DAZN acquires Eleven Group

L-R: Shay Segev, Andrea Radrizzani

London-based sports streamer DAZN has announced a deal to buy rival sports broadcaster Eleven Group.

Reports of acquisition talks first emerged in July, with a deal confirmed on Tuesday. 

DAZN said that the deal would significantly bolster its rights portfolio while expanding its footprint and improving its social media business.

Eleven is currently the primary rights holder of the top-tier domestic football leagues in Portugal and Belgium. Eleven also has a presence in markets where DAZN already operates, including Italy, DACH, Spain, Taiwan, Japan and other Southeast Asian markets. 

DAZN said that it will fully integrate and the 40,000 games it streams each year, with the company also noting Eleven’s partnership with FIFA and its FIFA+ video platform.

The deal will also include Eleven-owned media business Team Whistle. Team Whistle targets younger audiences and utilises sports rights across social media to reach over 700 million followers across its channels. The unit, which will ‘maximise the value of DAZN’s rights portfolio’, generates around five billion views per month.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but DAZN said that the acquisition will introduce around US$300 million per year into the group’s revenues. Also unknown is the completion date, with the deal subject to anti-trust reviews. Guggenheim Securities acted as financial advisor to Eleven Group on this transaction.

Shay Segev, CEO, DAZN Group said: “The acquisition adds scale to our business. It is a big step forward in our mission to be the leading global sports platform. I have a great deal of respect for what Andrea, Marc and the team have achieved and look forward to working with them as we further expand our ambitions. Together we form the strongest and most credible management team in the sector. DAZN has invested in building a revolutionary digital sports platform, where fans can enjoy the full range of interactive sport entertainment. We are looking forward to expanding these capabilities to new markets as well as leveraging Eleven’s capabilities in DAZN.” 

Marc Watson, CEO Eleven Group, said: “We see DAZN as the future of digital sports broadcasting and the ideal home for Eleven. Sport is global entertainment and joining with DAZN will be transformative, allowing us to access greater economies of scale and a global platform for our talented team. We couldn’t be more excited about this deal, and I’m really looking forward to working with Shay and the team at DAZN.”

Kevin Mayer, DAZN Chairman, said: “This deal marks an acceleration of our strategy to diversify our offerings and leverage our fantastic sports properties and our platform into new markets and business models. Team Whistle is a growing business that has a proven track record in monetising short form content. It will be hugely valuable to DAZN as we look to generate the maximum value from our enviable rights portfolio, creating new formats of content to reach new audiences and generate powerful incremental revenue streams. We look forward to welcoming all our new colleagues.”

Upon completion of the deal, Andrea Radrizzani, Eleven founder, will join DAZN’s board as an executive director, and will support the DAZN Group’s business development. The exec, who is also chairman of English Premier League club Leeds United, said: “We have developed a successful sports media company in the last six years with Eleven, and we’re delighted that this journey continues. The merger will provide greater opportunities as a group to continue to build a global destination for sports fans, which was our mission from day one.”

The announcement comes weeks after BT and Warner Bros. Discovery completed the creation of a joint-venture that houses BT Sport and Eurosport.

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