DAZN to offer 1,500 hours of live sport in Italy after rights spree
DAZN, the over-the-top subscription service owned by Perform, has expanded its sports portfolio in its newest market of Italy by acquiring rights to multiple properties across soccer, rugby union, boxing, mixed martial arts, ice hockey, baseball, motor racing and darts.
The platform is launching in the country on the back of Perform’s acquisition of live rights to Italian soccer’s Serie A and Serie B, and costs €9.99 ($11.60) per month, with the first month free and no long-term contract required.
DAZN announced a rash of new acquisitions in Italy on Thursday, headlined by exclusive live rights to soccer’s LaLiga and Ligue 1, which will form part of more than 1,500 hours per year of live, premium content.
The Spanish and French leagues will complement DAZN’s live coverage of Italy’s Serie A, amounting to 114 live games per season, in a three-year deal worth €193.3 million per annum, and all 462 matches per season from Serie B from 2018-19 to 2020-21, acquired in deals in June.
LaLiga was previously televised in Italy by Fox Sports Italia, the satellite pay-television channel that closed at the end of June, while rights to Ligue 1 were held by another subscription broadcaster in Mediaset Premium.
Other soccer rights picked up by DAZN include those to England’s FA Cup and English Football League Cup, South America’s Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana clubs competitions and the Africa Cup of Nations.
The first major soccer event shown live on DAZN will be France’s Trophée des Champions, between Paris Saint-Germain, the new club of veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (pictured), and Monaco, this Saturday, with the Serie A coverage starting with the clash between Lazio and Napoli on 18 August.
The Perform-owned platform is also becoming a major player in rugby union having landed live rights to Europe’s Heineken Champions Cup and the Guinness PRO14 in the 2018-19 season onwards.
Another focus will be combat sports with live coverage of fights from the UK’s Matchroom Boxing and USA’s Showtime Boxing and mixed martial arts series UFC and Bellator MMA.
DAZN has also landed rights to ice hockey’s NHL, baseball’s MLB, motor racing’s World Rally Championship and PDC darts events.
There will be branded programming blocks from Fox Sports for the NHL and UFC.
Heralding the new acquisitions, James Rushton, the chief executive of DAZN, said: “Today marks the start of a brand-new era for sport broadcasting in Italy and another step on our journey to become the world’s leading global sports broadcaster. After months in the making, we’re proud to unveil a hugely compelling line-up of content, all in one place, for one affordable monthly fee and no long-term contract.
“Guided by our fan-first philosophy, we already have a stellar track record in our existing markets by creating a better and fairer way to watch top sport that is tailor-made for modern viewing habits.”
DAZN is already available in, and has premium rights to premium sport, in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Canada and Japan, and will be launching in USA in September.
DAZN’s deal for the PRO14 in Italy, which was facilitated by RDA, the UK-based sports rights agency, runs for three years and includes live coverage of all home and away games of domestic teams Benetton and Zebre, plus other matches including the PRO14 final series and the final itself.
For the past two years, the competition has been shown in Italy by Eurosport, the international sports broadcaster, as part of a wider agreement also incorporating multiple countries in Europe and Asia.
However, the organisers and the FIR, the Italian rugby federation, are pleased to have finally secured a multi-year deal in Italy as the rights have customarily been awarded on a short-term basis, and often on the eve of or during the season.
The PRO14 involves teams from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and South Africa, as well as Italy.
Jacopo Tonoli, the chief commercial officer of DAZN, said: “For the first time, fans of both Benetton Rugby and Zebre Rugby Club will never miss a Guinness PRO14 game from their teams on DAZN in Italy. This is news that establishes DAZN as a must-have for Italian Rugby fans, who now have a better and fairer way to access some of the best European Rugby on offer.”
Martin Anayi, the chief executive of PRO14, commented: “The entry of DAZN to the Guinness PRO14 is a game-changer for the coverage of club rugby in Italy. Now rugby fans in Italy can access more games than ever before from the Guinness PRO14 across digital platforms that work best for them. Innovation is a key driver in everything we do and the arrival of DAZN also ensures that our production standards will be raised right across the Championship.
“Both the Italian Federation and PRO14 Rugby have been searching for a broadcaster who will champion our tournament in Italy and we are thrilled that DAZN share that vision and have committed to us until 2021."
Coming in the wake of last week's deal with S4C, the free-to-air Welsh-language commercial broadcaster, to show one live game per round, the PRO14 agreement with DAZN concludes the media rights sales in the countries of the participating teams for the next three-year cycle, with the focus now switching to international markets, and RDA leading the distribution process.Sportcal