Dammholz calls time on DAZN role
Kay Dammholz is to leave his leading rights and distribution position at the German-speaking operation of DAZN, the Perform-owned over-the-top subscription platform, at the end of August.
DAZN has announced that Dammholz (pictured), who joined just over two years ago from Bundesliga International, the worldwide sales and distribution arm of German soccer’s top flight, is leaving “at his own request” in order to “take on new professional challenges in the future.”
His successor has not been named and Thomas de Buhr, executive vice-president of DAZN in German-speaking markets, will assume his responsibilities in the interim.
Dammholz was one of DAZN’s headline personnel additions as it launched its service in German-speaking countries in the summer of 2016, seeking to tackle the dominance of pay-TV’s Sky Deutschland at an aggressive price point of €9.99 ($11.61) per month.
The service went live with rights to LaLiga, the Premier League, Serie A and Ligue 1, and recently renewed its rights to the French top flight until 2020-21.
Dammholz was key in negotiating the acquisition of Uefa Champions League and Europa League rights for the forthcoming three-season cycle.
The 49-year-old said: “I’m looking back at two incredibly exciting years at DAZN in which a lot has happened, especially in the field of sports rights. Among the many highlights were the acquisition of rights for the Uefa Champions League and the Uefa Europa League, the successful extension of the Spanish La Liga – an absolute core right in the DAZN portfolio – and the good and trusting cooperation with many rights holders and associations around the globe.
“It was great fun for me to play an active role in the development of DAZN in German-speaking countries. Now that many important projects have been completed and DAZN has finally made the step out of the niche and into the mainstream, I would like to continue on my path and take on new professional challenges. I wish DAZN and the entire team continuing success.”
Dammholz left his Bundesliga position when it became clear he was to join DAZN later in 2016 in order to avoid a conflict of interests during the league's European broadcast rights sales process.
He joined Bundesliga International (then DFL Sports Enterprises) in 2008 as the rights distribution arm of the DFL, Germany’s professional soccer league, opened for business in Frankfurt and began marketing rights from the 2009-10 season onwards.
He earlier worked for the Sportfive and Kentaro agencies.
Dammholz was part of a four-pronged management team unveiled two years ago at DAZN’s German-speaking operation as he assumed the Munich-based position of managing director of rights and distribution in a role that also included the negotiation of sub-licensing agreements.