Global digital sports media company DAZN recorded a loss of US$1.4 billion for 2019 despite logging a 76 per cent increase in revenue, according to a report by SportBusiness.
The industry outlet reports that UK-headquartered DAZN saw its income for the year reach US$878 million, up from US$497.8 million for 2018, when the company recorded a loss of UK£485.5 million (US$659.1 million).
According to the report, DAZN’s revenue increase for the year was driven by advertising income exceeding US$100 million for the first time and a higher subscriber count, which at the end of 2019 stood at close to eight million.
DAZN declined to comment on the report when contacted by SportsPro.
The company’s finances for 2019 precede the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw DAZN withhold rights payments while the live sport in its portfolio was put on hold.
Despite the impact of the health crisis, 2020 still saw DAZN go ahead with the launch of its global over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, which went live in December with a focus on the company’s boxing content.
DAZN also continued to divest its interest in non-core assets last year as it looked to ramp up its focus on its streaming business.
In September, DAZN sold a majority stake in its soccer platforms Goal.com, Spox and VoetbalZone to Integrated Media Company (IMC), a platform backed by US-based investment firm TPG, in a deal valuing the three brands at US$100 million. It then offloaded the Sporting News website to Pax Holdings, an investment firm based in the UK and Hong Kong with clients in gaming and betting.
DAZN has spent handsomely to acquire major sports rights across various markets since being established nearly five years ago. As of April 2019, the company’s rights commitments totalled US$6.1 billion.
The company’s over-the-top (OTT) streaming service was first launched in Austria, Germany and Switzerland in 2016, closely followed by Japan later that year. In 2019 the platform was rolled out in Brazil and Spain after going live in Italy and the United States a year earlier.