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Rakuten Sports goes live, can it make high-risk jump to Europe?

The lucrative live sports sector has a new streaming contender. Taking a leaf from the books of US trendsetters Amazon and Twitter, which have both paid big bucks for live sports rights, Japanese internet giant Rakuten has gone a step further with the launch of a dedicated live and VoD sports platform primed for disruption. Centered around soccer, Rakuten Sports aims to build on the rising popularity of Japan’s J.League franchise, teaming with Lagardère Sports, the international media rights distributor of Japan’s professional football league, to distribute 2019 season J.League matches to fans in more than 140 countries and regions worldwide, excluding Japan and select regions. But it is Rakuten’s presence outside of Asia Pacific which makes the launch a…

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