DAZN boosts soccer credentials in Spain as Copa America gets widespread TV coverage
DAZN, the international over-the-top sports streaming platform, has sealed an 11th-hour deal to acquire the rights in Spain to the 2019 Copa America, South American soccer’s national teams competition.
The tournament in Brazil kicks off tomorrow and runs until 7 July, and will enjoy extensive international television coverage.
DAZN, which only launched in Spain this year, was expected to land the rights after Movistar Plus, the pay-television service of telecoms giant Telefónica, was reported to have baulked at the reported €1.5-million ($1.7-million) asking price.
The rights have been marketed in Spain by agencies Pitch International and Enjoy TV.
DAZN will show all 26 matches from the Copa America, starting with the tournament opener between Brazil and Bolivia in Sao Paulo on Friday.
Audiences are likely to be impacted by the fact that many of the games will be kicking off late at night or in the early hours of the morning European time, but the acquisition further strengthens the platform’s status in soccer as it prepares to take on the rights to England’s high-profile Premier League next season.
DAZN had already secured Copa America rights in Germany, Italy and Japan, and the competition is an attractive proposition in Spain given the country’s cultural ties to Latin America and the involvement of top players from LaLiga, including Barcelona stars Lionel Messi of Argentina and Philippe Coutinho of Brazil (pictured).
DAZN went live on multiple platforms in Spain at the end of February offering live coverage of competitions including England’s FA Cup, League Cup and lower-tier English Football League, Italy’s Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italia and Japan’s J.League, to which it has added North America’s Major League Soccer and international friendlies.
The launch was timed to coincide with the acquisition of rights to motorcycling’s MotoGP World Championship (for four years starting in 2019), the Premier League (for three years starting in 2019-20) and basketball’s EuroLeague and EuroCup (for four years starting in 2019-20).
DAZN’s Spanish platform also has a relatively low entry cost of €4.99 ($5.62) per month (below the €9.99 charged for the DAZN services in Germany and Italy), and while this is expected to increase as more premium content is acquired, it is understood to have assured major rights-holders it will not surpass €15.
As in other markets where DAZN is available, there is a one-month free trial, and no long-term contract requirements.
Copa America demand This year’s Copa America is the first since 2016 when a special centenary edition was held in USA (and won by Chile), and involves the 10 members of Conmebol, the South American confederation, plus two guests in Japan and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar.
Interest has been driven to some extent by the performances of South American teams at last year's World Cup in Russia, and the fact that this is the first major international soccer tournament to be held in Brazil since the 2014 World Cup, with matches to be held at six venues in five cities, and the final at the famous Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
The organisers said on Wednesday that 65 per cent of the tickets for the competition had been sold so far.
Global commercial rights and broadcast rights distribution for the Copa America have been handled by Dentsu, the Japanese advertising giant, on behalf of Conmebol.
There has naturally been considerable demand in South America where the broadcasters include Globo and its pay-TV subsidiary SporTV in Brazil and DirecTV in the other nine participating South American countries.
Rights have also been acquired by El Trece and TyC in Argentina, Tigo Sports in Bolivia, Canal 13, CDF and VTR Cable in Chile, Caracol Television, RCN and Win Sports in Colombia, Gama TV and TC Television in Ecuador, Telefuturo and Tigo Sports in Paraguay, America Television in Peru, Teledoce and Tenfield in Uruguay and Venevision in Venezuela.
Elsewhere in the Americas, the Copa America will be shown by Televisa, TV Azteca and Sky in Mexico, ESPN+ (English language) and Telemundo (Spanish language) in USA and TSN in Canada.
In addition to DAZN, broadcasters in the other parts of the world include Premier Sports (UK and Ireland), BeIN Sports (Australia, New Zealand, France and Middle East and North Africa), Fox Sports (Netherlands), Globo Now (Portugal), O2 TV (Czech Republic), Polsat (Poland) and Now TV (Hong Kong).