DAZN to defer rights payments, furlough staff

Sports streamer DAZN is set to furlough staff and withhold rights fee payments for any content not yet delivered.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the streamer intends to stand by its contractual obligations to make payments as far as content which was broadcast prior to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it will defer payments for events that are currently cancelled, suspended and/or postponed until more is known about the present and coming season

The sports world has effectively been brought to a halt by the pandemic, with football across the world being indefinitely suspended while the boxing bout between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders – scheduled to be the launching-off point for DAZN’s international rollout – is up in the air. (Despite coronavirus, the situation surrounding the latter is in part because the British Boxing Board of Control has suspended Saunders’s boxing licence over comments he made on social media which appeared to condone domestic abuse.)

With the streamer seriously affected, DAZN is planning to furlough an unspecified number of employees within the coming weeks in an attempt to revive the business later in the year.

Many have also speculated that the streamer is likely to postpone its international launch.

Many operators, such as Sky in the UK, are allowing users to temporarily pause their sports packages amid the crisis, but while those other operators have broader entertainment content on offer in order to fill the gap, DAZN is solely reliant on interest in its sports content.

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