Sports streaming giant DAZN has set its sights on revolutionizing English football by launching a bid to broadcast every single EFL fixture, as well as creating its own version of the NFL’s “RedZone” that would allow viewers to watch every goal as it happens. The move would also signal the end of the controversial 3pm blackout, which has been in place for 60 years and prevents any footage of games being shown between 2.45pm and 5.15pm every Saturday.
DAZN has tabled a “significant” offer for global rights to the EFL from the 2024-25 season, which is part of the league’s planned overhaul of coverage. The company is hoping to “super-size” its business by moving into English football, and the EFL is currently sifting through bids before presenting its preferred options to clubs, who would then get to vote.
The most significant aspect of DAZN’s proposal is ending the 3pm blackout, which has been supported by many EFL clubs who argue that it preserves match-going culture and crucial revenue. However, DAZN believes that the rule is outdated and that a younger generation of supporters is being turned off by not being able to watch their clubs. The company is convinced that Saturday crowds would not be hit by matches being available to stream and pointed out that illegal streams are readily available, and clubs are missing out on significant revenue.
If DAZN is chosen as a preferred bidder, it will offer all 72 teams a platform and will allow them to “close the gap” on the Premier League in terms of revenue streams. The company’s coverage would include beefed-up behind-the-scenes footage, watchalongs, stats, in-play betting, and vastly superior camera angles and production values than the basic iFollow service that clubs currently charge £10 a game for. DAZN would also launch an EFL version of the NFL’s “RedZone,” enabling viewers to watch every goal as it happens.
Although the EFL has been open about ending the blackout, some clubs believe that would be disastrous, and the Football Supporters’ Association still supports it. Other clubs are already earning substantial revenue through iFollow and will want to know if their cut of the new deal will replace that before voting in favor. However, DAZN is confident that its product is significantly underexposed, and its bid would transform the league and offer a platform for all 72 teams.
It remains to be seen how DAZN’s proposed revolution will be received by the 72 clubs and supporters. Still, the company is convinced that it can help market the league to a new generation of supporters, both at home and abroad, making it more appealing to sponsors. The bidding process has ended, and the EFL hopes to settle on the next broadcasting model soon, possibly even before the start of next season, with the goal of significantly increasing the value of its rights to close to £200m-a-year, double the current value.
In conclusion, I am excited about the potential of the DAZN deal for the EFL, and I believe that it could be a significant boost to the league’s profile and revenue streams. However, I also believe that the final deal value will be closer to £300m per year, based on the factors outlined above and the precedent set by lesser sports leagues such as the MLS.