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DAZN Are Eyeing Up Premier League Rights With Billionaire Backing

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DAZN Are Eyeing Up Premier League Rights With Billionaire Backing

DAZN are ready to target Premier League viewing rights alongside a variety of other top-level sport in the UK.

The streaming giants are currently known as 'the Netflix of Sport' and are expanding worldwide - launching in 200 new countries/territories last year.

But complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic means they're ready to switch gears under new chairman Kevin Mayer.

He told CNBC: "To have staying power, you need to deliver the sports that matter to consumers no matter where they are. And those are the local sports.

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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

"So in the UK, the English Premier League and maybe some cricket and maybe some rugby.

"In Germany, it's Bundesliga, which is their equivalent of the EPL. In Japan, it's baseball.

"So you have to get those local rights in those countries. And that's how you can make a real service take hold."

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Premier League rights in the UK are currently held by Sky, BT and Amazon with select games currently airing on the BBC.

Those packages don't run out until 2022 and then bidding for new contracts up to 2025 will commence.

When asked if getting those rights will be realistic, Mayer replied: "Yeah, I think we are positioned to do it. We have the capital to do it, and Len Blavatnik [owner of DAZN Group] is committed to it. And it's going to work.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA
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"It's a flywheel that happens. Once it starts spinning, you can create momentum.

"You get the rights, you get the subscribers, you put yourself in the position that you should reasonably be the person that can pay more than the second highest bidder the next time around.

"What ESPN did in wholesale, that's what we're going to do in retail. ESPN did this to the pay-TV guys. ESPN bought rights, they charged more, they bought more rights.

"You can recreate that with local rights in local markets. And I think that's what we're going to do."

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DAZN currently share the rights to Serie A with Sky in Italy and have also made inroads in countries such as Germany and Japan.

Mayer continued on and explained why he believes DAZN is the 'future' when it comes to watching sport.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

He said: "It's interesting. Remember, I launched ESPN+ in the US, and I ran that.

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"That was based on getting the UFC rights, plus baseball rights, plus a ton of college sports and other sports. It was like 12,000 events or something on ESPN+.

"Sports, like every other visual entertainment content type, is going to be an over-the-top service. That's just where everything is headed.

"Traditional pay-TV is declining, both here and in Europe. In most markets in Europe, it never really had the foothold that it had here.

"DAZN is mostly focused in Europe and Asia. They have a big business in Japan and then key markets in Europe. It has a global footprint through boxing and a few other sports. That's what you see in the US and other countries.

"So I think it's a really interesting platform. It reminds me of what we did at ESPN+. And I do think it's the future of sports."

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Football, Premier League

Daniel Marland
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