MILAN (Reuters) – DAZN, the web sports activities broadcaster which this yr snatched the rights to display screen Italy’s top-flight soccer league from Sky, is contemplating the potential of going public because it chases additional growth, its joint chief government mentioned.
Owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, DAZN, dubbed the Netflix of Sports, debuted in Germany and Japan in 2016, and in December introduced the launch of its stay and on-demand sports activities streaming service in 200 nations.
The group’s flat-rate offers to view premium sports activities through internet-enabled sensible TVs have undercut pricier pay TV packages provided by established broadcasters.
However, its early losses have been sizable because it splurged on broadcast rights, and it was hit arduous by the coronavirus pandemic, which noticed many stay sporting occasions cancelled.
“If circumstances were right, I can see us tapping the public capital markets or the private capital markets over the next few years,” co-CEO James Rushton advised Reuters in an interview, when requested about the potential of an preliminary public providing.
While Bloomberg reported final yr that the corporate was contemplating an IPO as a part of up to $1 billion in fundraising, citing sources, DAZN executives had not beforehand commented publicly on the prospect.
A flotation would make DAZN the primary international sports activities streaming firm to be listed.
The agency’s relationship with Access means going into the general public markets just isn’t a necessity, mentioned Rushton.
However, “can you see Access wanting to gain further support from someone else? Yes, of course you can – that would be a natural thing to do,” he added.
Rushton, promoted to his position in January, says regardless of earlier losses the corporate is approaching a tipping level as buyer growth and its environment friendly know-how platform work in its favour.
The group, which entered the Italian market in 2018, in March secured the rights to display screen all Serie A matches over the following three seasons with a bid of two.52 billion euros ($3 billion), beating out pay-TV participant Sky, which is owned by Comcast.
English Premier League home rights is likely to be the following goal. “Once the tender comes out, we’ll review it,” mentioned Rushton.
“The global platform gives… us the opportunity to be agile and launch or supersize into new markets quite quickly,” he added, saying DAZN would consider alternatives in Britain, France, Spain and Asia as they arrive up.
The coronavirus pandemic challenged DAZN’s working mannequin, which supplies customers freedom to cancel their subscriptions at brief discover, as sports activities leagues have been pressured to quickly droop tournaments.
Rushton mentioned the enterprise had withstood the shock. Now, DAZN is diversifying its income base and expects to generate greater than $100 million in promoting income this yr, he mentioned. It additionally plans to add a pay-per-view possibility.
DAZN doesn’t want to dramatically change the variety of soccer subscribers in Italy to make its Serie A funding repay, Rushton mentioned. Industry sources estimate Sky and DAZN’s whole soccer subscriber base in Italy at 3.5-4 million.
This summer season DAZN will think about elevating its 9.99 euro month-to-month price in Italy, because it has completed elsewhere, Rushton mentioned. It prices 11.99 euros in Germany.
($1 = 0.8422 euros)
Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Douglas Busvine; Editing by Jan Harvey