Sports Streaming Platform DAZN Plans May UK Launch

Leading sports OTT streaming platform DAZN will launch its services in the UK this May, aiming to challenge UK sports broadcasting’s status quo.

Closing on Monday, March 2nd, DAZN issued a statement outlining the company’s next growth phase in which the OTT network will extend its reach in 200 countries.

A UK debut is reportedly top of the agenda for DAZN, which could be the most disruptive industry player in UK sports broadcasting since the BT Sports network was launched in 2013.

Recent speculation points to DAZN’s arrival on the UK by broadcasting the weekend boxing clash between Saul ‘ Canelo ‘ Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders (scheduled for 2 May).

DAZN is said to be selling the OTT streaming service at an estimated £ 4.99 a month–a price point significantly lower than the Sky Sports and BT Sports packages.

As part of a US market strategy driven by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, DAZN’s streaming service will likely feature premium boxing content, as the OTT provider has built up a roster of champion boxers competing exclusively on its network.

Nevertheless, if DAZN decides to become the UK’s mass-market OTT sports service, media analysts expect it will bid for broadcasting rights in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.

John Skipper, former chief executive of ESPN, leads the global push for DAZN. He described the UK market as a’ logical step’ for the OTT network, speaking to media at DAZN’s press conference.

“In terms of the rights in this country, obviously you need Premier League rights, boxing is very important here and tennis is very important here,” he said.

The administration of the Premier League will hold the next round of broadcast rights deals in 2022, auctioning exclusive UK media packages that sold for a record £ 4.5 billion in 2018–the biggest media contract for any football league.

The stakes are high as DAZN prepares for its UK May debut, entering a market where the OTT platform will demonstrate its founding credentials in order to become the’ Netflix of Sports.’