DAZN Group, the international sports media firm and parent company of the over-the-top subscription platform, has today announced new financing arrangements with Access Industries, its parent company and principal shareholder, to carry out its sports streaming strategy.
The platform said the agreement will allow it to “maintain its strong commercial momentum”.
Having secured several premium sports rights during 2021, Access Industries, owned by Len Blavatnik, recapitalized the business last December.
As part of the recapitalization, it subscribed for $4.3 billion of new shares in DAZN Group Limited, converting existing preference shares and retiring shareholder loans.
This left the group without borrowings at the end of 2021. Access has additionally subscribed for a further $250 million of new shares post-recapitalization.
Last year, DAZN landed domestic broadcast rights to Italian soccer’s Serie A in a three-year deal that began this season, as well as signing a four-year global deal for the UEFA Women’s Champions League, and a five-year global boxing deal with Matchroom Boxing.
In late 2021, the sports streaming service also acquired rights to Spanish soccer’s LaLiga for the next five seasons.
This followed a new domestic rights deal for Germany’s Bundesliga in 2020 under a sub-licensing agreement with US media giant Discovery.
DAZN claims these major deals “paved the way” for Access to recapitalize the business.
Kevin Mayer, DAZN Group chairman, said: “This backing by Access represents a strong vote of confidence in DAZN’s strategy, progress, and future growth opportunities. We are also grateful for the continued support of Dentsu, our second-largest shareholder.
“We are expecting another exciting year in 2022 as our platform diversifies into the true global destination for sports fans.”
It emerged in May 2020 that Blavatnik had been seeking funding for DAZN through the sale of an equity stake.
DAZN's business model – monthly subscription fees with no long-term contracts – became susceptible to the coronavirus pandemic that decimated the global sports calendar almost two years ago, but business eventually picked following the return of live sport.
In December 2020, DAZN launched its global streaming service in more than 200 markets, with boxing at its core.
Last month, DAZN announced a new structure and changes to its leadership with Shay Segev named the sole chief executive of the group, having been sharing the responsibility with company co-founder James Rushton since January 2021.
Rushton will continue with his focus on overseeing growth in local markets, rights, and content.
The company also appointed Darren Waterman as chief financial officer, who joined from Amazon.
DAZN recently missed out on a deal to acquire UK pay-TV broadcaster BT Sport despite months of negotiations, with BT instead opting to create a sport joint venture in the UK and Ireland with Discovery.