2018 Rewind: DAZN changes the game

This year marks an incredibly successful period for DAZN, from becoming the true home of sports in Japan to showing a record 200m hours of live sport across 25,000 events, we have gone from strength to strength. As the new year quickly approaches, we looked back to reflect on the ever-increasing disruption DAZN is causing in the world of sport.

DAZN reaches peak in Japan

February 2018 saw the first big move for DAZN, following the announcement that a deal had been agreed with SoftBank to acquire a host of new sporting rights. Officially recognised as the ‘home of sport’ in Japan, the deal saw DAZN broadcast the Nippon Baseball League, having acquired the rights to 11 of the 12 teams, as well as securing more games than ever before from the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga. Subscribers were also treated to the very best from the B.League, the domestic Japanese basketball league.

To top it off, in May DAZN reached an agreement to broadcast live games from the Meiji Yasuda Seimi J2 and J3 leagues on Facebook. The agreement, which began in June, saw every live game broadcast through the official club Facebook pages. A benchmark for DAZN, the Japanese market continues to lead the way by giving fans an easily accessible and affordable way to watch their favourite sports.

With momentum at an all-time high, DAZN has also snapped up prestigious rights for UEFA Champions League games for Canada and Japan, and 84 out of 96 exclusively for Germany and Austria.

The Italian job

Football in Italy isn’t just a sport, it’s a part of the country’s DNA, and in June DAZN jumped on the chance to be part of this. Continuing the worldwide expansion, DAZN secured the exclusive broadcast rights to 114 Serie A matches per season – whilst also showing highlights of the other 7 fixtures each match day.

After the Serie A kicked into high gear, DAZN announced a deal in November with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and OPI Since 82 to bring top flight boxing back to fight fans in Italy. Matchroom Boxing Italy was created in a historic, eight-year joint venture to stage eight marque events per year. The stacked fight nights are broadcast exclusively on DAZN, hoping to reignite the passion for boxing already embedded in Italian culture for generations.

After a star-studded launch in Italy, DAZN spent most of the summer as the number one app on both iTunes and Google Play as the revolutionary sport streaming service quickly established itself as the country’s number two sport broadcaster.

DAZN enters the fight game

Breaking into the US, we unveiled a historic eight-year, $1billion joint venture, Matchroom Boxing USA. The deal sees Matchroom stage 16 fights a year featuring some of the sport’s biggest stars at the best venues across America.

This iconic investment in the talent, content and promotion of boxing is reigniting fans’ passion for the sport and engaging a new generation of fight fans.

Doubling down on becoming the number one place to watch fight sports in the US, DAZN signed Canelo Alvarez – the undisputed king of pay-per-view boxing – to an 11-fight deal on the platform. The journey began on 15 December when Canelo made his first appearance at the historic Madison Square Garden, beating Liverpudlian Rocky Fielding in just three rounds for the WBA Super Middleweight World Title. As part of the partnership, Golden Boy Promotions will put on up to 10 high-calibre fight nights per year, streamed live on DAZN beginning in early 2019.

Both deals mark a major change in the boxing landscape, where its biggest stars traditionally fought on pay-per-view. Now, US sports fans can view both Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions stable for a low monthly subscription cost – calling a swift end for the traditional pay-per-view model.

2019 and beyond

DAZN’s incredible growth hasn’t gone unnoticed, picking up Advance TV streaming Service of the Year at the 2018 Content Innovation Awards.

Not stopping for a second, Brazil will be DAZN’s first market of year, having secured rights to Copa Sudamericana, Serie A TIM and Ligue 1. DAZN then enters Spanish market in early 2019 with rights to stream MotoGP™, English Premier League and Euroleague Basketball.

These new market launches expand DAZN’s footprint to nine countries across four continents in just over two years – setting the stage for a successful 2019 and beyond.