J.League aim to realise Asian ambitions with new deal - they want to outperform some of Europe’ biggest leagues in their own continent

22 September 2021

Photo: Alamy Tomoaki Okubo from Urawa Red Diamonds searching for the goal in the match against Shonan Bellmare.

Japan’s top league managed to increase the interest among Thai fans in J.League from 19 percent 49 per cent in less than a decade – with only LaLiga and the EPL more popular.

“We want to be Asia’s Premier League, the number one place for all Asian footballers,” says senior J.League Executive.

Signing local players from all over Asia has worked well for J League who are growing their popularity in the region.

J League sees Indonesia and Vietnam as major new growth markets.

The news in June that the J.League has signed a multi-country broadcasting deal in South Asia with India’s Sony Pictures Network went almost unnoticed in Europe but it should have at least caused officials at the head offices of LaLiga, Bundesliga and Serie A to sit up. In Asia, Japan want to be the second most popular foreign league behind the English Premier League. There is still a long way to go but progress is being made.

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