Global digital sports broadcaster, DAZN, has announced plans for rapid expansion to more than 200 countries and territories over the course of 2020, including Australia and New Zealand.
Based in London and already present in nine territories, DAZN (pronounced ‘Da Zone’) will now make its streaming subscription platform available more broadly and could emerge as a serious competitor to Fox Sports and Optus.
Running a similar over-the-top streaming platform to Kayo Sports, DAZN has successfully disrupted the traditional pay-TV model for sports across Europe and Asia, and is estimated to be spending between US$1 billion and US$1.5 billion per year on rights, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This first phase of DAZN’s global expansion will be an English-language service focused on boxing, building on the company’s significant investment in the sport over the past two years which includes international rights to many of the world’s top promotional companies including Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing USA and GGG Promotions.
The first event scheduled for global distribution will be Mexican star Canelo Alvarez’s soon-to-be-announced fight during Cinco de Mayo weekend, which will take place on 2nd May.
Fighters such as Alvarez and Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin will be part of a robust year-round portfolio of premium fights and original programming on the new service.
“Beginning this spring, most of the world will have access to DAZN and its unmatched schedule of boxing events,” DAZN Group Executive Chairman, John Skipper, said.
“Our roster of championship fighters represents some of the world’s most popular athletes and we’ll be working with them to stage spectacular international events for years to come.”
In 2019, DAZN streamed over half a billion hours of sport to millions of subscribers and that was just in nine countries.
“Since our launch in 2016, we’ve seen an encouraging level of interest around our key events from both international fans and potential partners, which highlighted the opportunity to capitalize on our existing rights portfolio within boxing to fuel our expansion,” DAZN EVP, Joseph Markowski who will oversee the global service said.
“Establishing DAZN as the global home of fight sports is just the first step and we couldn’t think of a better attraction for our inaugural event than Canelo’s traditional Cinco de Mayo Weekend fight.”
DAZN is expected to bid for the next round of rights to the Premier League in England, currently held by Sky Sports, BT and Amazon.
Industry sources anticipate a bid for the Australian rights, too, which have been the domain of Optus Sport since 2016.
Fox Sports holds the rights to broadcast the A-League until 2023, but reports suggest that Fox wouldn’t stand in the way if another broadcaster was to take the struggling competition off its hands for the right price.