DAZN mulls IPO and domestic Premier League rights

James Rushton

Sports streamer DAZN is considering an IPO in an effort to drive growth.

The company, which most recently acquired the domestic broadcast rights to Italy’s Serie A, is mulling a move to go public, co-CEO James Rushton has told Reuters.

Rushton told the newswire that “If circumstances were right, I can see us tapping the public capital markets or the private capital markets over the next few years.”

The co-CEO however added that DAZN’s potential IPO is more down to the desires of Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries (Blavatnik also owns DAZN). He said: “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.”

Despite this latest speculation, Rushton said that DAZN managed to withstand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which caused the sports world to shut down. The company is now diversifying its revenue base, and is expecting to generate more than US$100 million in ad revenue this year.

Having acquired the domestic rights to Italy and Germany’s top football leagues, the company will now look to the UK when the rights tender comes out for the English Premier League, Rushton said. 

DAZN launched in more than 200 territories last year leaning on its international boxing rights, but is yet to emerge as a major mainstream player in the UK to rival traditional broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport. 

The company’s interest in the English Premier League rights is well documented, with former CEO John Skipper telling reporters in 2019 that “obviously you need Premier League rights” to offer a compelling product.

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