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Rakuten scores exclusive NBA streaming rights in Japan

The National Basketball Association Inc. is teaming up with Rakuten Inc., making the e-commerce giant its official distributor for all live NBA games in Japan.

The multiyear deal allows Rakuten members to access all NBA games, including preseason and regular season games, playoff games, NBA All-Star, NBA Conference Finals and The Finals, in addition to other exclusive programming through the NBA League Pass service, a premium subscription service. Rakuten will also offer a subscription package for its video-on-demand service Rakuten TV.

The deal will also allow Rakuten to sell NBA merchandise, and that of its teams, on its domestic and international e-commerce channels. Its Viber instant messenger will also serve as an official content distribution platform for the NBA and its teams.