Mar 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

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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PGA strikes $680 million TV rights deal with NBC, CBS, ESPN

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The PGA Tour has struck a 9-year rights deal with CBS Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN for around $680 million, Variety reports.

Why it matters: The value of distributing professional golf in the U.S. is increasing as more TV networks clamor to hold live sports rights. In the streaming era, live sports are keeping traditional TV alive.

Go deeperArrowMar 10, 2020 - Sports

Via raises $200 million from Fiat Chrysler owner Exor

Photo: Via

Via, a transportation software company best-known for its carpool service in New York City, has raised $200 million in Series E funding led by Exor, a holding company whose portfolio includes Fiat Chrysler. The company' valuation more than doubled since its last round to $2.25 billion.

Why it matters: It’s remarkable that the company was able to get this deal despite the coronavirus pandemic severely reducing demand for ride-hailing and public transit.

Coronavirus travel bans could strand foreign athletes in U.S. sports leagues

Data: Axios reporting; Chart: Axios Visuals

American sports leagues have become increasingly global over the last couple decades, which is inarguably a boon to business and fans alike.

Why it matters: The global nature of American professional sports represents our shrinking world, increased diversity and the melting pot of cultures that this country was built on, but right now, as with everything else, it's hard not to look at this through the lens of the coronavirus.

Go deeperArrowMar 20, 2020 - Sports