DAZN is reportedly in talks to acquire Eleven Sports, a multinational broadcaster and a director competitor to the company, according to The Financial Times. The deal will seek to secure the complete Eleven Sports assets and transfer them to DAZN, which is advancing aggressively across the global sports and interactive wagering landscape, seeking to secure a bigger share.
DAZN Still Eager to Get Broadcasting Asset in the UK
While the deal is in advanced stages, the media said, there is no guarantee that Eleven Sports and DAZN will reach an agreement. DAZN’s push to acquire an established rival comes after it began talks to buy out BT Sport, a UK pay-TV competitor. The proposed sale fell through though as BT Sport and DAZN failed to reach a mutually beneficial agreement the companies said at a time.
BT quickly moved to merge with Warner Bros Discover in the United Kingdom and Ireland, though, leaving DAZN behind. Well, this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, as DAZN is keen to pursue its attempts to enter the UK market with a local broadcasting ally that it can remake in its own image.
Eleven Sports is controlled by Andrea Radrizzani, Leeds United’s owner, and as such it will raise the negotiation bar for DAZN which would need to ensure that it tables the right offer. Radrizzani’s Asher investment has the rights to Formula 1 in Poland and the UEFA Champions League and Premier League in Portugal, making the selling party a business with a serious understanding of the value of good branding.
This is only increased by the fact that DAZN is determined to break into the UK market through a local asset, which will empower it to continue securing market share. Even though the BT Sport deal failed, though, DAZN has been working to ensure that an alternative asset is discovered. DAZN is facing mounting losses as it pursues rapid expansion. The loss in 2020 amounted to $1.3 billion.
DAZN’s Pursuit in the UK Raises Entry Bar
Securing Eleven though would ensure that DAZN’s gamble with its debt has been the result of a long-term strategy rather than the willful appetite for gobbling up competitors most companies go through at one point or another. DAZN’s sports betting solution has been gathering a lot of momentum at the same time, as the streaming giant brought in Entain’s former chief executive officer, Shay Segev, to help spearhead the company’s efforts in this terra nova.
DAZN has been on a merry-go-round of hires in recent weeks and months. The company brought on Kevin Alvarez as Head of IT operations. The company also hired Pete Everson as head of talent and secured Matt Hartington as director of legal.