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DAZN acquires AFC Champions League media rights in Japan

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has come into an agreement with DAZN to broadcast the next eight seasons of the AFC Champions League in Japan.

DAZN is an English OTT platform exclusively for sports founded in 2015 and under this agreement DAZN’s will cover the group stage matches of the East zone which set to begin from 22nd June.

The agreement also comprises the major sporting events by the AFC which includes Asia’s flagship national team competitions – the AFC 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and the AFC Champions League.

This deal comes after the agreement between AFC and Japanese company Dentsu, Japanese marketing giants where the company would exclusively market the football body’s commercial properties in Japan.

DAZN is also the broadcaster of the domestic top-flight J-League under a deal that was penned down in 2016 but in August 2020, the UK based company extended this agreement till 2028 for slightly reduced rights fee.

These two deals have significantly improved the sponsorship portfolio of DAZN in Japan and Martyn Jones, executive vice president, DAZN Japan said: “We are delighted and excited to have been awarded the AFC Champions League rights for eight seasons. Investment in Japanese football has been central to our group strategy since launching in 2016, and we’re 100% committed to enhancing the industry.”

AFC’s general secretary Dato’ Windsor John is also pleased to welcome DAZN to the AFC family. He also revealed that this would bring greater opportunities for the fans present in Japan because of the coverage in their country.

He added, “The AFC is pleased to welcome DAZN to the AFC family of media partners. With two Japanese clubs winning the most coveted Asian continental club title in the last four editions, Japan have proven to be a major force in the AFC Champions League.”

The East zone matches of the AFC Champions League were postponed in March 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and three matches will be played, one in Thailand and two in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

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