Stan Sport has added to its already-healthy offering of rugby content by acquiring the rights to Japan’s Top League.
The Japanese competition, which kicks off tomorrow at 4pm (AEDT), includes a host of high-profile Australian and New Zealand players plying their trade, including Wallabies captain Michael Hooper, two-time World Rugby player of the year Beauden Barrett, former All Blacks skipper Kieran Read, Samu Kerevi and TJ Perenara.
Stan had already acquired the rights to Super Rugby, SANZAAR Tests, Super W and Wallaroos Tests and the new, three-year broadcast deal signed between Rugby Australia and Nine Entertainment at the end of last year, as well as club competitions the Shute Shield and Hospital Cup. They will also broadcast tennis major the French Open.
The addition of the Top League is clearly a step in making the platform a one-stop-shop for rugby fans, and mirrors the approach Optus Sport took with football, when they added the likes of the UEFA Champions and Europa League and J.League after grabbing the rights to the English Premier League.
Stan Sport is a $10 per month add-on to a regular Stan subscription, which come in between $10 and $19 per month.
The streaming platform’s rugby coverage will begin in proper tonight, when they broadcast the Super Rugby AU opener between the Reds and Waratahs at 7:45pm. That match will also be shown live on TV via the Nine Network, but the round’s later game, to be played between the Force and Brumbies, is only available to watch through Stan.
The organisation has put together a high-profile commentary team, including former Wallabies Tim Horan, David Campese and Drew Mitchell, controversial ex-Wallabies and Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, hosts Nick McArdle and Roz Kelly, and callers Andrew Swain and Sean Maloney.