DAZN Group, the European sports broadcasting and entertainment company, has found a target to achieve its sports betting ambitions. It is partnering with iGaming operator Pragmatic Play to launch a sportsbook that could go global.
DAZN recently missed out on a chance to buy BT Sport, which would have made it a sports broadcasting force across Europe. It may not have achieved that goal, but the company made some adjustments and will now dive head-first into the sports betting realm.
The British OTT has reached a brand license agreement with Gibraltar-based gaming technology company Pragmatic Play. This will lead to the creation of DAZN Bet, a sports betting operator with its sights on a global presence. The move comes after Pragmatic introduced its new sports betting product last month.
DAZN Expands Sports Betting Presence
DAZN Bet will be based in Gibraltar and will operate independently of the sports broadcasting platform. The platform will start slow, exploring the sports betting ecosystem through the brand license agreement in order to understand better what experience their subscribers expect. Initially, there won’t be an integration of the new service into DAZN broadcasts.
The company explained in a press release that DAZN Bet will leverage the customer base, while Pragmatic Group will provide the underlying platform and content. The latter will be responsible for the continued development of the product, as well. In other words, it will be the Gibraltar company that must seek the gaming license in each country where the OTT already operates.
In the next few years, if these first tests prove to be successful, DAZN Bet will become “the first service in the world that combines the visualization of live sports through OTT and betting, creating a more attractive and interactive experience for fans,” according to the press release.
The convergence of sports media and betting is the future. The agreement underscores DAZN’s commitment to revitalizing the sports viewing experience, offering a broader spectrum of digital entertainment for fans,” explains DAZN Group CEO Shay Segev.
The global launch will be in summer, with the start of soccer competitions. However, it will also depend on the time it takes Pragmatic to obtain the necessary authorizations in each country. In addition, the agreement includes the ability to offer branded free-to-play and real-money sports betting alternatives.
DAZN Looks To Rebound Following Tough Times
DAZN, which Access Industries acquired in 2016, closed 2020 with turnover of €769.7 million (US$871.8 million). This was 6.4% more than a year earlier, according to the latest available accounts. However, the group presented a loss of €1.151 billion (US$1.30 billion), 9% less than in 2019.
The cut in the red numbers was due primarily to savings of €450 million (US$509 million) that the company secured through broadcast agreements. In addition, it worked cost-saving deals with sports organizations. These allowed it to reduce payments as a result of the suspension of games due to COVID-19. DAZN also shored up its finances by selling some of its assets for €107.5 million (US$117.5 million).
In order to support all this new development and continue to bear the losses, Access injected €4 billion (US$4.55 billion) into the OTT through a capital increase, according to Bloomberg.
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