The self-styled ‘Netflix of sports’, backed by Britain’s richest man Sir Leonard Blavatnik – has spent fortunes on building its streaming business since its launch in Germany in 2016.
DAZN spending fortunes on boxing
It moved into the United States market with boxing at the forefront in 2018, inking enormous deals with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and P4P king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
A UK and global launch followed in December 2020 and this summer Hearn left his long-term association with Sky Sports in the UK to go all in with DAZN.
World heavyweight king Anthony Joshua ends his current UK broadcast deal with Sky Sports following Saturday’s title defence against Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. And with a huge scramble for his services about to develop, it would appear DAZN will again be in pole position.
DAZN in for BT Sport, and how much would it cost?
Now reports in the Financial Times suggest DAZN is in advanced talks to top all of the deals it has done so far by acquiring BT Sport.
Any deal would allow BT to exit sports broadcasting to concentrate on its core business, and allow DAZN to take an even firmer foothold in the UK market. As well as broadcasting Tyson Fury fights, BT also has Premier League football rights along with UFC, rugby union, cricket and some more niche sports including Australian Rules Football.
The price for BT Sport? According to the FT, we are talking hundreds of millions of pounds. So not cheap, but then Blavatnik was valued at around £23billion in the latest Sunday Times Rich List. So effectively loose change for him.
A deal would open up many possibilities for DAZN in the UK market, one for example around a potential Fury vs Joshua heavyweight unification battle. An acquisition of BT Sport, and a move for Joshua, would leave DAZN in pole position to own the whole of the UK broadcast pie.