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DAZN Acquires ELEVEN Group, Expanding International Soccer Coverage in Europe, Asia

Matt Tamanini

As the battle for streaming sports rights continues to intensify domestically with multiple conglomerates competing for the NFL Sunday Ticket package and three broadcast networks combining to reportedly pay over $8 billion per year for the Big Ten rights, streaming services are also making moves abroad as sports streamer DAZN announced on Tuesday that it had acquired ELEVEN Group’s global sports media businesses. ELEVEN is a worldwide sports media platform that has aired over 65,000 hours of live content over the past year.

Launching in 2015, DAZN has become a leader in sports streaming, especially internationally. While the service is a major broadcaster of combat and niche sports in the United States, it owns major soccer rights in multiple markets internationally and the addition of ELEVEN Group’s rights will only increase its standing in broadcasting the beautiful game.

ELEVEN holds the rights for the top football leagues in Portugal and Belgium while also having a presence in Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets. These additions complement DAZN’s current market-leading rights in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, and Japan.

“The acquisition adds scale to our business. It is a big step forward in our mission to be the leading global sports platform,” DAZN Group’s CEO Shay Segev said. “DAZN has invested in building a revolutionary digital sports platform, where fans can enjoy the full range of interactive sport entertainment. We are looking forward to expanding these capabilities to new markets as well as leveraging ELEVEN’s capabilities in DAZN.”

The acquisition will up DAZN’s slate of international soccer matches to over 40,000 per year. Combined, the companies will create the world’s biggest portfolio of women’s football content. ELEVEN owns the rights to women’s content from across six confederations, while DAZN already controls the rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Liga F in Spain, the English FA Women’s Super League and the Women’s FA Cup, and Japanese WE League, among others.

Additionally, through a strategic relationship, ELEVEN plays a key role in FIFA's over-the-top (OTT) free streaming service FIFA+, by supporting the production, delivery, and distribution of live games from over 90 FIFA Member Associations. Overall, the deal is expected to add approximately $300m per year to DAZN Group’s revenues.

Also included in the acquisition is ELEVEN’s social media-focused business Team Whistle, which has over 700 million followers across its various channels and generates 5 billion views per month. Between the combined rights and social media presence, DAZN believes this deal “creates a powerful proposition.”

“We have developed a successful sports media company in the last six years with ELEVEN, and we’re delighted that this journey continues,” ELEVEN founder and chairman Andrea Radrizzani said. “The merger will provide greater opportunities as a group to continue to build a global destination for sports fans, which was our mission from day one.”

Upon completion of the deal, Radrizzani — who also owns English Premier League team Leeds United — will join DAZN’s board as an executive director and will support the DAZN Group’s business development.

DAZN

DAZN is a live sports subscription streaming service that offers 80+ fights a year from Matchroom USA, Bellator, Golden Boy Promotions, World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas.

They are the exclusive home to Canelo’s next 11 fights, starting with his December 15th bout against Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden, plus 10 of Golden Boy Promotion’s best fights.

For all fights, they include every match from the entire undercard through the main event. DAZN is available for $9.99 a month, after a one-month free trial.

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