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K League coverage in 17 markets

Image credit: K League

Korean football’s K League and its media rights distribution partner Sportradar have agreed deals in 17 international markets ahead of the league’s 2020 season restart today.

Deals were revealed with free-to-air broadcaster TVB in Hong Kong, and pay-television broadcasters Astro in Malaysia and Brunei, and Arena TV Sports in seven Balkan territories. These add to already-reported deals with Optus in Australia, and Sportdigital in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The Yonhap news agency reported that deals are also in place with CSM in China and Macao, digital platform FanCode in India, and broadcaster Carlton in Israel.

Discussions are reported to be ongoing with interested broadcasters in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, and Brazil.

Streaming deals have also been agreed with digital platforms Copa90 in the UK and Laola.tv in Austria.

Dylan Chuan, sales director, audiovisual for Sportradar told SportBusiness that the company and the league hoped the deals would lead to longer-term partnerships: “All deals have been reached with the view of long term partnerships and sustainability as we work with the K League to expand their global footprint in this area.”

He added: “Part of the strategy to market the K League globally has seen us working together with the league to enhance the world feed which includes international graphics and English commentary, a first for the league, tailoring the product specifically for the international market. Two matches will also be delivered via Asian satellite, which will widen the accessibility and coverage.”

Chuan said the deals had “contractual contingencies” to address the possibility that a renewed Covid-19 outbreak leads to another shutdown of the league.

The K League and Korea’s baseball league, the KBO, are operating under comprehensive sets of measures in order to ensure their games do not result in further spread of the virus. 

Today’s opening match between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Suwon Samsung Bluewings is also being streamed live globally on Twitter and YouTube.

Update – Story updated on 8 May 2020 to add names of media partners in several markets, plus comment from Sportradar.