DAZN reports losses for 2021

Sports streamer DAZN made an operating loss of US$1.35 billion in 2021. Overall group losses before tax amounted to US$2.3 billion, including US$934.7 million of financing costs.

Shay Segev

CEO Shay Segev told Bloomberg DAZN’s losses can be attributed to the high cost of acquiring German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A football rights, with the latter currently costing the platform around $2.5 billion across a three-year window. With big tech platforms like Apple, Google and Amazon all now moving into the sports rights business, that cost is unlikely to reduce any time soon (unless DAZN decides not to bid for premium soccer rights and refocuses its business in other areas).

DAZN has been seeking to increase subscription prices in Germany and Italy – in order to narrow the gap between costs and revenues. But this has been hampered in Italy, where an outage in its service over summer saw it apply a 25% discount.

Segev has suggested that the company could launch an IPO in the next 2-3 years. This would give it more firepower to acquire premium rights, though not necessarily address the question of whether a global sports-led streamer can generate sufficient ROI.

[This story has been amended to reflect the fact that DAZN’s group loss before tax included US$934.7 million in financing costs].

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