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DAZN “would love to have” Premier League rights, says Kevin Mayer

Streaming service’s chairman acknowledges that company could “possibly” be interested in acquiring BT Sport.

17 September 2021 Sam Carp

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  • DAZN was unable to bid for Premier League rights for next cycle as competition rolled over existing deal
  • Mayer also suggests that DAZN’s focus will not be on US market, where Premier League rights are coming up for grabs

Kevin Mayer, the chairman of DAZN, has reiterated that the subscription streaming service would be interested in acquiring domestic rights to the Premier League.

DAZN was unable to bid for Premier League coverage for the 2022/23 to 2024/25 cycle after English soccer’s top flight secured approval from the UK government to roll over its existing deals with pay-TV broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport, as well as streaming platform Amazon Prime Video.

Despite that, DAZN has been building out its content offering in the UK, which is where the company is based, predominantly through its recently agreed long-term rights deal with Matchroom Boxing.

However, speaking at this week’s Royal Television Society Convention in Cambridge, Mayer confirmed that DAZN still has its eye on the Premier League.

“We’re not trying to stir the pot, we’re just trying to get the rights that matter,” he was reported as saying by Deadline and other outlets. “I would love to see the Premier League on DAZN in the future. It’s a huge market, incredibly popular sport, high quality experience, of course we’d want that.”

Mayer also reportedly acknowledged that one route to the Premier League could “possibly” be through an acquisition of BT Sport, whose parent company said in April that it was in talks ‘with a number of strategic partners’ over a potential sale.

“We would love to have EPL ultimately, how we get there, there are many paths to get there,” Mayer was quoted as saying by Reuters. “I’m philosophical about it, whatever makes most sense. BT Sport is a great business.”

While Mayer’s comments imply that DAZN remains intent on entering the Premier League’s domestic broadcast picture, he did suggest that the company would not be bidding to secure rights to the competition in the US.

Bloomberg reported this week that the Premier League is set to earn as much as US$2 billion from its next US media rights deal, with current broadcast partner NBC reportedly set to be rivalled by Disney, WarnerMedia and CBS.

Commenting on DAZN’s approach to the US, Mayer said: “I don’t think it would be smart for DAZN to have a real focus on the US. It’s an ultra-competitive market. We’re going to take a pretty light approach to the US, that’s not part of our core strategy.”

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