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Optus acquires J.League rights to 2022

(Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

Australian telco Optus has acquired rights for Japanese football’s J.League in a three-year deal beginning with the 2020 season.

The telco’s Optus Sport service will show live coverage of up to four matches per round, as well as on-demand coverage.

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.

Optus has been positioning itself as the leader in football coverage in Australia. It also has rights for the English Premier League in the 2019-22 cycle, and the Uefa Champions League and Europa League in the 2018-21 cycle.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Optus Sport has 825,000 active subscribers, up from 700,000 last August. Optus said the number of games streamed on the service has grown 10 per cent year-on-year, and there has been a 30-per-cent increase in minutes watched.

The Sydney Morning Herald also reported that Optus was among the media companies preparing to bid in the upcoming tender for Rugby Australia and Sanzaar competition rights in Australia.