South Korea’s 2020 Hana1Q K League 1 will be broadcast live from the opening match on 8 May in 17 countries, including Australia (Optus), Germany (Sportdigital), Hong Kong (TVB) and Malaysia & Brunei (ASTRO), with more territories still in negotiation.
Last December the K League appointed Sportradar AG as its international broadcast rights distributor. Global interest in broadcasting the league has grown since the 2020 season was confirmed and announced in late April.
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.
German based Sportdigital Fussball, a broadcast channel dedicated to football, has acquired the rights to broadcast K League 1 matches in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and will begin live broadcasts in these countries on 8 May.
In Australia, where the reputation and popularity of the K League has increased due to the strong performance of Australian footballers in the league, Optus Sports will broadcast two K League 1 matches per round. Optus Sports is a sports channel under the Australian IPTV service provider, Optus.
Arena TV Sports, a sports channel under Arena TV which is based in Serbia, will cover seven countries in the Balkan region including Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.
K League matches will also be broadcast and streamed live in China, India, Hong Kong and Israel.
Besides TV broadcast, online content platforms such as Copa90 (UK) and Laola.tv (Austria) will carry out live streaming services across Europe and the rest of the world, excluding Korea.
Dylan Chuan, sales director, audiovisual, Sportradar, said: “Live sport is an integral part of daily life for many people around the world, especially in these difficult and unique times. With the K League season kicking off on Friday, we are delighted to have worked with our partners – media companies, broadcasters and OTT platforms – to deliver great entertainment and pulsating football action to fans across the globe.”
K League’s 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 sent to overseas satellites.
The season opener on 8 May between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Suwon Samsung Bluewings will be streamed live on Twitter and YouTube.