- J.League and British broadcaster FreeSports announce new partnership
- This 2 year deal begins with 4 games per round
- Shonan Bellmare v Urawa Reds kick off the coverage live on February 21st
J.League and FreeSports have announced today a new landmark partnership to broadcast the top flight of football in Japan live every round exclusively on FreeSports marking the first year ever Japanese football will be televised live in the UK. Live coverage from the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE will have early morning fixtures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The 2020 season of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League will run from February to December and will feature 18 teams. Yokohama F. Marinos are the current champions with FC Tokyo and Kashima Antlers finishing second and third respectively last season. The new season will feature two new teams promoted from the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League, Kashiwa Reysol and Yokohama FC.
Fans in the UK will be most familiar with Andrés Iniesta who is currently captain of Vissel Kobe playing alongside former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, former Man City forward Jô now at Nagoya Grampus, former Celtic set piece specialist Shunsuke Nakamura currently at Yokohama FC and Jay Bothroyd, capped once for England in 2010 leads the line for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo.
The 2019 J League season had many memorable games including three where 8 goals were scored, Sanfrecce Hiroshaima beating Vissel Kobe 6-2, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo thumping Shimizu S-Pulse 8-0 and a memorable 5-3 win for Vissel Kobe over Nagoya Grampus meaning viewers of the league can expect plenty of goals. Average attendances in the league are approx. 20,000 per game in stadiums many of which were used during the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the recent 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Richard Webb, COO of FreeSports commented, “We’re delighted to bring more live and free football to UK fans. We have seen with the successful ratings from Major League Soccer there is an appetite in the UK to access leagues from outside Europe.”
Mitsuru Murai, Chairman of J.LEAGUE commented, “We are very excited to partner with FreeSports to bring exciting MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE matches to fans in the UK.
I hope many more people in the UK will enjoy the best league in Asia on FreeSports”