Telefonica, DAZN Forced to Rework F1 Rights Deal

    • Telefónica and DAZN will have to rework their deal on Formula 1 broadcasts in Spain due to terms that may violate a regulatory agreement.
    • The issue relates to Telefónica's 2015 acquisition of a majority stake in Distribuidora de Televisión Digital

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DAZN’s Formula 1 rights deal with Spanish company Telefónica is coming under regulatory scrutiny, creating a hurdle for the upstart streaming network.

DAZN had struck a deal with Telefónica in January for exclusive rights in Spain for F1’s 2021, 2022, and 2023 seasons. Telefónica would also carry DAZN’s dedicated F1 channel, and the content would be made available to third-party distributors.

However, Spain’s National Commission of Markets and Competition has told the two sides that the agreement will need to be reworked. The issue relates to terms Telefónica agreed to when it bought a 56% stake in Distribuidora de Televisión Digital for $829.6 million in 2015. 

  • The Spanish media giant agreed to make at least half of its premium content, including sports, available to competitors, with costs determined by a regulated formula.
  • Renegotiated terms with DAZN will likely reduce the price at which third parties may access DAZN’s F1 content in Spain.

Best known for fighting sports, DAZN offers a wide swath of leagues and tournaments in Spain, including the Premier League, MotoGP World Championship, Copa del Rey, UFC, basketball’s EuroCup, WTA, and Coppa Italia.

The network said this week it expects its subscriber count to reach pre-pandemic levels of around 8 million by the fourth quarter. It said in April it expects around $100 million in 2021 advertising revenue.