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Len Blavatnik's DAZN Sports Streaming Service Suffers $2.3 Billion Loss in 2021

In 2021, Blavatnik agreed to a recapitalization of DAZN which resulted in the company's net debt dropping to $14.3 million at the end of the year, down from $1.3 billion the year before.

January 11, 2023
7 minutes
minute read

Losses at DAZN Group Ltd. increased 79% to $2.3 billion in 2021 as the company invested heavily in top soccer rights. The sports streaming platform is backed by billionaire Len Blavatnik.
The cost of rights at the London-based company soared to $1.9 billion in 2021, up from $1.2 billion the year before, according to company accounts shared with Bloomberg. In an interview, Chief Executive Officer Shay Segev attributed the increase to the company's "massive investment" in acquiring Italian and German soccer rights.

Even though revenues increased by 79% to $1.56 billion in 2021, DAZN still had more costs than income. The majority of their sales come from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. After offering low monthly prices to customers in order to attract them, DAZN doubled the prices in Germany last year. They have also recently increased prices in Italy. DAZN plans to add a free service later this year. In the meantime, they are introducing packages for different bundles of sports.
Revenue for the year 2022 rose to $2.3 billion, the company announced. This is a significant increase from the previous year's revenue of $1.9 billion. The company is attributing this growth to its new product line and expanded market reach.

According to Segev, plans for an initial public offering are currently on hold due to difficult global capital markets. However, he added that an IPO could still happen within the next two to three years. Additionally, Segev said that DAZN would be open to welcoming strategic investors.
"I don't really have a preference," Segev said. "I would just think that it makes sense for this to become a public company. The Netflix story, the Amazon story - I think DAZN is going there as well."

Since the brand launched in 2016, the venture has lost more than $6 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations based on UK company filings. This highlights the difficulty in selling enough subscriptions to offset the huge investments required to clinch attractive sports rights like the Spanish soccer league La Liga. Sports rights often only last for a few years and yet are sold in competitive and expensive local auctions, unlike many other entertainment properties.
In an effort to increase and diversify income, DAZN announced plans last year for a sports betting partnership with Pragmatic Group, a betting and gaming technology company. This partnership will allow DAZN to offer sports betting services to its customers. Pragmatic Group has a strong track record in the betting and gaming industry, and this partnership will allow DAZN to tap into that expertise.

After a brief stint as CEO of Entain Plc, one of Europe's biggest gambling operators, Segev joined DAZN in late 2021. Since then, he has hired Entain's Chief Technology Officer Sandeep Tiku and BT Group Plc's Pete Oliver as chief marketing officer. Chief Financial Officer Darren Waterman has joined after six years as international finance director for Amazon Prime Video.

In 2021, Blavatnik agreed to a recapitalization of DAZN which resulted in the company's net debt dropping to $14.3 million at the end of the year, down from $1.3 billion the year before.

DAZN was previously known as Perform Group Plc, a UK-listed company which was bought by Blavatnik’s Access Industries in 2014. The company was restructured and re-branded as DAZN. Blavatnik has a net worth of $37.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Eric Ng
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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