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DAZN hit by US$1.3bn loss for 2020

Disruption to sports calendar sees streaming company’s revenue grow just 6% to US$871.8m.

24 February 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • Operating costs fall 27% YoY to US$2bn
  • DAZN agreed US$4.3bn recapitalisation with Access Industries last week

Digital sports media company DAZN suffered losses of US$1.3 billion in 2020, as Covid-19 disrupted the sporting calendar.

Revenue rose only six per cent year-on-year (YoY) from US$819 million to US$871.8 million. In contrast, DAZN’s revenue grew 76 per cent in the year prior.

Income was stifled due to customers ending their subscriptions, as well as a lack of new signups, while sport remained in shutdown from March to July 2020.

DAZN’s net loss for 2020 was lower than the US$1.4 billion posted for the 2019 financial year. At the time, the company said that Access Industries, its principal shareholder, had provided sufficient funds to continue.

‘Revenue growth in 2020 was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with most sporting events being significantly reduced or cancelled during the initial few months of the pandemic,’ DAZN said.

The company added: ‘When sports content resumed in the latter half of the year, the group saw improved subscriber and revenue growth.’

Operating costs fell almost 27 per cent YoY to US$2 billion, mainly due to DAZN spending less on sports broadcasting rights as a result of rebates and contract determinations during the first year of the pandemic.

DAZN’s accounts for 2021 are due by the end of September.

Last week, the company announced a new financing agreement with Access Industries. The recapitalisation saw Access Industries subscribe US$4.3 billion of new equity in the controlling DAZN Group by converting existing preference shares and retiring shareholder loans.

DAZN said the move would maintain its ‘strong commercial momentum’, adding that it clears the debt from its accounts.

Access has also been subscribed a further US$250 million in new shares following the recapitalisation, which DAZN plans to invest in betting, gaming, ecommerce and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It comes after Peter Parmenter, DAZN’s senior vice president, told SportsPro in November that the company was eyeing a number of different areas to complement its subscription model.

Elsewhere in the sports streaming space, FuboTV has announced it delivered record annual revenue of US$637 million in 2021, a YoY increase of 144 per cent.

For the fourth quarter, FuboTV posted US$230 million in revenue, up 119 per cent YoY. The company reported a net loss of US$112 million for the quarter.

The acquisition of French TV streaming company Molotov SAS for €164.3 million (US$183.5 million) in November also brought in an extra US$1 million of revenue.

FuboTV added that it closed 2021 with 1.13 million total paid subscribers, up 106 per cent from the prior year. The company added 185,000 net subscribers in Q4.

FuboTV said it expected to drive over US$1 billion in total revenue this year.

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