(Bloomberg) -- DAZN Group Ltd., the sports streaming platform backed by billionaire Len Blavatnik, is exploring ways to raise fresh funding as it seeks to accelerate its global expansion, people familiar with the matter said.
London-based DAZN has held early conversations with potential advisers about raising capital and could move forward with a process as soon as the coming months, the people said. It’s considering raising as much as $1 billion, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.
Deliberations are ongoing, and the company hasn’t decided on the structure and other details of any funding. A representative for DAZN declined to comment.
DAZN is due to publish 2023 results in the coming weeks that show narrowing losses, after years of investing billions in premium sports rights for competitions such as Italy’s Serie A, which have made it the second-largest football broadcaster in Europe after Comcast Corp.’s Sky.
Chief Executive Officer Shay Segev told Bloomberg in January the company would welcome strategic partners, and could pursue an initial public offering in the next two to three years. Blavatnik — the world’s 31st richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — is committed to DAZN, but extra funds could make the business more competitive as it bids for additional sports streaming rights.
Key uncertainties in potential fund-raising talks are the company’s valuation and DAZN’s rights portfolio, as it moves from auction to auction. It’s in the running for French football rights, but this month the process for UK Premier League rights concluded with DAZN empty-handed.
DAZN has recently been deepening its commercial ties with Saudi Arabia, which has been spending heavily on sports assets.
The streamer is a key broadcaster for the Saudi Pro League, a contest that has shaken up global football by spending heavily to woo stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Last month DAZN agreed to an exclusive deal to show sports content from the “Riyadh Season” series of boxing matches including a fight with former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Saudi Arabia previously showed interest in Qatar-based sports broadcaster beIN Sports, Bloomberg has reported, although the talks never resulted in a deal.
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