DAZN 'eyes $500m investment boost' to fund global expansion
DAZN, the big-spending international over-the-top streaming subscription service, is seeking to raise at least $500 million, according to reports.
The company operates in nine markets, and has publicly stated an aim of being in 20 territories, with the funds likely to be used to support that expansion, Bloomberg has reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Goldman Sachs is working on the fundraising.
DAZN's outlay on premium sports rights over the past few years has been bankrolled by owner Len Blavatnik (pictured), a multi-billionaire.
Speaking at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London two weeks ago, executive chairman John Skipper said DAZN was targeting large markets to expand its profile, citing the UK, where the company is headquartered, as a "logical market."
However, he stressed that a UK service would require premium soccer rights.
DAZN launched in 2016 and is now available in Japan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, Spain and Brazil where this week it picked up rights to the new Basketball Champions League Americas club competition. The 12-team tournament gets under way next week.
In April, DAZN sold a majority stake in its business-to-business data and betting arm Perform Content to US private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, which merged it with Stats.
DAZN has previously been linked with a stock market listing in either London or New York.
Meanwhile, DAZN today announced an agreement with Pluto TV, the free streaming service in USA, to deliver its 'DAZN Fight Zone', a three-hour weekly programming block featuring content from some of the biggest match-ups in combat sports.
Archived classic fights, DAZN-produced original shows and programming specials, open workouts, press conferences and official weigh-ins will feature on Pluto TV, which claims to have 18 million active monthly users.
Joseph Markowski, DAZN executive vice-president of North America, said: “By partnering with Pluto TV, we’re able to put DAZN content in front of the paywall which allows us to grow our brand and drive people to our key upcoming events. This fall, DAZN has the best schedule in boxing and we’ll be looking to send that message across as many channels as possible.”
Jeff Shultz, chief business officer at Pluto TV, added: “We have seen the demand for high-quality sports content grow over the years, and DAZN’s premier matchups in combat sports deliver to the standard expected from our audience.”
DAZN has built up its business in USA on the back of combat sports, notably an eight-year, $1-billion tie-up with UK promoter Matchroom Boxing, but has also made a play for the major leagues, in the shape of a three-year, $300-million deal with baseball's MLB that started this season and entails weeknight shows featuring live look-ins across various games taking place.
An annual pass costs $99.99, with a monthly subscription offered at $19.99.
Last month, DAZN struck its first distribution deal in USA, with Comcast, the media powerhouse.