Sunday December 3, 2023

Sports Streaming Service DAZN to Expand Globally on Dec. 1

  • The product’s distribution is rapidly expanding after COVID-19 thwarted initial plans.
  • DAZN could continue to target rights to major American sports leagues internationally.
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After a turbulent few months, sports streaming service DAZN is set to expand to 200 countries and territories worldwide, Deadline reported. 

When the expansion happens on Dec. 1, initial monthly pricing will be £1.99 — about $2.60 — per month. DAZN was previously available in the United States, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Italy and Japan. 

The service, which has put an emphasis on boxing and has said that it surpassed 8 million sign ups, is timing its global expansion to coincide with two fights that are included in the subscription price: Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell on Dec. 5, and Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev on Dec. 12. 

The new global app will be distributed through a “range of connected-TV and digital platforms,” with most content initially available in English or Spanish, according to Deadline. 

DAZN had plans to expand internationally before the COVID-19 pandemic, but pressed pause and consolidated some of its operations over the summer. Among the moves were layoffs at its Brazil office — users in the market will still be able to get the service, but with less local content.

DAZN CEO John Skipper, formerly of ESPN, told Deadline that the service is looking to increase its non-live original programming. Soccer is also an important aspect of DAZN’s plans for Europe. 

“The opportunities are in the rest of the world,” Skipper told Deadline. While rights to major American sports leagues are pricey stateside, DAZN has been able to secure rights to entities including the NFL and MLB elsewhere in the world.

Skipper also said it is important to move into new areas now to suss out the markets. 

“We’re going to be in Bulgaria [where Pulev is from]. Maybe 100,000 people will subscribe. Maybe that’ll make us think about going into Bulgaria and buying — I’m making this up — Greco-Roman wrestling,” Skipper said. “And maybe we have a little business. Maybe it’s 250,000 subscribers and we get $2 a month, so it’s a $6 million-a-year business. But we’re there.”

While the new global product will initially be the same in every country, Skipper said that that strategy will evolve to have more regionalized content. “The second wave is going to be, we’re going to get calls from 8,000 rights holders in 173 countries who say, ‘Have you thought about the diving championships in the Tiwi Islands?’” he said. 

In August, DAZN had reportedly been looking to raise $1 billion and go public through an IPO or merging with a special purpose acquisition company, as a few other sports entities have done in recent years.

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