Shay Segev, CEO of the sports streaming specialist DAZN, opened the SBC Summit Barcelona by saying he was “the living example of the convergence” between sports betting and media and that his company is taking the first steps towards truly disrupting the sports betting and media environments by converging the two into one integrated platform.
The ex-Entain CEO said watching sports on most viewing platforms is currently “a passive experience”, but with DAZN’s global platform, viewers can “launch content in 200 markets” and the company’s mode of operation is “quite simple, but revolutionary.
“No other media company can take sport and deploy it this way across the world. With Sky, you have to install a box, while linear TV requires the use of cables or other equipment.”
With regard to sports betting, DAZN launched its DAZN Bet online sportsbook in the UK, but Segev said he didn’t view the group as being a betting company. “The difference between DAZN and other B2C betting businesses is we don’t see ourselves as competition (to bookmakers). We‘re working towards being a sports destination platform, we want people to come and watch sports on DAZN and want them to be able to bet if they want to,” Segev said.
However, he also made the point that DAZN is not rushing headlong into sports betting and its focus is on developing closer relationships with its customers via their watching habits.
“The product needs to evolve.” He explained that the company will ould focus on being a mass-market, recreational-consumer entertainment brand that includes a sports-betting arm. “We want to build a long-term sustainable business and we want to scale it globally.”
This will be done by adding social media, gamification, and freeplay features to encourage return play and increase brand loyalty and awareness about its sports-betting proposition. These are set to go live by the end of the year and will target “people who watch sports and might like to bet, to which will be added merchandising products and NFTs to make the platform more interactive.”
He added: “The way we consume sports is a passive experience, but we have direct relationships with consumers and direct insights into our customers’ habits: what, when, and how they watch. This is much more interactive, casual, and engaging.”
The DAZN app is mainly used for streaming by users currently and Segev said the group will enhance it to “make it more casual with news, team, and sport updates that enable interactive journeys”.
DAZN started acquiring sports rights in 2016 and since 2018 has offered streaming content. Segev said his aim is to make it “the online global-sports destination platform for fans.” With consumer behaviors changing significantly, their experiences are fragmented and he wants to converge them “into a single experience” on DAZN.
The group’s rights portfolio currently includes the TV rights for Serie A in Italy, La Liga and Moto GP in Spain, and last week showed the Alvarez-Golovkin super middleweight fight in Las Vegas.