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DAZN Shifts Focus to a Global Audience

Jeff Kotuby

When DAZN first came into our lives, it looked to be an ambitious sports startup with powerful ESPN pedigree. Former ESPN chief John Skipper was at the helm. In his time at ESPN, SKIPPER led the company to record highs and massive TV deals with popular sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB. After DAZN secured American streaming rights to MLB and popular combat sport properties like Bellator, GGG Promotions, and Golden Boy Promotions, the service seemed poised to break out in 2020.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic swept up the globe and canceled most live sporting events — and DAZN had to pivot on its goals. Rather than looking solely to the United States and Latin America, DAZN is looking towards the rest of the world to make an impact in the sports streaming game. Then, the company’s push into boxing fell flat after high-priced signings Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez would never finish their three-fight saga after Alvarez defeated Golovkin in the first two bouts and refused to face him again.

With a renewed focus on expanding to the global market, DAZN is looking to local and niche sports streaming rights. Of course, soccer is the big fish, as evidenced by DAZN acquiring streaming rights to Germany’s Bundesliga beginning in the 2021-22 season, as well as rights to Britain’s Premier League, Champions League, the Women’s World Cup, the FA Cup, Serie A, Ligue 1, and more, in countries like Austria, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland.

Also included in DAZN’s international catalogue are basketball, motorsport, and cycling, as well as niche sports like darts, handball, table tennis, and even pro wrestling with its recent signing of Major League Wrestling (MLW) to the service.

DAZN has already started acquiring the rights for American sports leagues in other countries. This concept was Skipper’s idea, who sought to improve relationships with these big brands for eventual U.S.-based business by starting with oversea deals. Whatever they’re doing seems to be working, as DAZN is now on track to hit about 13 million subscribers by the end of 2021, according to numbers sourced by The Information.

DAZN is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, iPhone/iPad, Android Phone/Tablet, Web Browsers, Xbox, PlayStation, LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, and VIZIO Smart TV. In the U.S., DAZN is available for $19.99 a month or $99.99 per year.

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