As the generalist streamers dive deeper into sports programming, specialist sports player DAZN is growing its lineup of originals alongside its coverage of live events. Next up is “In Our Blood,” a three-part series about three generations of iconic Spanish MotoGP riders: Alex Criville, Jorge Lorenzo, and Marc Marquez.
Former BT, ESPN, and Sky programming exec Grant Best is leading the originals charge as senior vice president of original programming and content development. The one-offs and series are being designed to sit alongside and bolster DAZN’s staple fare of live sports, he told Variety.
Best, who also produced the BAFTA-winning “Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad,” said that the plan is to look at various types of sports-themed programming. “If you can complement great live sport with original content, it can help massively,” he said. “We would like to make content with a twist.”
Best added that DAZN is focusing on “the culture of sports in the territories we are in.” Accordingly, “In Our Blood” will launch in Spain at the same time that the streaming service does. The show will be DAZN’s third original after the one-off documentary “Being Mario Götze,” about the eponymous German soccer star, and the three-part boxing documentary series “Canelo vs. Rocky.” The future lineup includes local-language shows about star athletes.
“In Our Blood” is made in association with Spanish shingle Minded Factory and devotes an episode to each of the three Spanish riders. The first installment was filmed in Seva, Spain, and brings Alex Criville back to the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit where he became the 1999 MotoGP Championship.
The Marc Marquez episode is filmed at his bike shop in Cervera, Spain, and recounts the story of the rider who became a five-time MotoGP Champion at the age of 25. Jorge Lorenzo is filmed at home in Lugano, Switzerland, as he opens up on his life and the 2010 season, when he won the MotoGP Championship against Marquez.
“MotoGP success and Spain are synonymous,” said Veronica Diquattro, DAZN’s EVP of revenue, southern Europe. “We’re thrilled to release ‘In Our Blood’ celebrating this rich MotoGP history as our new sport streaming service launches in Spain with exclusive rights to every moment of MotoGP.”
DAZN will be in nine countries by mid-2019 and aims to be in 20 countries by 2020, Veronica Diquattro, EVP, DAZN, Southern Europe, declared Thursday Feb. 27 at DAZN’s official launch in Spain, its eighth territory.
For Spain, it has snagged all exclusive rights – free-to-air as well as OTT – to MotoGP, whose season kicks off in Qatar over March 8-10, plus English Premier League and EuroLeague basketball rights from the 2019-20 seasons.
Diquattro also announced in Madrid on Thursday that Brazilian soccer icon Neymar had signed on as a DAZN global ambassador and ex-Chelsea, Real Madrid and Man U. manager José Mourinho as a commentator.
The streamer will also see an upcoming launch in Brazil. It started out in 2016 with rollouts in Austria, Germany, Japan and Switzerland. It added Canada and Italy in 2017 and the U.S. in 2018.