DAZN Group, which operates the international sports streaming service, made an operating loss of $1.06 billion in 2022, an improvement from a loss of $1.35 billion in 2021.

The UK-based group disclosed its accounts for the 12 months up to December 31, 2022, yesterday (December 18).

In total, when taxation charges and other factors are taken into account, the group loss for 2022 came to $1.25 billion, with the equivalent figure for 2021 having been $2.33 billion – that number was heavily affected by “finance costs.”

In terms of revenue last year, meanwhile, the group – which operates in over 200 countries now with key markets including Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, the US, and Canada – brought in $2.19 billion last year, a 41% increase year-on-year (YoY).

Revenue from the direct-to-consumer side of DAZN increased to $2.12 billion, from $1.46 billion in 2021.

However, income from its broadcast partnerships segment fell by $19.9 million, to $74.7 million. This, DAZN has said in its annual report, “reflects competition cyclicality.”

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The geographical spread of income shows that Europe, the Middle East, and Africa brought in $1.65 billion last year, with all other regions contributing $542.8 million.

In terms of operating costs – excluding rights costs – these came to $893.9 million.

Rights costs for 2022, meanwhile, came to $2.36 billion, up from $1.92 billion in 2021.

As of December 31 last year, DAZN Group had “commitments to acquire sports content rights” totaling $7.6 billion, up from $6.4 billion at the end of 2021.

These figures left an operating margin of 48.4%, as opposed to 87% the prior year.

Key milestones for DAZN in 2022 included the acquisition of domestic streaming rights to Spanish men’s soccer’s top-tier LaLiga until 2027, and the launch of the DAZN Bet sportsbook and gaming brand.

That division went live in the UK in August last year and has since launched in Italy, Spain, and Germany.

Earlier this month, DAZN announced details of its soon-to-be-launched free tier that will see a range of its live content made available without a subscription.

Each week, a selection of live matches from DAZN’s portfolio of rights will be made available for free to registered users on the DAZN platform and partner channels, including top-tier domestic soccer leagues in Japan (J.League), Spain (LaLiga), and (Italy Serie A), pan-European soccer’s UEFA Women’s Champions League, American football’s NFL, the Professional Fighters League mixed martial arts promotion and boxing events.

The freemium service will be launched in Germany by the end of this month before launching globally in early 2024, with the service hoping to capture new subscribers on the back of trying out the free service.

Bloomberg recently reported that DAZN has held early talks with potential advisors about raising as much as $1 billion in capital in the coming months to fund its efforts to secure more top-tier streaming rights.