Global sports platform DAZN Group announced Wednesday an agreement to acquire ELEVEN Group’s global sports media businesses. The deal is set to expand DAZN’s capabilities in the live sports streaming sector.
The company explained the benefits it sees in this acquisition. Among them is that, when completed, the deal will propel DAZN to become the broadcaster of top football leagues in Portugal and Belgium.
ELEVEN Group’s businesses will also complement DAZN’s existing positions in Italy, DACH and Spain, where DAZN holds top-tier domestic football rights. ELEVEN also has a presence in Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets, giving DAZN a greater foothold in the region, where it has a business in Japan.
This geographical expansion gives DAZN access to new audiences as it builds out its global platform and becomes “a one-stop shop for everything a sports fan wants – a place for them to access the largest library of live and on-demand content, analysis, highlights, merchandise, ticketing, gaming and betting,” the company wrote. “It strengthens the business and drives economies of scale.”
The acquisition of Team Whistle, the ELEVEN-owned media business, will enable DAZN to reach younger audiences, diversify and expand its engagement capabilities, and maximize the value of DAZN’s rights portfolio.
Team Whistle is ranked within the top ten US media sports properties on ComScore with over 700 million followers across its channels and a growing distribution network that generates around five billion views per month across social platforms, notes DAZN. Combining the complementary business of Team Whistle with DAZN’s content rights creates “a powerful proposition”.
The acquisition is also set to “cement DAZN as a global home of football through the integration of ELEVENsports.com and the 40,000 games it streams each year,” the company explained. Through a strategic relationship, ELEVEN plays a role in FIFA’s OTT service FIFA+, supporting the production, delivery and distribution of live games from over 90 FIFA Member Associations.
— DAZN (@dazngroup) September 27, 2022 Additionally, DAZN highlights that the companies will create “the world’s biggest portfolio of women’s football content”. ELEVEN boasts women’s content drawn from across six confederations, adding to DAZN roster of UEFA Women’s Champions League, Liga F in Spain, the English FA Women’s Super League and the Women’s FA Cup, and Japanese WE League, among others.
Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, stated that the acquisition “adds scale to our business” and labeled it a big step forward in DAZN’s 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,” Segev added. “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.”
Marc Watson, CEO of Eleven Group, said: “We see DAZN as the future of digital sports broadcasting and the ideal home for ELEVEN. Sport is global entertainment and joining with DAZN will be transformative, allowing us to access greater economies of scale and a global platform for our talented team. We couldn’t be more excited about this deal, and I’m really looking forward to working with Shay and the team at DAZN.”
Kevin Mayer, DAZN chairman Kevin Mayer, DAZN chairman, added that the deal marks “an acceleration” of the company’s strategy to diversify its offerings and leverage its sports properties into new markets and business models. For his part, Andrea Radrizzani, ELEVEN Founder and chairman, and owner of Leeds United, said that the merger “will provide greater opportunities as a group” to continue to build a global destination for sports fans.”
Upon completion of the deal, Andrea Radrizzani will join DAZN’s board as an executive director, and will support the DAZN Group’s business development.