Joshua-Povetkin Bout Will Launch New DAZN Service In U.S.
Anthony Joshua’s return to Wembley Stadium to "defend his three heavyweight belts" against Alexander Povetkin will launch the new $1B streaming venture DAZN, according to Lance Pugmire of the L.A. TIMES. The early fall schedule for DAZN will also include a "stacked Sept. 29 Bellator MMA card in San Jose, a Chicago-based boxing card Oct. 6 and another Bellator show on Oct. 12." The Chicago card features boxers that are "linked to Joshua’s Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn." The OTT streaming service will "launch Sept. 10 and allow subscribers a free one-month trial before a monthly fee of $9.99 begins" (LATIMES.com, 7/17). YAHOO FINANCE's Daniel Roberts noted DAZN will have a library of "original fight content on the platform at launch, but no live fights" until Joshua-Povetkin on Sept. 22. In total, DAZN will "stream around 70 fights in its first year in the U.S." Not all 70 are "exclusive to DAZN." But "none of the 70 fights will be available through Pay-Per-View." DAZN’ attempt to "gain a foothold in the U.S. market is significant, since the sports streaming wars are already red-hot here and ultra-competitive." Facebook, Amazon Prime and YouTube TV have all "paid up for live sports rights." But these have mostly been "one-off deals to help boost subscribers to their video platforms; none of these companies has yet tried to offer a sports-specific buffet for a monthly subscription." The "closest competitor" for DAZN is ESPN+, which at $4.99 a month is a "more appealing price point than DAZN." However, it "lacks the busy calendar of live fights that DAZN will offer" (FINANCE.YAHOO.com, 7/17).
BIG ASPIRATIONS: Perform Group Exec Chair John Skipper, the former ESPN president now working for the company that oversees DAZN, said, "Our interest is to be the global leader in streaming sports direct to consumers." He added, "We are clearly at a pivotal time in sports media, a time of tremendous disruption, but disruption is going to be great for fans" (VARIETY.com, 7/17). Skipper: "You can’t displace ESPN in any horizon of any length, really. They have too many rights. However, there will emerge a competitor and our job is to get there. And we don’t think of just the United States. We’re going to be a competitor around the world." Meanwhile, Skipper addressed his personal life, saying, “I’m in a great place. I am excellent, quite healthy. I think you can tell that. I have a level of acceptance and enthusiasm going forward” (NEWSDAY, 7/18).