DAZN Focuses On Streaming As Perform And STATS Merge To Create Sports Data Giant
DAZN Group is set to focus on its streaming service following the merger of its Perform sports content and data vision with U.S. firm STATS.
It had been speculated that DAZN was seeking to offload Perform in order to fund global expansion and the acquisition of sports rights following a strategic review of the business.
Last October, the company changed its name from the Perform Group to the DAZN Group and separated its streaming and B2B units, paving the way for a sale.
STATS and Perform
DAZN comprises the eponymous streaming service and other online properties such as Goal.com, while Perform Content offers wholesale video services to betting companies and broadcasters as well as data services through Opta.
Vista Equity Partners, an investment firm that focuses on enterprise software and data ventures, has helped fund the transaction, for which DAZN will receive a combination of cash and a minority stake in the newly-formed company.
It is claimed the combination of STATS’ Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities and Perform’s data will create a market-leading sports technology business, creating new experiences for broadcasters, sports organizations and bookmakers. STATS itself acquired ProZone in 2015.
“Bringing Perform into the fold will create the most advanced artificial intelligence company in sports, providing deeper, more robust data and insights, which is essential to our global partners,” said STATS CEO Carl Mergele. “Not only will we be able to improve our offerings to existing customers, we now have the opportunity to expand our presence in global markets where Perform has paved inroads for years as a leader in digital sports content.”
“It’s great to welcome a new era for all our content products, B2B partners, and Perform colleagues,” said DAZN Group CEO Simon Denyer. “Over 12 years we created a leading global portfolio of content and clients, but the combination of STATS and Perform takes the service to a new level of potential for everyone.
“While we will continue as an active minority shareholder in the new business, this deal also allows the group to focus on DAZN, into which we will invest all net proceeds from the deal.”
DAZN operates in various countries in North America, Europe and Japan and wants to become the ‘Netflix of Sport’.
The central appeal of DAZN is its flexibility. It’s a subscription-based model, but this can be paused if you go on holiday – a far cry from the 12 to 18-month contacts imposed by traditional broadcasting giants. It bypasses traditional platforms such as cable and satellite to reach consumers directly on the device of their choice.
However, this expansion is an expensive endeavor, with DAZN believed to have invested billions of dollars in sports rights.
It is also thought that the founder of DAZN’s majority shareholder Access Industries, Sir Leonard Blavatnik himself has lent hundreds of millions.
“The combination of STATS and Perform creates a powerful opportunity as the experience of sports for consumers continues to evolve,” he said. “We look forward to working with the new business and with Vista, as we remain focused on fully maximizing DAZN’s potential.”