Kevin Mayer Focusing DAZN on Local Sports

    • Kevin Mayer made his name building up major streaming networks like Disney+ and ESPN+.
    • Now he is turning his attention to more niche markets as he build up DAZN's presence in Europe and Asia.

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DAZN is targeting local sports in European and Asian markets, sensing a big opportunity in “retail” sports broadcasting.

In an interview with CNBC, Kevin Mayer, who recently landed as Chairman of the Board at DAZN, said that local markets offer the most “fertile territory” in sports streaming.

In Japan, DAZN streams rugby, tennis, wrestling, mixed martial arts, and ice hockey, in addition to sharing baseball broadcasting rights. In many European countries, it has a slew of soccer deals but also airs baseball, darts, pool, handball, and other sports.

“What ESPN did in wholesale, that’s what we’re going to do in retail,” said Mayer, who built up ESPN+ while at Disney. “ESPN did this to the pay-TV guys. ESPN bought rights, they charged more, they bought more rights. You can recreate that with local rights in local markets. And I think that’s what we’re going to do.”

Mayer also discussed his departure from Disney, where he was once tipped to replace former CEO Bob Iger, and how the Trump Administration’s capricious actions against TikTok led to his leaving parent company ByteDance after serving only three months as CEO and COO.

Mayer, who just joined the board of Amazon-focused marketing company Tinuiti, is an advisor to SPAC Forest Road, where he worked with Shaq to take fitness company Beachbody public, and plans to acquire a consumer-facing company in tech, media, or telecommunications.