May 7 – There is an advantage in being first and South Korea’s Hana1Q K LEAGUE 1 is grabbing it with a the opening match of the league’s return to play on May 8 scheduled to be broadcast in 17 countries.
The K League is the first of the world’s major leagues to restart. It’s expanded broadcast footprinte will including Australia (Optus), Germany (Sportdigital), Hong Kong (TVB) and Malaysia and Brunei (ASTRO).
The rights, which are being distributed internationally by Sportradar, are still in negotiation with a number of broadcasters based in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, and Brazil, with a view to closing deals in time to make the matches this weekend.
The K League in December 2019 appointed Sportradar AG as its international broadcast rights distributor. Interest globally to broadcast the league has grown since the 2020 season was confirmed and announced in late April 2020.
With a day left till kick-off, 17 countries and 12 channels around the world have confirmed live broadcasting and streaming of K League matches. Discussions are currently ongoing with a number of broadcasters based in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, and Brazil.
In Europe German based Sportdigital Fussball, will live broadcast in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, starting from the season opener. In Australia, where there is local interest with Aussie players in the K League,, Optus Sports will broadcast two K League 1 matches per round.
Meanwhile Arena TV Sports, based in Serbia, will cover seven countries in the Balkan region including Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
While being the first league to return to play while the world battles the coronavirus pandemic has provided a distribution opportunity, the K League had already been planning an expansion of its media footprint with a newly established media centre will be using a cloud server and an in-house Off-Tube system for the 54 main matches that will be broadcast overseas, with English commentary for the first time being available.
Defending champions Jeonbuk Motors and Suwon Bluewings had been supposed to kick off the season on February 29, but that day South Korea registered more than 900 coronavirus cases and the season was postponed. Now kicking off May 8 the game will also be specially streamed live on Twitter and YouTube.
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