DAZN to go global on 1 December with £1.99 per month sub
By Jonathan Rest
DAZN's much-anticipated global streaming service will officially launch on 1 December, with the high-profile Anthony Joshua versus Kubrat Pulev heavyweight boxing bout to headline the month's offering, the international over-the-top subscription platform announced today.
The global OTT offering was to go live in over 200 countries at the end of April, but the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent impact on the company's business delayed proceedings.
A beta testing phase began on 24 July, with a Golden Boy Promotions fight, which was streamed free of charge to those who had previously registered their interest in the service, and the global launch is now planned for the start of December, priced at just £1.99 ($2.60) or €1.99 ($2.34) per month.
In some markets, it will cost even less and it is hoped the accessible entry point will attract subscribers in the mass market of India, and boxing heartlands like Ukraine and Bulgaria, where Pulev is from.
The first live event on the global service will be the lightweight fight between American Ryan Garcia and the UK's Luke Campbell in USA on 5 December, followed a week later by the world title fight between Joshua, also of the UK, and Pulev in London.
To maximise the international audience across North America and Europe, the main events for both fights will start around 12am (GMT) and 7pm (ET).
Due to existing rights agreements, Joshua versus Pulev will not be available on DAZN in the UK and Ireland, where pay-TV's Sky holds exclusive rights to the Briton's fights.
DAZN will add more rights throughout the course of 2021, while aside from the two aforementioned live boxing bouts, there will be a large archive of classic fights, athlete features and original programming on the global offering.
Joseph Markowski, executive vice-president of DAZN, said on Wednesday: “From the UK to Mexico to Australia, we’ve seen an encouraging level of interest in our key events since first launching in 2016. We’re looking forward to introducing the DAZN platform around the world this December with an exciting schedule of fights.”
DAZN's business model - monthly subscription fees with no long-term contracts - meant it was most susceptible to the suspension of live sport earlier this year, but the company now expects its global subscriber base to return to pre-Covid-19 levels, around 8 million, during the fourth quarter, with the global OTT service at the core of that target.
DAZN is active in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, Japan and Spain, but last month announced it was winding down its dedicated offerings in Brazil and USA, folding them into the global service.