DAZN is looking to buy the rights to show every EFL game, reports are suggesting, in a bid to remove the UK’s 3pm blackout.
With a large number of matches available, the rights offering has been split up into more than 20 packages including all three EFL divisions, the play-offs, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy.
The company is apparently up against the likes of Sky Sports and Viaplay, with BT Sport/TNT Sports also expected to make a bid for the rights – of which the EFL wants £200m a year for.
The tender for all 1,656 matches has invited bids for between three and five years, with the length of contract dependent on the offers received.
Under the current agreement, 200 Premier League matches are broadcast across Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime, while Sky also shows 138 EFL games.
DAZN has previously stated that it believes the EFL is ‘under-exposed’ as a product and there is a market to show every match live in the UK and worldwide.
The news comes as DAZN seeks to expand its scope as a sports entertainment platform, as it makes significant moves with its DAZNBet platform. Last month, it partnered with PA Betting Services to provide pre-race and race-day data, including fixed odds for horse racing and greyhounds.
Speaking at September’s SBC Summit Barcelona, DAZN CEO Shay Segev outlined the importance of sports betting for DAZN to become the “single destination point for digital audiences to engage with sports”.
He said: “We will use betting simply as an enabler of our portfolio. DAZN has been built to be a sports destination platform and we don’t see sports betting as a destination in itself; that will always be sports”.
From a broadcasting standpoint, the OTT platform already holds the domestic rights to Serie A in Italy – beating Sky italia in the bidding contest to secure these – and has also associated with Champions League and domestic coverage in Germany and Spain.
Last month, Shay Segev informed The Times: “Football is obviously very big in the UK and EPL is an option on our menu.
“If the question is do we have any ambition to go to this market, the answer is of course yes. And it’s not only ambition it’s a high priority on my list.
“DAZN is a sports service and clearly we will try to get bigger packages but the maths needs to work.”
Football fans have complained over the years that the blackout rule is outdated. It was first set in place in the 1960s, after Burnley FC Chairman Bob Lord asserted that televised matches on Saturday afternoons would ‘negatively impact the attendance of lower league games’.
“We’ve been proponents of Article 48 for the entire period of the Premier League and I don’t see that changing in the near term,” he said.
DAZN has asserted that it will also consider bidding for the Premier League rights when the current deals expire in 2025.