Boxing streaming giant DAZN is reportedly in the final stages of a deal to sell its global football portal Goal.com for ‘as much as $125million’ according to a report in the United States.
The self-styled ‘Netflix of sports’, which is expected to be a major player in the battle for TV rights if and when Tyson Fury meets Anthony Joshua for the undisputed world heavyweight title. has been hit hard by the lack of live sport due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And a recent Financial Times report claimed its billionaire owner Len Blavatnik has been looking to find either investment or even a buyer to secure DAZN’s future.
Now it appears, according to the New York Times, that the UK-based company is finding other ways to raise cash – notably via the sale of its biggest consumer portal Goal.com.
The potential buyer named in the report is investment giant TPG – which also has stakes in a broad range of media and entertainment brands – including Spotify and the Creative Artists Agency.
The NYT report claims that under the proposals for the sale DAZN has committed to continue working with Goal, and adds that talks about the prospective deal began late last year as the streaming platform looked to fully concentrate on its subscription-based broadcast platform.
DAZN (then Perform Group) acquired Goal for an undisclosed figure (believed to be around £18m) back in 2011 and the site was believed to have had a web audience of around 70m unique users by the time of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. If the figure in the NYT report is correct, the sale would likely reflect a significant profit on that initial investment. Goal is now available in 19 different languages.
Goal.com is just one of the websites owned by DAZN
As well as Goal.com, DAZN owns a number of other consumer portals including Sporting News (active in the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan), leading German brand Spox and prominent Dutch outlet Voetbalzone.
DAZN made a huge splash in the boxing market when it launched its United States service back in 2018, signing a reported $1bn eight-year pact with leading UK promoter Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing outfit. It later dropped $365m on Mexican megastar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to screen his fights and also signed his bitter middleweight rival Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin among others. Since that 2018 launch it has aired Joshua’s fights in the United States.
The streaming platform had been planning a global rollout of its product with boxing again at the forefront earlier this year, but that had to be delayed after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sale would be just the latest example of DAZN offloading assets to concentrate on the streaming operation – last year its highly profitable Perform subsidiary went to Vista Equity Partners for a reported $1bn.
DAZN’s next financial results are due to be registered with the UK’s Companies House in September.