Could DAZN Be Set To Arrive In The UK To Rival Sky & BT?
Streaming giants DAZN Group, formerly known as Perform Group, are making waves across the globe through their revolutionary platform as they look to shift how fans digest sports content.
DAZN are essentially the ‘Netflix of sport’ but with an obvious twist – they are streaming live sporting events to millions of fans in high definition. Admittedly, the content then lives on the platform on-demand, but it’s the live aspect of their service which sets it apart.
After setting up in Japan and acquiring the rights for the domestic J League and adding top competitions from Europe such as the Champions League and Europa League, the platform took off.
The UK company, backed by major shareholder and multi-billionaire Sir Len Blavatnik, is now in several territories across the globe. As well as Japan, DAZN now operates in Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, Brazil and the USA.
They hold the rights for the Premier League – the most-watched sports competition in the world – in six of those nine regions which proves their intentions in dominating the market.
Their invasion into the US market has seen them target combat sports with high-profile deals with promotional giants Bellator MMA, Matchroom Boxing and Goldenboy Promotions.
It means superstar fighters such as Saul Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Joshua and Rampage Jackson among others have their fights streamed exclusively on DAZN in the US.
DAZN have also struck a deal with Major League Baseball in the United States for a highlights show and when the TV rights for the other major US sports become available, one can certainly see the progressive company make aggressive moves in acquiring those rights.
The streaming service’s footloose nature has led many sports fans in the UK begging for DAZN to make their move down here and compete with the extortionate prices set by Sky and BT.
When probed on a potential UK invasion, head of operations in the US and Canada Joe Markowski refused to confirm or deny the company’s intentions.
“If we were to enter the UK we’d be a competitor for Sky Sports, no doubt – in the sports in which we chose to play,” he told IFL TV.
“We wouldn’t come immediately into the UK, as and when we do, and start competing for all rights, we’d be targetted in what we did. But I think there are no immediate plans to launch in the UK.”
Joe Markowski’s definition of ‘immediate’ would determine how much of a longshot it is to expect a DAZN launch in the near future.
With the Premier League selling their packages to Sky, BT and Amazon Prime for another three years starting from the 2019/20 season, perhaps DAZN is waiting to throw their hat into next round of bids in 2022?
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