DAZN has said it has no involvement in the creation of the controversial European Super League.
Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport reported that the streamer has been working on the formation of the league and was willing to pay $3.5 billion for the TV rights to the European SuperLeague if it goes ahead.
DAZN has since released a statement to Reuters denying the suggestion. “In relation to a report by Corriere dello Sport today, this and related reports are false. Neither DAZN nor Mr Blavatnik [DAZN’s founder] are in any way involved or interested in entering into discussions regarding the establishment of a Super League and no conversations have taken place,” it said.
The European Super League is being touted as a new midweek competition, taking the place of the UEFA Champions League. Six English clubs are part of the project, alongside teams from Spain and Italy.
It’s thought the new league could kick off as early as August.
A spokesperson for BT Sport, which holds both Premier League and UEFA Champions and Europe League rights, said, “BT recognises the concerns raised by many of football’s leading voices and fans, and believes the formation of a European Super League could have a damaging effect to the long term health of football in this country.
“As a sport broadcaster showing Premier League, UEFA club football and National League football as well as being lead partner for all the Home Nations football teams, we strongly believe that football makes a significant positive contribution to people’s lives at every level, and this needs to be protected.”
As to what the breakaway league could mean for the sale of football rights in the future, analyst Alex DeGroote tells TVBEurope we’re entering unchartered territory. “Realistically, this could mean fragmentation of rights spend and a reluctance to pay top dollar by broadcasters. The Premier League rights value will be negatively impacted, and this will trickle down all other leagues including Champions League.”
The other big question is whether fans will be willing to pay to watch the ESL. DeGroote says possibly.”This is about global pay-per-view, and replicating the US franchise model in Europe,” he adds. “The format however looks unattractive. There’s no relegation and nothing to play for most of the time, as it features the same clubs.”