Mar 2, 2020 - Economy

ESPN streaming rival DAZN pushes major international expansion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

DAZN, an international sports streaming company, said Monday that it will expand to more than 200 countries and territories this year.

Why it matters: DAZN, pronounced "da-zone," is looking to take on ESPN as a global leader in sports streaming. Its current chairman, John Skipper, is the former president of ESPN.

Details: The company said it will host its first global event, a boxing match featuring Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez, on May 2, the Saturday before Cinco de Mayo.

  • That match will mark the first phase of DAZN’s global expansion, which will be an English-language service focused on boxing. Pricing by market will be announced in the coming weeks, the company said in a release.
  • The company has invested heavily in professional boxing rights over the past few years. The channel will also include past fights that DAZN has had the rights to stream.
  • DAZN EVP Joseph Markowski, who currently heads the company's North American business, will oversee the global service.

The big picture: If you haven't heard of DAZN, it's because it's more popular in markets abroad, like Germany and Japan, and until recently, the company mostly has focused on boxing in the U.S.

  • But executives are hoping to change that. Sources have told Axios that the company is eyeing rights to major U.S. sports leagues, including the NFL.
  • The company has reportedly been looking to raise $500 million to float its bids.
  • DAZN currently operates in nine countries: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S.

Go deeper: DAZN goes on offense

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