South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. has secured exclusive broadcasting rights from three terrestrial broadcasters in Korea to stream the Tokyo Olympic Games online, beating out online behemoths Naver Corp. and Kakao Corp. by offering the highest bidding price of 50 billion won (USD 44.1 million) to make a leap in platform landscape beyond e-commerce.
According to multiple sources from the sports industry and media outlets on Sunday, Coupang has won exclusive online broadcasting rights for the Tokyo Olympics upon defeating Naver and Kakao. Over-the-top (OTT) platform operators must buy broadcasting rights from Korea’s three local terrestrial broadcasters to stream the Games in the country.
Coupang plans to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics via its OTT channel, Coupang Play, which has been expanding sports programs such as exclusive streaming of Korean football friendly matches by mimicking Amazon.com. The U.S. company has also expanded sports programs such as those of National Football League (NFL), U.S. Open, and English Premier League to enhance OTT business.
Coupang entered the OTT market in December last year by offering free video streaming service Coupang Play to Coupang Wow members that pay 2,900 won for subscription a month. There are about 4.7 million Coupang Wow members.
Since then, Coupang has been focusing to differentiate its OTT service by exclusively offering live matches of football matches of Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min in April, friendly matches of Korean women’s national football team and Volleyball Women’s Nations League.