AFC dials in Japanese telecoms giant KDDI for renewed term

October 5 – The AFC has renewed Japanese telecoms provider KDDI as a regional partner for its major national team competitions for the 2021-2024 rights cycle.

The deal, which covers the Japanese market, includes the final round of World Cup 2022 qualifying that go into their third match day this week, as well as the flagship AFC Asian Cup China 2023 tournament.

KDDI has started to roll out 5G in Japan and the AFC said it “will leverage its rich history of supporting Asian football and continue to bring exciting experiences to the fans of AFC national team football in Japan.”

Makoto Takahashi, president and representative director of KDDI said: “KDDI’s corporate philosophy is to ‘contribute to the development of an affluent communication society’.
“We have been striving to improve the spectator experience of various sports, including the development of communication networks and infrastructures. By utilising our advanced technologies, KDDI will continue to assist the sports industry through spectator experiences and communication services.”

While exact details of how content will flow through the new technology were not given, AFC general secretary Windsor John emphasised the importance of the technology in delivering relevant and innovative AFC competition content.

“This deal demonstrates the incredible appeal and stature of the AFC’s competitions, and we are confident KDDI will continue to use its technological expertise to deliver innovative experiences to the passionate fans of Asian football,” said John.

“We look forward to working in close collaboration with KDDI, a valued partner who shares the AFC’s belief in the power of football to create a lasting impact among fans and consumers.”

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