J.League extends World Sport Group partnership

Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 02-03-2012

J.League, the top division of Japan’s professional football league, has renewed its agreement with World Sport Group, Asia’s leading sports marketing, media and event management company, to distribute its media rights worldwide, outside Japan.

The new deal is an extension of a partnership that began in 2002 and which continues into its 11th year with J.League’s 2012 season, which kicks off on 10 March. Eighteen teams, including AFC Champions League 2012 contenders Kashiwa Reysol - the 2011 J.League champions - along with Nagoya Grampus and Gamba Osaka will play in a double round-robin competition of 34 games per club.

As part of the agreement, World Sport Group will also produce 30-minute highlights shows weekly, featuring all the top action from J.League matches, for global distribution.

Kazumi Ohigashi, chairman of J.League, said: "We are delighted that we have renewed our agreement with World Sport Group. From this year, J.League will be putting more emphasis on Asia to obtain leadership in the region. As part of our scheme, we signed a partnership agreement with the Thai Premier League. We would like to strengthen the relationship with foreign countries and take necessary actions to be able to broadcast J.League matches overseas.

"In order to achieve our goal, it is essential that we co-operate with World Sport Group. We will deepen the bond with WSG and promote the value of our league together."

Since 2002, World Sport Group has secured live broadcast coverage for J.League matches in key Asia-Pacific markets including Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and the Middle East, as well as in the US, Europe and South America.

Nick Mould, president, East Asia, World Sport Group, said: “As Asia’s most successful professional football league, J.League offers exciting, competitive club football. Interest in J.League outside Japan has increased significantly in recent years and season-long coverage is now available on every major continent.

“We look forward to continue working with J.League to grow its audiences on a global level.”