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DAZN Reaches 4 Million Subscribers World Wide

“Skipper has made it known that DAZN is bidding for as many streaming rights in the U.S. as the company can get its hands on.”

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DAZN announced last week on FierceVideo it has reached four million subscribers.

DAZN has made a new name for itself in the U.S. and North America since making its streaming services available in September 2018. While its success in the U.S. has primarily come through MMA and boxing and a budding relationship with the MLB, it’s partnerships with the NFL, NBA and the Premiere League oversees is where it first garnered attention.

The digital streaming service is now available in nine markets: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and the US. DAZN executive vice president for North America Joe Markowski said he thinks “we’re very much on track to” reach 20 markets by 2020.

Though DAZN has had a meteoric rise in the states, Markowski said the success of OTT platforms as a whole has helped DAZN keep its footing.

“I’ve seen friends smirk as other OTT competitors fall over,” he said. “If ESPN+ falls over on a Saturday afternoon, that’s not good for us. We as an industry have a responsibility to give trust in the stability of the technology.”

DAZN is often touted as the “the Netflix of sports” but it still has a ways to go to grab the full attention of digital-age sports fans. With former ESPN president John Skipper and former Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz leading the way for DAZN, marketing and advertising efforts have begun reaching a more mainstream audience.

Skipper has made it known that DAZN is bidding for as many streaming rights in the U.S. as the company can get its hands on. With services like the NFL Sunday Ticket still looking for a partner, DAZN, coupled with its massive audience, are in a position to capitalize.

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Pat McAfee Calls Roger Goodell ‘Bush League’ Over Touchback Proposal

“This is a bullshit commissioner move.”

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The NFL has adopted the NCAA rules for touchbacks and fair catches on kickoffs, and former NFL special teams legend Pat McAfee isn’t a fan in the slightest of the changes.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lobbied team owners this week to vote again on the rule changes, which would bring the ball on any fair catch or touchback on kicking plays out to the 25 yard line.

On his show Tuesday, McAfee called the efforts by Goodell “bush league.”

“Hey Rog, come on. You’re my commissioner. You’re our commissioner,” he said Tuesday on his YouTube show. “This is a bullshit commissioner move.”

Pat pointed out that for a good majority of the time, the new rule won’t have much of a bearing on games, as most kickoffs nowadays result in a touchback. But McAfee added that there’s a good chance this is going to come back to bite the league a little bit because it eliminates an element of strategy in the game.

“But at some game where it’s gonna be windy and cold, and games are gonna matter, this is gonna happen,” he said. “And everybody watching is gonna go, ‘This is the most bullshit thing I’ve ever seen in a professional football game.'”

Part of the rationale of the decision to make the rule change is to help prevent any future litigation from former players against the NFL for long-term effects of head injuries. McAfee said it was evident that was the main reason.

“It’s all just covering your ass for future problems,” he said. “I would like to see these stats that they keep saying are so prevalent and endearing to saving lives and brains that the kickoff and the punt are the only two that it happens.”

“We can’t just make the game so f–king fake and bullshit that it kind of disrepects the league as a whole,” McAfee added. “It’s always like a protect the shield thing.”

Pat went on to say that his success as a punter and kicker has contributed to the evolution of special teams play in the NFL. He really doesn’t like the fact that the changes ultimately makes special teams less valuable to the game.

“It’s a real f–king play, though,” he said. “And there’s real strategy and there’s real things to be gained from that.”

“You’re just taking away another chess move, and I don’t understand why you would want to dumb the game down,” McAfee added.

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Ian Rapoport: ‘I Would Be Surprised’ If a Thursday Night Game Gets Flexed

“I think basically is the kind of thing where, like, they want it available, but it’s only going to be used if they have literally no other choice.”

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Is all of the consternation and hand-wringing about flex scheduling much ado about nothing? Ian Rapoport was on with Pat McAfee Tuesday and said despite the NFL owners voting to bring flex scheduling to Thursday Night Football, it isn’t the weekly threat some are making it out to be.

“I would say this from what I know of this, I would still be surprised if any game was flexible,” the NFL Network insider said. “I would be surprised if any game was flexed because they don’t want to use it.”

Flex scheduling in Sunday Night Football is used to create the best matchups in the league’s marquee window. With the option coming to Mondays and Thursdays this season, Rapoport says the bar for justifying moving not just kickoff times, but days, is going to be high.

Thursday Night Football has the most restrictions. The league will have to announce any moves almost a month ahead of when the game actually kicks off. When McAfee pointed to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ visit to New England in Week 14 as a prime candidate to be flexed out of Thursday night, Rapoport outlined a very specific scenario where he could see it happening.

“It’s not going to be like, ‘Well, we have a little bit better game, so maybe we’ll do that,’” he said. “It’s going to be like, ‘Okay, we have Mason Rudolph starting versus Bailey Zappe. Like, no one will watch this. We have to move.’ That’s to me, that’s under the circumstances that you’d see a flex.”

Last season, the matchups for Thursday Night Football were especially bad in some weeks. Al Michaels even made reference to it on the air during games. Having flex scheduling could help to avoid that, but Rapoport says the option is about protecting Amazon in the event circumstances around a game change drastically, not simply placating critics.

“I think basically is the kind of thing where, like, they want it available, but it’s only going to be used if they have literally no other choice.”

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Hall of Fame Baseball Writer Rick Hummel Dies at Age 77

“Hummel is best known for his work covering the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.”

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Rick Hummel has passed away after a brief illness. The legendary baseball journalist was 77 years old.

Hummel is best known for his work covering the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His death comes in the first season after announcing his retirement.

Covering the team was something of a dream come true for the St. Louis native. He reported on three World Series wins and seven National League pennants. He was recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

The 2022 season was Hummel’s last of a 51-year run covering the team for the Post-Dispatch. It wasn’t the end of his career though. He went to Jupiter, FL in February to cover spring training as a free lance writer for a number of different outlets.

Rick Hummel will certainly be missed by his friends and loved ones. He will also be missed by the Cardinals community, who already mourned the loss of Mike Shannon earlier this month.

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