Record number of territories to broadcast 2020 K League season
Sportradar, the international sports data firm, has announced Korean soccer’s top-tier K League will be shown in a record number of territories this season after sealing deals with a host of broadcasters ahead of tomorrow’s opening game.
Sportradar holds exclusive media distribution rights to the K League in a five-year deal signed in December.
The K League 1 will become the first major league to be played since the coronavirus pandemic brought world sports to a halt.
Suwon Samsung Bluewings will kick off the opening game of the 2020 season against defending K League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors tomorrow at 7pm (KST).
Sportradar said 17 countries and 12 channels around the world have confirmed live broadcasting and streaming of K League matches, with discussions currently ongoing with a number of broadcasters based in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and Brazil.
In Australia, Optus, the telecoms group, has secured rights in the country to the league and will broadcast two K League 1 Division matches every round live and on demand.
German subscription sports and international broadcaster Sportdigital’s Fussball channel has acquired the rights to broadcast K League matches in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, beginning with the season opener. It will show four matches this weekend.
Arena TC Sports, a sports channel under Serbia-based Arena TV, will cover seven countries in the Balkan region, while other media partners on board include digital platforms Dugout in Singapore, 433 in the Netherlands, Laola.tv in Austria and Copa90 in the UK.
Domestically, the league yesterday announced that all its matches will be streamed live on several Korean digital media platforms, including Naver, Kakao and AfreecaTV. Cable operator JTBC is the main TV rights-holder.
Dylan Chuan, sales director of audiovisual, Sportradar, said: “Live sport is an integral part of daily life for many people around the world, especially in these difficult and unique times.
“With the K League season kicking off on Friday, we are delighted to have worked with our partners – media companies, broadcasters and OTT platforms to deliver great entertainment and pulsating football action to fans across the globe.”
The opening game will also be streamed live for free worldwide on the K League’s Twitter and YouTube channels, with English language commentary and graphics.
The K League is using video technology company Grabyo’s cloud video platform to produce and distribute the global stream remotely. The production work, is being handled by staff from the league’s new media production centre, which opened in March.
The centre will produce the international feed with more than 70 matches this season to be offered to broadcast partners with English subtitles.
Doojin Sa, head of new media at the K League, said the production team was working “with safety as our main priority, using all of the technology at our disposal to ensure only essential personnel need to be in the stadium
“Grabyo’s platform and technology will enable us to reach football fans all over the world, who we know have been waiting a long time to see live football. Without this type of remote production, it would not be possible.”
Elliot Renton, senior director and head of APAC at Grabyo, said: “We have been helping sports organisations and broadcasters to engage fans in a time of no sport, and with new developments to our live and remote production capabilities, the K League are well placed to win new audiences keen to see live football via social media.”
Late last month, WSC Sports, the Israel-based sports video content provider, announced a tie-up with the K League to use its video analysis, AI and machine learning capabilities to automatically create video highlights of the K League’s top two divisions.