Report- More Layoffs For Struggling DAZN
It’s been a rough time in 2020 for a lot of companies not just in the U.S., but globally. And, unfortunately, a report Tuesday night says the struggles continue for the DAZN Streaming service.
John Ourand, insider of Sports Business Journal, tweeted that they’ve learned that the layoffs around the globe and in the New York offices of DAZN are continuing:
Layoffs hit DAZN today – said to number in the dozens, or 2% of global staff. Most of the cuts came in the US and Brazil. DAZN is shifting focus to its coming global service, which translates to fewer employees in NY and Sao Paulo. More tomorrow in SBD Morning Buzz.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) September 8, 2020
It’s little secret that DAZN’s U.S. service has been suffering from massive subscriber loss, since the Covid 19 pandemic began in March and brought boxing to a screeching halt for over three months.
As we were wrote in late March at the beginning of the pandemic, DAZN acted very quickly to not only furlough or lay off completely a large portion of their workforce when the coronavirus outbreak began, Further, they also informed sports leagues and entities that they would not be making rights fee payments to them without games and events being held.
As we wrote in May, Billionaire owner Len Blavatnik was seeking (and likely still is) serious financial partnership, if not a buyer for the streaming service. The Financial Times of London reported, that DAZN has over $3.7 billion in financial commitments to sports leagues and entities.
Their item went on to say that Blavatnik had been exploring an equity partner, like he found two years ago in Japanese advertising Giant, Dentsu, who put $300 million into the company for 10% ownership. However, at that time, Liberty Global, which is a powerful multi-billion dollar video, broadband and media company in Europe, was approached by DAZN. But apparently was uninterested in purchasing part or even perhaps, all of DAZN.
It hasn’t helped matters that the streaming service, which launched in the U.S. with a huge financial “splash”/burden by signing mega-star, Canelo Alvarez, to a record 11 fight $365 million deal. However, he’s only fought three times for them in over years and not in the last 10 months.
Alvarez, his promoter Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN, have been bickering for weeks about his next fight, which still hasn’t happened despite DAZN desperately needing to kick-start subscribers. Alvarez was rumored to be close to a deal with England’s, unbeaten WBA Super Middleweight champ, Callum Smith, to fight him in either September or October.
However, a source told us in early August that the four division World Champ has been asked to take more than a 50% pay cut for his next fight, due to no crowd/live gate revenue. And, he simply won’t do it.
Add to that, that their up and coming Lightweight Contender Ryan Garcia wouldn’t agree to fight in the main event of the Golden Boy/DAZN July 4th show in California and has further sat and waited for the last 60 days, and DAZN’s frustration has to be growing.
They do have an agreement with Matchroom Boxing and promoter Eddie Hearn to televise their primarly U.K. based fight cards. Matchroom did have one DAZN U.S. card in Tulsa, OK last month that saw Jessica McCaskill stun previously unbeaten women’s World Welterweight champ, Cecilia Braekhus, in a 10 round decision.
So, for now, we are left to wonder how long DAZN can survive without their biggest stars and fights on the horizon?