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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.”

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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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Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State

“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”

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Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.

He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”

He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”

It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.

The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.

Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.

The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.

Others used the feud to create comedy.

Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.

The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.

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Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM

“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”

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A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.

“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”

The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.

The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports. 

“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team.  They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.” 

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Dave Portnoy Offers Pat Beverley ‘Blank Check’ To Join Barstool

“Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

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Minnesota Timberwolves player Pat Beverley turned heads with his comments about Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

Beverley told Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he thinks Paul is a “traffic cone,” due to his poor defense and that on nights he knows he’s playing Paul he’ll have a nice steak dinner and wine the night before. He said he’s in bed by 8 p.m. and doesn’t want to hear from his mom or girlfriend if he’s playing Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Pat’s comments got the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said Monday he liked Beverley so much that he would hire him to do a podcast for Barstool.

“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

Portnoy made the push to sign Beverley to a podcast deal as the company seeks to scale back the number of podcasts it produces. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini announced the decision to cut shows last week.

No word if Beverley has responded to Portnoy’s offer.

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