Looking to Become Netflix of Sports, DAZN Wants to Buy BT Sport

DAZN is looking to rapidly expand its reach with sports audiences around the world. Self-styling itself as the “Netflix of sports” whether the company reaches this goal would depend on how well it strikes home with sports audiences around the globe.

Netflix provides quality content en masse to all of its subscribers. DAZN has managed to bring a lot of quality sports coverage, but more is needed. Now, the company, whose name pronunciation has stirred tiffs between sports fans, wants to ensure that it can deliver more to more people. To become the streaming equivalent of Netflix in sports, though, DAZN would need an even greater base of content and viewers.

DAZN Makes a Play for BT Sport

Part of achieving this is the floated acquisition of BT Sport, another sizable broadcaster that focuses on sports content exclusively. DAZN is expected to make a move for the company valued at $800 million, as reported by Reuters.

DAZN or Da Zone, is looking to penetrate the UK sports market with BT Sport which is already pulling ahead of Sky Sports. By doing this, DAZN will be able to broadcast on-demand streaming services of some of the biggest soccer events, to name Premier League and UEFA Champions League, circumnavigating most hurdles it currently has to deal with.

DAZN was at one point prepared to table as much as $1.4 billion, but the offer was reduced, Reuters argues. Most of this is BT Sport’s own doing. Because of the group’s somewhat challenging finances, BT Sport’s content has been an asset, but an ailing bottom line has allowed DAZN to court the company for a lower price tag.

The truth is BT Sport’s success was also part of its “undoing.” Buying the rights for Champions League broadcasts, the company got access to excellent coverage, but it was also unable to recoup that investment. DAZN, though, is happy to buy on the cheap, it seems, and makes the most out of the existing partnerships.

DAZN’s UK Foray Is a Leg-up to Global Dominance

DAZN is already present in the United Kingdom, but the company mostly delivers on boxing footage, courtesy of its partnership with Matchroom Boxing, which made the service available for just $2.70.

Global audiences have swelled to 11 million subscribers, but the company has acknowledged that its growth has been somewhat stifled. One reason is the pandemic which was good to streaming and digital platforms in general, but a lack of content threw a spanner in the works.

Nevertheless, DAZN is moving to acquire BT Sport, and despite posting a $2.15 billion loss in 2019, the company seems to be confident that its gamble for global dominance will be a success. Netflix borrowed $16 billion in ten years to build up its content offer, so DAZN is still doing well.

In 2020, when the nadir of the pandemic wiped off sports from the map, Blavatnik’s Access Industries stepped in and provided $1 billion loan to prop up the company.

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