Tokyo, October 8, 2019 - Rakuten, Inc. and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that all games from the 2019-20 NBA season due to begin on October 23, 2019, (Japan Standard Time) will be streamed live and on demand on the new service, “NBA Rakuten”*1. The new service will merge the “Rakuten NBA Special” and other NBA-related content provided by Rakuten’s video-on-demand service Rakuten TV and the “NBA League Pass” provided by the NBA to form a single hub for fans in Japan to enjoy 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. New this year, Rakuten will launch an original daily show titled NBA Johokyoku DAILY9 (NBA News Network DAILY9) featuring highlights and in-depth analyses of the hottest games from the regular season to the NBA Finals.
Users will be able to choose from four plans available for purchase*2: the BASIC PASS, TEAM PASS, LEAGUE PASS, and Single Game*3. 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 (unlimited viewing of all games) will be available for half price, and the 990 yen monthly BASIC PASS (9 or more select games per week during the season with Japanese commentary) will be available as a free trial*4 for the first month.
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.
*1 A (free) Rakuten ID is required to use this service.
*2 The number of games and videos available for viewing differs with each plan. For more information please check the website below. Certain content including select videos, news articles and public stats will be available for free.
*3 The Single Game option asks users to make purchases on their browser before viewing on the app. A feature that allows customers to purchase single games inside the app will be added in the near future.
*4 Please check the campaign website for details.