Japan fans push internet to breaking point

TOKYO, Dec 05 (South China Morning Post) - Abema TV may have to restrict access to Japan’s World Cup game at midnight on Monday local time, as runaway demand is pushing the streaming service to its limits.

Viewers were advised over the weekend that admission to watch the Japan-Croatia match may be restricted in order to ensure a stable service.

Abema holds the streaming rights to the Qatar tournament in Japan, and the national team’s unexpected progress out of the group stage has triggered a wave of interest and support.

The youth-oriented streaming network hit a new usage high on Friday after Japan’s game against Spain, which was broadcast at 4 am locally, Susumu Fujita, president of parent company CyberAgent Inc, said on Twitter.

Tokyo-based CyberAgent is better known for its portfolio of video games, such as Uma Musume, which helped drive the stock to a record high amid the pandemic.

It may have spent as much as 20 billion yen (US$150 million) on securing the World Cup streaming rights for Abema, according to Jefferies analyst Hiroko Sato. ...continue reading