ESPN Sports Streaming Rival DAZN Plots Global Expansion

The streaming service is headed up by former ESPN top executive John Skipper

ESPN Sports Streaming Rival DAZN Plots Global Expansion
DAZN.IT logo during an Italian Serie B 2018/2019 match. (Danilo Di Giovanni/NurPhoto via Getty)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Welcome to the era of the sports streaming wars with a new player has announcing its plans to enter the sports streaming game on a global level to challenge ESPN.

On Monday, DAZN CEO John Skipper revealed his company will be going up against the ESPN+ streaming service by expanding to more than 200 markets around the world.

Skipper, who ran ESPN until 2017 when he was forced out following a scandal, said the expansion to more than 200 markets around the world will occur prior to a May 2 boxing match with superstar Canelo Alvarez.

Currently available in eight countries outside the U.S. (Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland), DAZN offers different content in each market.

“Our competition so far has been to mostly be where they [ESPN] ain’t, but it is our intention over time to compete aggressively everywhere,” Skipper told CNBC.

By expanding, DAZN is hopeful it can add to its subscriber base and then become a player for major rights deals, including the NFL Sunday Ticket, once they become available.

And it isn’t just the NFL that DAZN has its sights set on.

A person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that the UK-based company is planning to ask every major sports league in the U.S. to make some of its games available via a streaming package through DAZN.

“We’re more interested in being the global leader in sports than the world-wide leader in sports in the United States,” Skipper told The WSJ. “The United States are going to be hard because they’re going to stay with the traditional guys, in my opinion. It takes you so long because the deals are so long.”

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