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DAZN agrees deal to acquire rival ELEVEN Sports

The deal will see DAZN gain the rights to top-tier football in both Portugal and Belgium, as well as its existing rights deals in Italy, German-speaking markets and Spain

The sports streaming market just got a little smaller following the announcement DAZN has agreed a deal to acquire rival ELEVEN Sports.

Financial details of the deal have not been announced, but it does include Team Whistle, a short-form social media content provider, which will bring total revenue of around $300 million a year, DAZN said.

The deal will see DAZN gain the rights to top-tier football in both Portugal and Belgium, as well as its existing rights deals in Italy, German-speaking markets and Spain.

DAZN was also keen to stress that the acquisitions provides the streamer with a presence in Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets.

The company added that the expansion gives it access to new audiences as it “builds out its global platform and becomes a one-stop shop for everything a sports fan wants”, including access its library of live and on-demand content, analysis, highlights, merchandise, ticketing, gaming, and betting.

Another key feature of the deal, said DAZN, is ELEVEN’s role in FIFA’s OTT service FIFA+, supporting the production, delivery, and distribution of live games from over 90 FIFA member associations.

Shay Segev, CEO, DAZN Group said: “The acquisition adds scale to our business. It is a big step forward in our mission to be the leading global sports platform. I have a great deal of respect for what Andrea, Marc and the team have achieved and look forward to working with them as we further expand our ambitions. Together we form the strongest and most credible management team in the sector.

“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.”

Upon completion of the deal, Andrea Radrizzani, ELEVEN’s founder, will join DAZN’s board as an executive director, and will support the DAZN Group’s business development.

According to analyst Paolo Pescatore, the sports streaming market is seeing something of a reality check with both this deal and Viaplay’s acquisition of Premier Sports earlier in the summer. “While competition seems to be healthy, the battle for rights and subscribers is leading to a hugely fragmented landscape. This coupled with a lack of a diversified business model is placing further pressure on providers. Sports owners will always seek to drive the value of their prized assets. Moving forward they need to rethink how best to achieve this to avoid damaging their brand and asset,” he told TVBEurope.

Pescatore added the deal comes at a crucial time given the cost of living crisis. “This will cause a domino effect and inevitably have a knock-on effect on all operations and subscriber’s willingness to sign up or continue paying for a subscription that is no longer needed,” he continued. “Prices are all heading in the wrong direction; no one is immune, with consumers all feeling the pinch and tightening their belts.

“During these unprecedented times with uncertainty the new certainty, scale, will help improve margins. Hence why the growing focus on consolidation and corporate activity as a viable strategic option.”