DAZN Coming to U.S. on Sept 10; Boxing, MMA Center Stage for $9.99 a Month
Perform Group’s DAZN streaming platform has been launched in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and Canada and on Sept 10 it will finally arrive here in the U.S. and will have a heavy initial focus on boxing and mixed martial arts. And with pricing at $9.99 a month James Rushton, DAZN, CEO, believes it can offer a solid value proposition to boxing fans.
“Fight fans in the U.S. have had to have basic cable, then a premium sports package, and then pay $50 to $70 to watch a fight on PPV and that has not been a good deal,” he says.
DAZN is promising more than 70 live fights at launch, averaging more than one live fight per week through partnerships with Matchroom Boxing U.S.A., Bellator MMA, and the World Boxing Super Series. The platform is showcasing a blockbuster title fight between heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua and Alexander “The Russian Warrior” Povetkin on Sept. 22 in London as one of the marquee events for the platform’s first month.
“DAZN has a fan-first philosophy and I think it gives us an advantage because it is created by fans, for fans,” says Rushton. “The linear way of broadcasting needs to change and if you look at the markets where we have launched we combine amazing content with affordability.”
Rushton says that subscribers will be able to use the service on up to three devices concurrently and that there is also a one-month free trial.
“Accessibility and flexibility has driven our business to the success we have already enjoyed,” he adds.
John Skipper, Perform Group, executive chairman, told SVG that having Anthony Johnson fights on the platform is a key piece of content that will make a difference.
“Content is king and drives everything and having a chance to see Anthony Johnson fight is a superior proposition that can get a lot of people to come in and try DAZN,” he explains.
Skipper adds that the U.S. is a rights environment where most of the marquee content is locked up for a long time so turning to boxing and MMA is a creative way to get started in the U.S., build the brand, and polish up the technology.
“The attractiveness of direct to consumer is clear for all parties,” he adds. “For the fans it’s an opportunity for them to get what they want in a low-cost environment where we don’t need coaxial cable or have to launch satellites. And we have a direct link where we know what they like and can serve them the content they like.”
Perform Group grabbed headlines earlier this year when it struck a $1 billion deal with Matchroom Boxing and a nine-figure multiyear global distribution agreement with Bellator MMA.