i-Cable retains J.League rights in Hong Kong

Pay-television broadcaster i-Cable has acquired the exclusive media rights in Hong Kong for Japanese football’s J.League.

i-Cable has purchased the rights in a three-season deal covering 2020 to 2022. The broadcaster also held J.League rights in the previous cycle.

Rights secured by i-Cable cover free-to-air and pay-television, and OTT platforms. The broadcaster will show coverage on its free-to-air channel TV 77; on pay channels Sports Plus 1, 2 and 3; and via its website and mobile applications.

International rights for the J.League in all markets except China in the 2020-22 period are sold by the Dentsu agency, under a deal agreed last October. Dentsu replaced the Lagardère Sports agency in the role. The international rights distribution contract excludes China, where the rights were awarded to the China Sports Media agency.

The agreement with i-Cable is the latest covering the new three-year distribution period. Earlier this month, Australian telecoms operator Optus also acquired the rights from 2020 to 2022.

Cai Fuhua, director of i-Cable Sports, said: “We are very pleased to continue our cooperation with J.League and regain the full broadcast rights of the event on pay TV, free TV and OTT in Hong Kong…with our extensive experience in broadcasting and producing large sports events, we will surely provide viewers with the ideal viewing experience no matter what the broadcast platform.”

The 2020 J.League season kicks off next Friday, February 21.