(Reuters) – DAZN Group announced a $4.3 billion capital injection by its backer and billionaire investor Len Blavatnik’s firm on Friday, as the British sports media company looks to expand into recreational betting, gaming and non-fungible tokens.
Sports broadcasters have been investing billions of dollars in live sporting events as they attract a big number of audiences, and pay TV providers as well as streaming services are willing to pay a premium to stream games.
The investment comes after Spain’s LaLiga soccer league in December sold its domestic broadcasting rights to Movistar and DAZN for 4.95 billion euros ($5.62 billion) over five years.
The media company also said its biggest shareholder Access Industries, founded and chaired by Blavatnik, subscribed for another $250 million of its new shares.
The company, which also hosts coverage of the Bundesliga in Germany and is home to more than 700 live and on-demand sport rights around the globe, said the recapilization by Access has left the group without any borrowings at the end of 2021.
DAZN had walked away from a deal to buy BT Sports, which would have given it the sought-after rights to the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League matches, a source had told Reuters earlier this month.
($1 = 0.8803 euros)
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)