Eleven Sports to launch Japanese baseball streaming service | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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Broadcaster Eleven Sports is launching an advertising supporting streaming service in Japan to provide live minor league baseball action.

Nippon Professional Baseball logo 14 March 2019From 16 March, the free service will stream live matches from the Eastern and Western Leagues of Japan’s NPB Farm Leagues. Eleven said it plans to deliver 500 games between launch and October.

Deals have been arranged by seven out of the12 teams in the NPB Farm Leagues, and home games will be streamed live for the following teams: Orix Buffaloes, Saitama Seibu Lions, Chiba Lotte Marines, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, Hanshin Tigers, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and Yokohama DeNA Baystars.

In addition, Eleven Sports will produce highlights, match reports and the latest news related to the Eastern and Western Leagues for digital distribution.

“Baseball is hugely popular in Japan and we are very excited to be bringing unprecedented coverage of the NPB Farm Leagues to fans across the country for free. Some games from the league have been broadcast previously, but Eleven Sports will break new ground by streaming such a large volume of matches at a level never seen before,” said Suhyeon Cho, managing director, Eleven Sports Japan.

“We are looking forward to working with the teams to grow the exposure of the NPB Farm leagues locally. We are also aiming to add further content to our service as we aim to build a compelling ad-funded model that serves local fans with local sport.”

Eleven’s sister production company easyprod, owned by Aser, will produce the live coverage from five of the seven teams which have agreed terms.

Anouk Mertens, chief operating officer, Eleven Sports Group, said: “We are thrilled to extend Eleven Sports’ global presence to Japan by taking a commercially valuable property and a sport with a fervent local following to fans all over country. The launch of Eleven Sports in Japan marks the evolution of our digital strategy as we continue to explore new ways to make top quality sport accessible, and in this case, free for fans. This differs from the premium model that has been highly successful for Eleven Sports in several markets globally, but we are very confident that this innovative digital approach will be very appealing for fans and for commercial partners.”

The first match to be streamed on Eleven’s new platform will be between Chiba Lotte Marines and Saitama Seibu Lions on 16 March.