Streaming giant DAZN strengthens women’s sports push with ata football deal

Business

DAZN Group, the streaming service owned by Sir Len Blavatnik, is buying a women’s football content platform amid burgeoning global interest in the sport.

Sky News has learnt that DAZN has struck a deal to acquire ata football, which is backed by the Miami-based sports investment firm 777 Partners.

City sources said the deal could be announced publicly as early as Tuesday afternoon.

The price that DAZN was paying for its latest acquisition was unclear, although one insider described it as a “nominal sum”.

Ata football, which was founded by Hannah Brown and Esmeralda Negron, has partnerships with a number of broadcasters and rights-owners, and allows viewers to watch matches from the Italian women’s top flight and the UEFA Women’s Champions’ League.

The timing of its purchase by DAZN – which is 24 hours before England play Australia for a place in the Women’s World Cup Final – underlines the growing global interest in women’s football.

In recent months, DAZN has embarked on a series of deals to diversify its services further beyond sports streaming.

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The company, which has been linked with a bid for packages of Premier Legue rights in the next broadcast auction, has just announced a partnership with Fanatics, the licensed sports merchandising business.

It is also expanding rapidly in areas such as sports gaming and betting.

Media analysts believe DAZN is among the most logical strategic partners for Walt Disney’s ESPN subsidiary, which the American entertainment giant has indicated it will explore alternatives for.

One analyst said DAZN’s presence in 230 markets, 12 of which – including France and the UK – are seen as core, could be complementary to ESPN’s footprint.

DAZN declined to comment.

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