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DAZN’s Markowski: Global boxing platform to inform future launches

Following the announcement that DAZN will launch a boxing-focussed global platform in May, Joseph Markowski, executive vice-president North America, told delegates here at Sportel Miami that the move will help inform the company of where to launch next.

The international sports streaming service announced earlier this week that the new global service will launch in over 200 countries in time for Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez’s super-middleweight fight on May 2.

Markowski, who will oversee the global service, said: “I’m really proud that four years into our journey as a start-up broadcaster, we are going to be the only sports broadcaster that is truly global.

“That gives us tremendous first-move advantage, and allows us to learn a hell of a lot about markets that we may well invest further in in the coming years. That is basically an extravagant research project for us.”

DAZN is currently available in nine countries: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the US. It has also acquired sports media rights, but has yet to launch, in several Asian and Latin American markets.

Eddie Hearn, the group managing director of Matchroom Sport speaking alongside Markowski in Miami, said: “That’s why I’m so pleased about the move from DAZN, because they can grow with us in those territories. The great thing about what they are doing with the new global service, is that it is going to give them all the research they need to know before they make a heavy investment into a territory.”

Matchroom, which holds an eight-year deal with DAZN across multiple territories, announced its own plans for an OTT service this week. Matchroom Live will offer live broadcasts of its portfolio of events in territories where broadcast rights have not been sold.

DAZN’s English-language service will be able to showcase DAZN’s international rights to various fightcards through tie-ups with Matchroom and other promoters such as Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions.

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.

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.