DAZN BET parent company pauses IPO as losses extend to $1.4bn

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The parent company of DAZN BET, sports streaming platform DAZN, has halted plans for an initial public offering (IPO) after 2021 financial results revealed mounting losses. 

DAZN CEO Shay Segev, the former chief executive of Entain, told Bloomberg that although plans for an IPO are paused amid difficult global capital markets, it could happen in the next two or three years.

The London-based company saw losses rise in 2021 as it invested heavily in acquiring rights to top-flight European football, with Serie A video rights costing $840m for three seasons, for example.

DAZN’s financial figures for 2021 should be publicly available on Companies House as they were due to be published by 31 December 2022. They are flagged as overdue, however.

Segev confirmed to Bloomberg that acquiring Italian and German football rights represented a “massive investment”.

The spiralling losses highlight the difficulty in selling enough subscriptions to offset the costs of securing sports rights.

Open to strategic investors

Despite the challenges, he said that DAZN could go public in the next two to three years and was also open to welcoming strategic investors.

“I really don’t have any preference, I would just think that it actually makes sense for this to become a public company,” Segev told Bloomberg. “The Netflix story, the Amazon story, I think DAZN is going there as well.”

In September, Segev revealed most of his time and focus is spent on the firm’s media and subscription service – and not on its sports betting subsidiary DAZN Bet, which launched in April in partnership with Pragmatic Solutions.

“Our objective at DAZN is to ensure that our media business is sustainable, and is a standalone business by itself that does not rely on the betting – the betting will come anyway as part of the natural growth into further revenue streams,” Segev said.

2022 review

Meanwhile, DAZN today (12 January) revealed it is currently live in 225 countries and territories as part of an annual review.

The platform has seen a significant increase in usage, streaming 1.2 billion hours globally across 130 million connected devices in 2022. This is a rise from one billion hours and over 100 million devices in 2021.

DAZN said it has also become the largest digital sports broadcaster in Europe, having added over 75 rights to the platform over the past 12 months.

Additionally, the platform boasts 15 million premium paying subscribers.

With the acquisition of ELEVEN Sports, DAZN said it has solidified its position in major European footballing nations such as Portugal and Belgium, while also expanding its presence in markets across Southeast Asia.

About the author

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Sonja Lindenberg

Sonja Lindenberg is an experienced editor and journalist, with a strong focus on business, finance, trade and investment. She holds a degree in business journalism and throughout the past two decades has covered companies and industries in various markets and for different media, including newspapers, news agencies, inflight magazines, country reports and trade publications. Sonja joined iGaming NEXT in June 2022.

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