Rakuten Launches Rakuten Sports: New Live Streaming, Video on Demand Service Delivers Sports Content to Fans Worldwide

– New service to broadcast J.League games to fans in more than 140
countries and regions worldwide.

– Access Rakuten Sports now on desktop, mobile and tablet: https://sports.rakuten.com

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rakuten, Inc., a global leader in internet services, today announced the
launch of Rakuten Sports. This new live streaming and video on demand
(VOD) sports entertainment platform provided by Rakuten will deliver
sports content to a global audience.


Rakuten Sports provides viewers with Meiji Yasuda J1 League matches from
the 2019 season both live and on demand. The service’s content
portfolio, currently centered on soccer, also features the original
series Iniesta TV, which follows the international soccer star Andrés
Iniesta who plays for the Rakuten Group’s J.League soccer club, Vissel
Kobe. Rakuten has partnered with Lagardère Sports, the international
media rights distributor of Japan’s professional football league, to
distribute 2019 season J.League matches to fans in more than 140
countries and regions worldwide, excluding Japan and select regions.*1
The new service is designed to appeal to soccer fans in Vietnam,
Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and
other countries in Southeast Asia, where the popularity of the sport is
on the rise and the J.League’s fan base is steadily growing.

“Rakuten believes in the power of sport to transcend language and
cultural barriers – a power that connects people and creates
communities,” said Makoto Arima, Rakuten Group Executive Vice President,
Chief Revenue Officer and President of Rakuten’s Media & Sports Company.
“We are delighted to deliver the joy of sports to people around the
world, which is why Rakuten has worked alongside our partners to bring a
diverse lineup of sports initiatives to life. Rakuten Sports represents
an important part of this mission. We hope to contribute to the
continued growth of the J.League by sharing what the league has to offer
with soccer fans around the world.”

Masaaki Kimura, Senior Managing Director of the J.League (Japan
Professional Football League) said, “It is our genuine pleasure to hear
that Rakuten Sports will distribute Meiji Yasuda J1 League matches
worldwide via their platform in the 2019 season. In addition to the
international superstars like Andrés Iniesta and Fernando Torres playing
in the league, we feel the growing global interest towards our league.
We hope to have a positive synergy with Rakuten Sports and make the
league become more attractive for all sports fans around the world to
enjoy.”

In addition to soccer, Rakuten Sports plans to add to its offerings by
introducing basketball, table tennis and other sports in the future.
Going forward, the sports entertainment platform also plans to introduce
new user engagement capabilities that will allow global sports fans to
interact with the content while communicating with other sports fans in
new, innovative ways. Rakuten aims to contribute to the further
empowerment of the global sports community by distributing sports-based
content that appeals to fans around the world.

*1 J.League games are viewable worldwide, except in the following
countries and regions: Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei,
Canada, Chad, China, Croatia, Djibouti, Egypt, FYR Macedonia, Hong Kong,
Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Macao,
Mauritania, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar,
Republic of Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Korea,
South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United
States and Yemen. Iniesta TV is viewable worldwide (internet access
required).

Overview of Rakuten Sports
Name: Rakuten Sports
URL: https://sports.rakuten.com
Service
launch: June 11, 2019
Service description: Rakuten Sports is a live
streaming and video on demand service that distributes sports content to
a global audience.
Content portfolio: Live streaming and video on
demand matches from the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 2019 season (3 matches
per round), Iniesta TV and more
* J.League matches are viewable in
more than 140 countries and regions worldwide, excluding the following:
Algeria,
Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chad, China, Croatia,
Djibouti, Egypt, FYR Macedonia, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan,
Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Macao, Mauritania, Mongolia, Montenegro,
Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Republic of Sudan, Saudi Arabia,
Serbia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Korea, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand,
Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United States and Yemen
** Rakuten
Sports will continue to expand its content portfolio going forward.
Supported
devices: Rakuten Sports is viewable on smart TVs, computers,
smartphones, tables and devices that are able to connect to the internet.
Supported
languages: English

About Rakuten Sports
Rakuten Sports is a global live
streaming, video on demand and community platform that powers live
sports matches from the top leagues and teams from around the world,
with exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and special footage from
world-class athletes. Reaching fans across multiple devices, including
desktop, mobile and tablet, Rakuten Sports is a premier sports
entertainment service of Rakuten.

About Lagardère Sports
Lagardère Sports is a leading sport
marketing agency, with a global network of local experts dedicated to
delivering innovative solutions that meet our clients’ needs. We believe
sport inspires emotions and passion that are essential to enrich
people’s lives and generate powerful collective experiences. At
Lagardère Sports, we dedicate our expertise and passion to provide our
clients with privileged access to the infinite opportunities of sports.
Lagardère Sports is part of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, a
company with more than 1,700 employees worldwide and 50 years of
experience.

About Rakuten
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader
in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses
and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten
has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content
and communications to more than 1.2 billion members around the world.
The Rakuten Group has over 17,000 employees, and operations in 30
countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

Contacts

Media Inquiries

Rakuten, Inc.
Corporate Communications Department
global-pr@mail.rakuten.com
(+81)
50-5817-1104

Lagardère Sports
James Francis
Edelman
105
Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT, United Kingdom
+44(0)7812 734 731
www.edelman.co.uk

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