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Japan to extend TV coverage of J-League

Japan's J-League, is set to be aired weekly via terrestrial TV stations in four Southeast Asian countries, according to Japanese news agency Asahi, reports Sportspro Media. Asahi reports that action from two games per month of the new J-League season, which kicks off in March, will be screened by broadcasters in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The local broadcasters must agree to offer TV advertising slots to Japanese companies that focus on those Asian markets and who are currently in negotiations with the J-League over possible sponsorship agreements.

As part of the deals, the J.League will produce broadcasts for each of the four countries, with the local TV stations providing commentary and analysis in their own languages.

"I believe this will be Japan's first strategic attempt to market Japanese pro sports overseas," said an un-named senior J-League official. "If more overseas TV stations seek to broadcast Japanese soccer in their countries, we will likely seek broadcasting fees as part of the payment in future projects."

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Dave Williams

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