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DAZN Seeking Significant Investment Or Out Right Sale

“Last October, DAZN reportedly sought to raise an additional $500 million, but finding that level of investor in the current economic climate is seemingly unachievable.”

Brandon Contes

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Two months after COVID-19 brought live sports to a halt, the pandemic’s impact has DAZN reportedly seeking investors and possibly even a sale.

According to a story from the Financial Times, DAZN owner Len Blavatanik is searching for ways to secure investments for the OTT service. While finding a suitor for an equity stake in the company is preferred, selling the platform could also be considered.

In 2018, Japanese ad agency Dentsu invested $300 million for a 10% ownership in the company. Last October, DAZN reportedly sought to raise an additional $500 million, but finding that level of investor in the current economic climate is seemingly unachievable.

Since the subscription service launched in Germany and Japan in 2016, entering the U.S. market in 2018, it has continued to expand at a rapid and expensive rate. In 2016, DAZN invested $3 billion for media rights deals in Japan which included local soccer and baseball, the NFL, MLB, all five major European soccer leagues and the Champions League.

With most major American sports leagues inside their current media rights deals, DAZN looked toward combat sports, entering a $1 billion partnership with Matchroom Boxing, and signing boxer Canelo Alvarez to a $365 million contract. They were also reportedly interested in adding debate shows, linked to FS1’s Skip Bayless while his former boss Jamie Horowitz is DAZN’s EVP of content.

The extensive spending wasn’t without a return though, as DAZN set streaming records in 2019, reporting a 950% year-over-year revenue growth for the month of May as compared to 2018. Unfortunately, similar growth won’t be realized in May 2020. Instead, the current pandemic has DAZN searching for funds from outside sources such as Liberty Global.

In March, DAZN announced global expansion plans which intended to see the service go from being available in just nine countries to entering more than 200 countries and territories. Whether or not those goals ever come to fruition remains to be seen, as not much more than one month later, COVID-19 forced DAZN to begin furloughing personnel.

DAZN hasn’t announced how many subscribers left the service since they began furloughing employees and seeking new investments, but a lack of live sports programming certainly isn’t in their favor. 

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The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Moving To New Studio

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021.

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Dan Le Batard Show

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is leaving its home at the Clevelander hotel on South Beach in Miami and moving into a new studio next year, according to a report from The Big Lead.

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021. It has remained the home for the show since Le Batard and John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media.

After a $50 million distribution deal with DraftKings was secured, the Meadowlark podcast network has grown in both reach and talent, allowing for an expanded studio space.

No immediate details were given on where the new studio space would be located.

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NSMA Announces Finalists for Awards, Hall of Fame

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

Jordan Bondurant

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The National Sports Media Association revealed its finalists for its national sportscaster of the year and national sportswriter of the year, and there are plenty of heavy hitters in the industry up for consideration for the NSMA awards.

Among the nominees for National Sportscaster of the Year include Al Michaels, Ian Eagle, Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, Kevin Harlan, and Mike Tirico. The full list includes Adam Amin, Jason Benetti, Joe Davis, and Mina Kimes.

For National Sportswriter of the Year, Adrian Wojnarowski, Ken Rosenthal, Nicole Auerbach, Pete Thamel, Pat Forde and Tom Verducci are among the biggest names. Candace Buckner, Katie Strang, Marc Spears and Wright Thomson round out the list of nominees.

The NMSA also revealed its finalists for the sportscaster and sportswriter Hall of Fame. James Brown, Joe Buck, Lee Corso and Tim McCarver are part of the sportscaster list, while Bill Plaschke and Ray Didinger appear among the names for the sportswriter hall of fame.

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

Winners and Hall of Famers will be honored at the NSMA Awards Weekend & National Convention held in Winston-Salem, N.C. June 24-26.

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Pat McAfee: Mentioning Brett Favre Scandal Is A Must

“We have to make sure that it’s mentioned every time that man is mentioned because that is a big deal that it happened.”

Jordan Bondurant

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While things may have quieted down a little bit with Brett Favre and his scandal involving misuse of public funds in Mississippi, Pat McAfee is going to make sure people don’t forget what the hall of fame quarterback is accused of.

On his show on Wednesday, McAfee said he thought of a way to mention the situation during Aaron Rodgers’ weekly appearance the day before. Rodgers in conversation talked about learning under Favre in the first years of his NFL career in Green Bay.

“My brain was literally like we’re in the holiday season. Brett Favre – what did he do,” McAfee said. “He didn’t just steal from the poor. Oh, he is the actual Sticky Finger Bandits from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”

Pat added that whenever the name Brett Favre is brought up on his show, it is absolutely necessary to remind folks about the scandal.

“We have to make sure that it’s mentioned every time that man is mentioned because that is a big deal that it happened,” he said. “Now obviously Brett Favre Enterprises is alleging that this is all wrong. And I can’t wait to hear BFE to drop Brett Favre Enterprises’ side of the story. And we will judge it accordingly.”

“Even though as a football player, he was an incredibly tough football player, good football player, did a lot of things,” McAfee added. “Certainly in the middle of stealing from poor people in Mississippi right now. Have to chat about that.”

Favre is yet to be charged with any crimes, but the state is currently investigating the matter. Early in the fall, Favre’s weekly appearances on local and national radio shows were halted in light of the initial fallout from the story.

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