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Sports Streamer DAZN Set for Global Launch in May

Sports streamer DAZN is to significantly increase its global presence in 2020, expanding to more than 200 countries and territories.

The first global event on DAZN will be Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez’s soon-to-be-announced fight, which will take place on May 2.

DAZN, which is backed by Ukrainian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, has so far debuted services in nine countries – Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. It shows a host of major sporting events, including the Premier League, Champions League, Bundesliga and the Six Nations.

The global launch has fuelled speculation in the U.K. that DAZN may look to bid for U.K. rights to high-profile local competitions such as Premier League soccer. Sky and BT have long had a stranglehold on U.K. sports rights, although Amazon has been increasingly active in the market and aired a package of Premier League matches over Christmas and New Year.

The first phase of DAZN’s global expansion will be an English-language service focused on boxing, building on the company’s investment in the sport over the past two years. DAZN holds international rights to many of the world’s top promotional companies including Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing USA and GGG Promotions.

Fighters such as Alvarez and Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin will be part of a portfolio of fights and original programming on the new service.

The streaming service offers on-demand matches paid for using monthly fee rather than the more common pay-per-view set-up used in boxing broadcasting.

“Beginning this spring, most of the world will have access to DAZN and its unmatched schedule of boxing events,” said DAZN Group executive chairman John Skipper.

“Since our launch in 2016, we’ve seen an encouraging level of interest around our key events from both international fans and potential partners, which highlighted the opportunity to capitalize on our existing rights portfolio within boxing to fuel our expansion,” said DAZN exec VP Joseph Markowski, who will oversee the global service. “Establishing DAZN as the global home of fight sports is just the first step and we couldn’t think of a better attraction for our inaugural event than Canelo’s traditional Cinco de Mayo Weekend fight.”

In addition to live sporting events, DAZN has an archive of classic fights, athlete features and a slate of original programming featuring “40 Days,” “The Making Of” and “One Night.”

Pricing by market will be announced by DAZN in the coming weeks.

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