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Post written by:

Jacques Bajon

Consultant, Media-Telecom Business Unit / Media, distribution, telecom-media convergence

The spikes in online hacking of sporting events broadcasts over the past several months have brought a twofold issue to the fore. First, the economics of sport content whose premium rights continue to skyrocket and, second, the growing use of the internet to distribute TV content.

IDATE DigiWorld examines the role that new entrants are forging for themselves in the world of audiovisual and sport content distribution, in its two latest reports: “DAZN: the Netflix of sport?” and “Internet giants’ investing in content”.

DAZN developing a complementary product to current TV sport programming

By offering a commitment-free subscription to unlimited content, with a very aggressive price point (from €9.99/month on average in Europe to €15/month in Japan), this streaming service for sport-only content appears to have an unbeatable offer.

DAZN does not offer the most popular premium content. Even though it does have the exclusive rights to certain major events, such as the UEFA Champions and Europa League in Japan, as well as the rights to NFL games in Canada… it stands out from the crowd by offering content that the others do not.

DAZN is also working to build a global presence through the rights it has secured to stream sporting events, with a footprint that currently extends to some 10 countries which gives it a unique positioning.

Fierce competition over sporting rights

There are very few independent new entrants to the TV sport market (beIN, MEDIAPRO…), and most are going head to head with veteran broadcasters by acquiring the rights to the most popular content, such as La Ligue 1 matches.

Added to which, the advent of internet giants like Amazon and Facebook is unsettling the sector. Even if their forays into the world of sport have been timid up to now, their cash on hand would allow them to crush the competition. It nevertheless remains that making the massive investments needed to acquire premium rights in each local market does not always align with Internet giants’ “large-scale” interests.

DAZN has not yet won its bet

By seeking to become the Netflix of sport, DAZN has set itself a sizeable challenge. But it will need to tick a long list of goals to succeed: increase subscriber numbers very quickly to amortise its content costs, move gradually into securing exclusive rights to premium events, and to fully master the technical imperatives of large-scale live streaming on the web. Added to this are the many challenges proper to sport, such as the heavy dependence on sporting leagues, in terms of both the territoriality and duration of the rights to be acquire.

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Isabel Jimenez

Sales Manager
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