Rakuten and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have announced that all games from the 2019-20 NBA season, due to begin on October 23rd, will be streamed live and on demand on the new service, NBA Rakuten, in Japan.
The season starts with defending champions Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans followed by an LA derby pitting the Clippers against the Lakers.
The new service will merge the ‘Rakuten NBA Special’ and other NBA-related content provided by Rakuten’s VoD service Rakuten TV and the ‘NBA League Pass’ provided by the NBA to form a single hub for fans in Japan to watch all NBA games both live and on demand.
NBA Rakuten serves as a one-stop destination for Japanese fans to watch NBA games and programming, access official NBA stats on teams and players, catch the latest news and original articles, chat live with other users and enjoy other NBA-related content. The service will offer both live broadcasts and on-demand videos through the NBA Rakuten app and on internet browsers. The service also includes a new live chat feature that allows for user-to-user conversations during games in real time. In addition to game broadcasts, stats, news and live chat, NBA Rakuten will also provide original content, including “Oretachi no NBA” (Our NBA), a talk show hosted by local personalities, and other programming designed to deliver a multi-layered entertainment experience to fans.
For a limited time, to celebrate the launch of the new service, a campaign is underway in which annual subscriptions to the 19,800 yen yearly League Pass will be available for half price.
Since 2017, Rakuten has partnered with the NBA as a global marketing partner and its exclusive broadcast partner in Japan, delivering top-quality NBA content to basketball fans around Japan. Together, Rakuten and the NBA will continue working to broaden the NBA fan base in Japan with a wide variety of services and events, both on- and offline.