DAZN, the international sports streaming platform, has expanded its women’s soccer portfolio after acquiring Ata Football, the women’s soccer-focused digital platform backed by sports investment firm 777 Partners, from start-up company Atalanta Media.
Founded by Esmeralda Negron and Hannah Brown in 2020, Atalanta Media was set up to increase the visibility of women’s soccer by buying up rights to women’s leagues and distributing them to high-profile broadcasters for free to accelerate the visibility of women’s soccer.
Its digital platform Ata Football has several partnerships with broadcasters and rights-owners to stream women’s soccer content live and on-demand on its platform, including Italy’s top-tier Serie A Femminile and the pan-European UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The deal will see Negron and Brown stay on with DAZN, leading a women’s sports business unit within the company.
DAZN Group chief executive Shay Segev said: “DAZN and Ata Football share the same view when it comes to women’s football, the strength of the game lies in its participants, fans, and distinct appeal.
"By harnessing these characteristics, we believe that DAZN can build on the foundations our investment in the women’s game has delivered so far. The progress that has been made in creating visibility for competitions like the UWCL, Liga F, and Frauen Bundesliga amongst others, has seen value created in the whole ecosystem.
“More viewers, higher attendances, and better sponsorship deals. With Esmeralda and Hannah joining the team at DAZN to establish a women’s sport business unit, we are confident that DAZN will keep setting the pace in this area of huge potential, as well as establishing even better and greater links with the communities that are driving the women’s game on to ever-increasing heights.”
The acquisition comes after DAZN’s recent investment into women’s soccer, including rights to the Women’s Champions League, Spain’s Liga F, and the US’ NWSL.
It also launched two women’s sport streaming services in DAZN Rise, a FAST service in Germany and Austria, and DAZN Women’s Football, also a FAST service that is available globally.
In a joint statement, Negron and Brown said: “Three years ago we recognized there was significant opportunity for the growth in audience and engagement in the women’s professional game, and also the real near-term challenges to achieve that.
“Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed the rise of women’s football in the storied clubs of Europe, significant investment, and development of leagues across all markets, exponential growth of national team football, and advocacy across the landscape.
“Now is the time to build the product, partnerships, and experiences to fuel the women’s football ecosystem and become the global community for fans and players of the game.
“We would like to thank 777 Partners who invested in us from launch for their belief in our vision and absolute commitment to ata football. This acquisition by DAZN to combine our assets and capabilities presents an extraordinary opportunity to build a truly global women’s football business; we can’t wait to get going.”
To read GlobalData Sport's interview with Negron on Atalanta Media's launch, read here.