Rakuten is to launch a new live streaming and VOD sports entertainment platform designed to deliver sports content to a global audience.
Its centrepiece is Japan’s J.League, popular within the target audience of Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and other countries in Southeast Asia.
Feature programming includes Iniesta TV, which follows the international soccer star Andrés Iniesta, who plays for the Rakuten Group’s own J.League soccer club, Vissel Kobe.
“Rakuten believes in the power of sport to transcend language and cultural barriers – a power that connects people and creates communities,” said Makoto Arima, Rakuten Group Executive Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer and President 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.”
In addition to soccer, Rakuten Sports plans to add to its offerings by introducing basketball, table tennis and other sports.