DAZN seeks investment as it inks Kudelski IP deal | Media Investment | Business
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Not long ago regarded as the hottest property, and indeed the future, in sports broadcasting, online sports and entertainment streaming site DAZN has reportedly been forced into seeking alternative funding after the coronavirus outbreak has seen revenue streams for regular sports dry up.
Canelo Alvarez DAZN 2March2020
According to reports in the Financial Times,  the billionaire owner of the so-called Netflix of sports owner, Len Blavatnik, is exploring options to raise money for the 2016-launched business which is also said to be seeking to defer payments it owes to sports leagues which have been forced into postponement. As action has disappeared, subscribers have ceased making regular payments.

This is quite the reversal in fortune for a company which only two years ago was valued at around £3 billion after selling a 10% equity stake to Dentsu for £300 million. In March 2020, DAZN announced plans to expand its reach and presence massively in 2020, branching out to more than 200 countries and territories. At the time DAZN had debuted services in nine countries – Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United States – across four continents.

A month earlier it launched the launched its biggest-ever football package, aggregating the DAZN Group’s digital football media assets across OTT, social and VOD for the first time. The package includes sponsorship of live football coverage on DAZN which covers more than 95 leagues and competitions, including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Copa del Rey, CONMEBOL Libertadores, CONMEBOL Sudamericana, MLS and J.League, among other competitions. Football complemented the company’s traditional strength in boxing with DAZN holding international rights to many of the world’s top promotional companies including Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing USA and GGG Promotions.

According to the FT, the sale of an equity stake in the business is Blavatnik’s preferred option and adds that in recent weeks DAZN has met with a number of interested parties including Liberty Global. Neither party, nor any other company, has confirmed a meeting has taken place.

As it was seeking investment, DAZN could confirm that it had entered into a technology and intellectual property licence agreement with  digital security specialist Kudelski Group. “This agreement further validates the relevance of the Group’s technology and intellectual property to the streaming video market. It provides DAZN with a framework to access Kudelski’s cutting edge streaming video technologies as well as access to certain key intellectual property rights for their current products and future innovations in the video market”, explained Gilles Rapin senior vice-president, innovation and business development at the Kudelski Group.