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Media & Entertainment

World Cup marked big win for sports streaming in Japan

Abema platform draws tens of millions of viewers for live games

The Abema streaming platform showed every World Cup match for free in Japan. (Photo by Makoto Okada)

TOKYO -- The World Cup soccer tournament gave online sports streaming a boost in Japan after a slow start, drawing record numbers of viewers while TV networks stepped back.

Japanese streaming platform Abema logged an all-time high of 17 million daily viewers on Dec. 2, the day of the Japan-Spain match. It saw a total of more than 41 million across the three days of group stage games involving the Samurai Blue. The round-of-16 match against Croatia drew so much traffic that Abema had to restrict access.

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