DAZN Group, a leading global sports platform, today announced an agreement to acquire the global sports media businesses of ELEVEN Group.
The deal expands DAZN’s capabilities in the live sports streaming industry and establishes DAZN as a global leader in this rapidly evolving space.
The benefits are threefold.
New and expanded territories
The transaction, when completed, will propel DAZN to become the broadcaster of the top soccer leagues in Portugal and Belgium, two soccer-enthusiastic European nations. The ELEVEN Group businesses will also complement DAZN’s existing market-leading positions in Italy, DACH and Spain, where DAZN holds top-tier domestic football rights. ELEVEN also has a presence in Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets, giving DAZN a greater presence in the region where it has a leading business in Japan.
This geographic expansion gives DAZN access to new audiences as it builds its global platform and becomes a one-stop shop for everything a sports fan wants – a place where they can access the largest library of content live and on demand, analysis, highlights, merchandise, tickets, games and betting. It strengthens the business and drives economies of scale.
New income stream in social networks
The acquisition of Team Whistle, ELEVEN’s owned media business, will enable DAZN to reach younger audiences, diversify and expand its fan engagement capabilities and maximize the value of DAZN’s rights portfolio. Team Whistle is among the top ten U.S. sports media properties on ComScore with more than 700 million followers on its channels and a growing distribution network that generates around five billion views per month across platforms social. Combining Team Whistle’s complementary business with DAZN’s content rights creates a powerful proposition.
Extended football rights
The acquisition solidifies DAZN as the global home of soccer through the integration of ELEVENsports.com and the 40,000 matches it broadcasts each year. Through a strategic relationship, ELEVEN plays a key role in FIFA’s OTT FIFA+ service, supporting the production, delivery and distribution of live games from more than 90 FIFA member associations. It should be noted that, combined, the companies will create the largest portfolio of women’s football content in the world. ELEVEN features women’s content from six confederations, adding to DAZN’s impressive slate of UEFA Women’s Champions League, Spain’s F League, England Women’s Super League and Women’s FA Cup, and Japan’s WE League, others.
Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, said: “The acquisition adds scale to our business. It’s a huge step forward in our mission to be the world’s leading sports platform.
“I have great respect for what Andrea, Marc and the team have achieved and I look forward to working with them as we expand our ambitions. Together we form the strongest and most credible management team in the industry.
“DAZN has invested in building a revolutionary digital sports platform, where fans can enjoy the full range of interactive sports entertainment. We are looking forward to expanding these capabilities into new markets and leveraging ELEVEN’s capabilities on DAZN.”
Marc Watson, CEO of Eleven Group, said: “We see DAZN as the future of digital sports streaming and the ideal home for ELEVEN.
“Sports is global entertainment and joining DAZN will be transformative as it gives us access to greater economies of scale and a global platform for our talented team.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this deal, and I look forward to working with Shay and the DAZN team.”
Kevin Mayer, president of DAZN, said: “This deal marks an acceleration of our strategy to diversify our offerings and leverage our fantastic sports properties and platform into new markets and business models.
“Team Whistle is a growing business with a proven track record of monetizing short-form content. It will be invaluable to DAZN as we seek to generate maximum value from our enviable rights portfolio, creating new content formats to reach new audiences and generate powerful incremental income streams.
“We look forward to welcoming all our new colleagues.”
Andrea Radrizzani, founder and chairman of ELEVEN and owner of Leeds United, said: “We have developed a successful sports media business over the past six years with ELEVEN, and we are delighted that this journey will continue.
“The merger will provide more opportunities as a group to continue building a global destination for sports fans, which has been our mission since day one.”
Upon completion of the deal, Andrea Radrizzani, founder of ELEVEN, will join the DAZN board of directors as Chief Executive Officer and support the business development of the DAZN Group.
Founded in 2015, ELEVEN is a sports media destination that delivers world-class entertainment to fans around the world, broadcasting more than 65,000 hours of live content last year. From the world’s biggest sporting events to the best local sport and award-winning original programming, fans enjoy a 24/7 offering of the best live and non-live content from the bunch ELEVEN.
As the global digital sports entertainment platform, DAZN is quickly becoming the daily destination for sports fans around the world. DAZN’s ambitions go beyond broadcasting. DAZN’s platform is becoming a one-stop shop for everything a sports fan wants.
Soon, DAZN customers will not only be able to watch live and on-demand sports, but also listen and read about sports, play and bet, buy sports NFTs, tickets and merchandise.
The deal is subject to antitrust review; as such, the completion date remains unknown.
Guggenheim Partners advised ELEVEN Group on this transaction.