DAZN to withhold next rights fees payments, could include Bellator
While networks like ESPN are having difficulties attempting to fill airtime as nearly every major sports league in the world is on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the pain is also being felt by subscription services that focus 100% on sports like DAZN.
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On Tuesday, it was reported by the Sports Business Journal that the streaming service will begin ceasing the next rights fees payments to their league partners that haven’t provided contractually obligated content.
While not outlined specifically in the SBJ article, one of those partners could be Bellator MMA as they postponed one show in April and three shows in May due to scheduling concerns around the global health crisis.
Bellator is owned by ViacomCBS and simulcasts some events on Paramount Network, the former Spike TV. They announced a nine figure, multi-year deal with DAZN in June 2018.
They also work with several top boxers and promoters like Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Anthony Joshua, and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Additionally, they have deals with Major League Baseball, the NFL, the Champions League, and various other entities around the world.
DAZN is also expected to start furloughing thousands of their staff members in an effort to leave employees on the company books while having them take a leave of absence.