Last Saturday’s middleweight title unification bout between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs was a landmark moment for sports streaming service DAZN, who are looking to grow its subscriber base around the world and more specifically the United States, where they launched less than a year ago.
While Canelo and Jacobs may not have put on a scintillating performance in the ring, DAZN claims that this was a successful event for them. A press release on Wednesday says that across all territories where DAZN is available — U.S., Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland — the fight was seen live by 1.2 million subscribers. They declined to comment on how many viewers watched in the United States, although a report from Yahoo says there were “roughly 700,000 concurrent streams” on Saturday.
From the press release, DAZN wrote that the event drew “significant paid subscriptions – both annual and monthly – to deliver against projected revenue targets.” ESPN also reported that the show generated “more revenue in new subscriptions than the roughly $48 million cost of the main event.”
Prior to the bout, DAZN raised US subscription costs to $19.99 per month (from $9.99 per month) or $99.99 if you commit for a whole year, of which the latter averages out to $8.33 per month. Due to a lack of available sports rights in the United States, they have focused heavily on combat sports and particularly boxing, where they’ve signed the likes of Canelo and Gennady Golovkin to exclusive contracts.
It’s also worth noting that a recent sport from Sports Pro Daily says DAZN has about four million global subscribers, and documents that they’ve seen reveal that “company net debts fell roughly 93 per cent from US$726 million in 2017 to US$50 million up to the end of 2018.” The majority of their revenue comes from Asia (read: Japan) and Europe, but the big goal is to obviously make it big in North America.
This is a busy stretch of major events for DAZN, as not only are they coming off the Canelo-Jacobs fight, but Bellator 221: Chandler vs. Pitbull is this Saturday night, they have the World Boxing Super Series semifinals on May 18th, Anthony Joshua’s US debut on June 1st, Gennady Golovkin’s DAZN debut on June 8th, and Bellator 222: Machida vs. Sonnen on June 14th.
In other news, Canelo vs. Jacobs combined for just over 30 million viewers in Mexico, with Televisa and TV Azteca both having rights to show the fight. Alvarez still has television contracts in his home country, so he’s got income through both DAZN and Mexican TV.