Global OTT sports broadcaster DAZN Group has confirmed that it will divest its shareholdings in European football assets Goal.com, SPOX and VoetbalZone to newly-formed digital sports publisher Integrated Media Company (IMC).
DAZN has secured terms on a ‘definitive agreement’ for IMC to take control of the majority stakes in its football assets for a combined deal of $100 million.
Limited information has been disclosed on IMC, a new sports publishing platform backed by San Francisco private equity fund TPG Capital. DAZN also revealed that it will maintain a minority shareholding and voting rights in the new company formed by TPG.
Goal.com, SPOX (Germany) and VoetbalZone (Netherlands) were acquired in 2011 by Perform Group, the former operating company of DAZN, as it sought to build a ready-made audience for the launch of DAZN’s OTT platform services.
Branded as the ‘Netflix of sports’, DAZN has endured a troubled 2020 following the postponement of all major sports leagues disrupting its OTT programming across multiple markets. In May, financial news sources reported that lead enterprise investor, US billionaire Len Blavatnik, had instructed his investment team to assess all options related to DAZN’s future.
Taking control of DAZN’s football assets, IMC stated that it would enhance the three portals’ advertiser propositions, which attract a combined 150 million unique visitors per month across 19 languages.
Ori Winitzer, IMC’s managing director, explained: “There are four billion soccer fans on earth. Their passion transcends borders and limits though the media serving them does not.
“We see a significant opportunity to expand the platform’s reach and engagement through new content verticals, products, and experiences. We’re excited to partner with DAZN to serve all constituents in the soccer world.”