Sportdigital nets much-needed live content with K League rights
Sportdigital, the German subscription sports television and internet broadcaster, has acquired rights to the K League, the top soccer league in South Korea, which will kick off its delayed 2020 season on Friday.
Sportdigital has landed the rights from Sportradar, the international sports data and digital company that is the exclusive global media rights distributor of the K League in a five-year deal announced in December.
It will show four lives games from the opening weekend of the season: reigning champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors vs Suwon Samsung Bluewings on 8 May; Incheon United-Daegu FC and Gwangju FC-Seongnam FC on 9 May; and Gangwon FC-FC Seoul on 10 May.
As well as the K League, other leagues in the Sportdigital fussball portfolio include the A-League (Australia), Russian Premier League, Ekstraklasa (Poland), Liga NOS (Portugal), Eredivisie (Netherlands), Pro League (Belgium), Fortuna Liga (Czech Republic), EFL Championship (England), Superliga (Argentina), J. League (Japan) and CSL (China).
Leagues in Poland, Portugal and the Czech Republic have outlined plans to resume over the next month behind closed doors, as live sport begins to return after the global coronavirus pandemic.
As well as selling the media rights, Sportradar is providing its intelligence and investigation services, which will support the K League in the protection of its intellectual property via anti-piracy and illegal streaming investigations.
Other media partners on board for the 2020 K League season include digital platforms Dugout in Singapore, 433 in the Netherlands, and Copa90 in the UK, with a number of deals in major markets worldwide expected to be sealed in time for Friday's kick-off with broadcasters eager for live sports content.
The K League opened a new media centre in March, which will produce the international feed, with more than 70 matches this season to be offered to broadcast partners with English subtitles.
The majority of K League 1 matches will be shown in South Korea by cable operator JTBC, and the league last week announced a tie-up with WSC Sports, the Israel-based sports video content provider, which will create video highlights from the the top two divisions.