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ESPN, DAZN cross-sell Premier League rights in South America

Pan-regional sports broadcaster ESPN and sports streaming service DAZN have agreed mutual sublicensing deals for English Premier League rights in South America.

In Brazil, ESPN has sublicensed two matches per match-week to DAZN from 2019-20. ESPN acquired Premier League rights in Brazil in a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, directly from the league in 2017. DAZN’s deal with ESPN will cover the same three-season period.

ESPN will exclusively broadcast the remaining eight matches from each match-week. Highlights each week of all matches will be shown by both broadcasters.

DAZN launched in Brazil in May this year, its ninth market. With Premier League matches, the broadcaster adds another popular league to its football-heavy offering that includes the domestic Campeonato Brasileiro Série C, the Copa Sudamericana, Italy’s Serie A, the English FA Cup, France’s Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer.

In the rest of South America, DAZN acquired Premier League rights from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and it is thought that it did not launch after failing to add additional premium properties to its portfolio. After deciding not to launch it has therefore sublicensed all rights to ESPN in South America, excluding Brazil, for the entire three-season cycle. The Premier League had to approve the deal.

A spokesperson for DAZN has said that the streaming service decided to sublicense these rights to ESPN in order to focus on its platform launches in Brazil and Spain this year.

Rights in South America, excluding Brazil, were held by pay-television broadcast DirecTV in the 2016-17 to 2018-19 cycle. Rights in Brazil for the same cycle were held exclusively by ESPN.