DAZN Thinks It Has Fighting Chance To Lead U.S. Sports Streaming Market

Sports fans looking for a streaming video bundle will have one more option come Sept. 10, when Perform Group’s DAZN (pronounced “Dah-zone”), a sports streaming service available in Germany, Japan, Canada and Switzerland, will launch its U.S. product.

DAZN focuses—for now—on combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts. Indeed, its launch lineup features an average of one exclusive match per week.

That being said, executives at the company are not coy about the fact that their ambitions are broader.

Perform Group hired former ESPN president John Skipper earlier this year, and Skipper helped unveil DAZN at an event in New York’s West Village Tuesday morning.

“We are in a pivotal time for sports media, a time of tremendous disruption,” Skipper told the crowd. “DAZN is at the center of this disruption for fans, and our intention is to be the global leader in streaming sports, direct to consumers.”

DAZN will launch ahead of an anticipated Sept. 22 bout at Wembley Stadium between boxers Anthony Joshua and Alexander "The Russian Warrior” Povetkin. The service will feature a 30-day free trial, and will cost $9.99 per month after that.

Of course, DAZN will be entering an increasingly crowded marketplace. Skipper’s former colleagues at ESPN recently launched ESPN+, priced aggressively at $4.99 per month and loaded with a significant amount of content, including combat sports, although lacking in marquee games.

Elsewhere, FuboTV is trying to replicate the traditional cable bundle for streaming users, with an emphasis on sports channels.

DAZN is betting that its focus on combat sports will give it a foothold in the U.S., potentially allowing it to expand when other rights become available down the line.

“We are built on the premise that the traditional, linear way of broadcasting the games has changed,” DAZN CEO James Rushton said Tuesday. “We launched DAZN to disrupt the status quo and change the way the world sees sports.”

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