It’s All About Show-Stopping Content: DAZN’s Grant Best

In the world of sport, live and non-live content goes hand in hand. At DAZN, we regularly put out up to 40 live feeds at any one time, so fans can watch the teams and players they support rather than what broadcasters choose to show. However, our programming strategy is also about creating iconic original content that complements our extensive premium live-sport offering and engages viewers.

DAZN’s SVP Original Programming and Content Development, Grant Best, recently addressed an audience of TV industry executives at the Variety European TV Summit to discuss our approach to programming across DAZN’s global markets.

“It’s about driving engagement, retention and mass brand awareness around the biggest sporting cultural moments”, Grant explained. “DAZN is changing the way the world sees sport, and we want fans to expect the best sport programmes from us as another reason to get DAZN, alongside show stopping live content.”

So, what makes good content? “Sport is full of inspiring stories and we have nine territories where there are great stories to be told. Before we launch, we approach each new market based on the availability of strong domestic rights and our original content always looks to complement the live offering.”

This year, DAZN launched in Spain with exclusive MotoGP rights. To support the launch, DAZN produced a three-part original documentary series, In Our Blood, that celebrates the tradition of great Spanish MotoGP riders. The series explores Spain’s passion for MotoGP through the generations, by telling the stories of World Champions Àlex Crivillé, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Márquez.

Grant continued: “One of the great things about DAZN and the nature of streaming is that the duration of our content can be as long or short as it’s worth. You don’t have to fit into the linear scheduling space where you’ve got to hit 26 minutes, and creatively it’s very exciting. We’re making content that is going to engage our subscribers, bring in and retain new subscribers, and raise awareness of the brand.”

Fan engagement with the brand ad building a community around the content are the key to successful programming. Grant went on to explain how ambassador led marketing strategies have helped DAZN appeal to a traditional fan audience using global football superstars Neymar Jr and Jose Mourinho, ahead of DAZN’s launch in Brazil.

“We’ve been able to cater to that traditional football fan who does want to hear from the likes of Jose Mourinho discus that higher authority of football. However, we’ve also created content and shared some of our live rights with a social media football collective, Desimpedidos, enabling their characters to share our content through their own channels. It’s a great way of talking to that football youth audience.”

As the panel conversation turned to curation, Grant emphasised the importance of knowing your audience and using that to guide the creation of content to keep viewers engaged. He explained: “Our audience of sport fans is pretty clear – they want to come in to watch the live event. Our talent is keeping them on the platform to continue viewing content after that event has ended.

“In my previous roles, we would often focus on the build up to a show. However, with the data we now collect and have at our disposal at DAZN, we can see that nearly 90% of the audience for a live event comes in either just before the live event or just after kick-off. Previously we would agonise over having that huge build up with guests, pundits, and presenters. If I were to go back 20 years and have the access to the data that I have now, I probably wouldn’t do what’s been done for many years. Our challenge with original programming is to keep people watching DAZN after the event, because that’s key.”