and Takashi Inui are getting on competing in two of Europe’s leading footballing competitions. Subscribers will also be treated to the very best from the B.League, the domestic Japanese basketball league.”

Markowski added: “For the multi-sport fan, it means that DAZN is the only place they need to come to get their sport. That’s a huge step and it’s never been done in Japan before.”