The global sports platform DAZN has agreed to buy the ELEVEN Group’s global sports media businesses for an undisclosed fee.
According to DAZN, the deal expands its capabilities in the live sports streaming sector and it as a global leader in this rapidly evolving space. The benefits are threefold.
Firstly, the transaction, when completed, will propel DAZN to become the broadcaster of top football leagues in Portugal and Belgium, two enthusiastic European footballing nations. Eleven Group’s businesses will also complement DAZN’s existing market-leading positions in Italy, DACH and Spain, where DAZN holds top tier domestic football rights. Eleven also has a presence in Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets, giving DAZN a greater foothold in the region where it has a market leading business in Japan.
This geographical expansion gives DAZN access to new audiences as it builds out its global platform and becomes a one-stop shop for everything a sports fan wants – a place for them to access the largest library of live and on-demand content, analysis, highlights, merchandise, ticketing, gaming, and betting. It strengthens the business and drives economies of scale.
Secondly, the acquisition of Team Whistle, the Eleven-owned media business, will enable DAZN to reach younger audiences, diversify and expand its fan engagement capabilities, and maximise the value of DAZN’s rights portfolio. Team Whistle is ranked within the top ten US media sports properties on ComScore with over 700 million followers across its channels, and a growing distribution network that generates around five billion views per month across social platforms. Combining the complementary business of Team Whistle with DAZN’s content rights creates a powerful proposition.
Thirdly, the acquisition cements DAZN as a global home of football through the integration of Elevensports.com and the 40,000 games it streams each year. Through a strategic relationship, Eleven plays a key role in FIFA’s OTT service FIFA+, supporting the production, delivery, and distribution of live games from over 90 FIFA Member Associations. Of note, combined, the companies will create the world’s biggest portfolio of women’s football content. Eleven boasts women’s content drawn from across six confederations, adding to DAZN’s impressive roster of UEFA Women’s Champions League, Liga F in Spain, the English FA Women’s Super League and the Women’s FA Cup, and Japanese WE League, among others.
The deal will also introduce a growing (around) $300 million a year to DAZN Group’s revenues.
Commenting on the 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, added: “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”.
Andrea Radrizzani, Eleven founder & chairman and owner of 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”.
Upon completion of the deal, Radrizzani, Eleven founder, will join DAZN’s board as an executive director, and will support the DAZN Group’s business development.
Established in 2015, Eleven broadcasts over 65,000 hours of line content over the past year.
According to DAZN, as a global, digital sports entertainment platform, itis fast becoming the daily destination for sports fans across the world. Its ambitions go beyond broadcasting. DAZN’s platform is becoming a one-stop-shop for everything a sports fan wants. Soon, DAZN customers will be able to not only watch live and on-demand sport, but listen to and read about sport, play games and bet, buy sporting NFTs, tickets, and merchandise.
The deal is subject to anti-trust review; as such, the completion date remains unknown.
Guggenheim Partners has advised Eleven Group on the transaction.