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DAZN’s boxing-focused global platform to launch in May

International sports streaming service DAZN has announced that its new global service, which will initially be focused on boxing, will launch in over 200 countries in time for Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez’s super-middleweight fight on May 2.

The English-language service will be able to showcase DAZN’s international rights to various fightcards through tie-ups with promoters such as Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing USA and GGG Promotions. Mexico’s Álvarez is one of DAZN’s star attractions and is expected to fight Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders or Callum Smith on May 2.

SportBusiness reported in October that DAZN was looking to create a ‘global’ boxing platform to showcase its rights in a move to establish the company as a global streaming brand.

News of the launch of the global offering means that DAZN will go live for the first time in the UK, where it is understood that the monthly subscription price will be £4.99 (€5.72/$5.63) per month. The price point will vary in each country depending on the broadcast rights secured in that territory and the market conditions.

The live boxing content will be supported by archive fight programming, athlete features and original programming, including boxing’s 40 Days and One Night, along with The Making Of, a football series focused on Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and José Mourinho.

DAZN first launched in German-speaking countries and Japan in August 2016. A service in Canada followed just under a year later and a boxing-focused US service arrived in September 2018, hot on the heels of the launch of the Italian service on the back of the Serie A rights acquisition. Services have since been added in Brazil and Spain.

The new global service will be overseen by DAZN executive vice-president, Joseph Markowski, who said: “Since our launch in 2016, we’ve seen an encouraging level of interest around our key events from both international fans and potential partners, which highlighted the opportunity to capitalize on our existing rights portfolio within boxing to fuel our expansion.

“DAZN as the global home of fight sports is just the first step and we couldn’t think of a better attraction for our inaugural event than Canelo’s traditional Cinco de Mayo Weekend fight.”

John Skipper, DAZN Group executive chairman, added: “Beginning this spring, most of the world will have access to DAZN and its unmatched schedule of boxing events. Our roster of championship fighters represents some of the world’s most popular athletes and we’ll be working with them to stage spectacular international events for years to come.”

Speaking at the 2019 Leaders Sport Business Summit, Skipper described the UK as a “logical DAZN market” and flagged up rights to the Premier League, boxing and tennis as key subscription drivers in the UK.

It was reported just over four months ago that DAZN was looking to raise at least $500m (€442m) from investors in order to support its expansion efforts and in pursuit of new broadcast rights. The subscription OTT platform owned by billionaire Leonard Blavatnik has been working with Goldman Sachs to help with its fundraising efforts, according to Bloomberg.

In May 2018, DAZN (then Perform Group) announced an eight-year $1bn deal with the Matchroom Boxing promoter to stream top bouts to fans in the US market. In its deals with promoters Matchroom, Golden Boy and GGG, DAZN secured global streaming rights and has until now sold on rights in markets in which it is not yet active.

In March last year, DAZN doubled the price of its US subscription from $9.99 to $19.99 per month.