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DAZN to acquire Eleven in move that bolsters global sports offering

Deal will allow DAZN to enter new markets and expand its international OTT platform.

27 September 2022 Steve McCaskill

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  • DAZN gains presence in new European and Asian territories
  • Elevensports.com offers 40,000 live soccer games each year
  • Deal also includes social media firm Team Whistle

Sports streaming service DAZN is to acquire rival Eleven in a move that will allow it to offer premium localised services in new markets, while dramatically expanding the volume and variety of content available on its international platform.

The deal will see DAZN become the main domestic broadcaster for the respective top soccer leagues in Belgium and Portugal, while also gaining a significant foothold in Poland, as well as expanding its reach in Asia outside Japan. Eleven has localised services in many key Asian territories, including Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, DAZN’s international service, which mainly comprises combat sports and the Uefa Women’s Champions League at present, will be boosted by a vast array of events from Eleven’s global platform – including a 40,000-strong portfolio of live annual soccer games that were secured via the 2020 acquisition of MyCujoo.

Eleven’s wider business also includes social media firm Team Whistle, as well as live service technology acquired through the 2020 purchase of MyCujoo.

DAZN says this combination of broadcast rights, scale, and technology will enhance its vision of becoming a global ‘one-stop shop’ for sports fans.

“The acquisition adds scale to our business,” said Shay Segev, DAZN chief executive. “It is a big step forward in our mission to be the leading global sports platform.

“DAZN has invested in building a revolutionary digital sports platform, where fans can enjoy the full range of interactive sport entertainment. We are looking forward to expanding these capabilities to new markets as well as leveraging Eleven’s capabilities in DAZN.”

“This deal marks an acceleration of our strategy to diversify our offerings and leverage our fantastic sports properties and our platform into new markets and business models,” added Kevin Mayer, DAZN chairman.

“Team Whistle is a growing business that has a proven track record in monetising short form content. It will be hugely valuable to DAZN as we look to generate the maximum value from our enviable rights portfolio, creating new formats of content to reach new audiences and generate powerful incremental revenue streams.”

Financial details have not been disclosed but DAZN predicts the acquisition will boost revenues by US$300 million a year. It has also been confirmed that Eleven founder Andrea Radrizzani will join DAZN’s board as an executive director once the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is completed.

SportsPro says…

While streaming in general might be a global enterprise, as demonstrated by the likes of Netflix and Disney+, sport remains local and fragmented. Creating a global sports streaming service is a difficult endeavour and therefore makes DAZN’s acquisition of Eleven a logical step to take. 

Once the deal is wrapped up, DAZN will expand its presence to cover most of Western Europe and it will also gain a firmer foothold in Asia, where its interest has so far been limited to Japan. Upon completion, DAZN will be a domestic broadcaster for the major soccer leagues in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal and Spain, while having the rights to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League across much of East and Southeast Asia.

This expanded presence combined with the addition Eleven’s streaming technology, which is used to power streaming on the Fifa+ direct to consumer (DTC) platform, will help DAZN achieve economies of scale from both a branding and technological perspective.

The addition of Elevensports.com also should not be underestimated. A vast array of content and huge potential reach will help DAZN in its ambition to become not just a sports broadcaster but a sports platform that serves up content, ecommerce capabilities, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and in-play betting, diversifying revenues beyond subscription.

It is fair to say DAZN has moved on from the failed attempt to buy BT Sport in the UK earlier this year.

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