Kevin Mayer Reiterates English Premier League Rights Ambitions, States Global Acquisition Plans for New Media Company – Variety - Techy Hunters

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Kevin Mayer Reiterates English Premier League Rights Ambitions, States Global Acquisition Plans for New Media Company – Variety

Kevin Mayer, chair of live sports streaming service DAZN, has confirmed his ambitions of acquiring rights to the globally popular English Premier League (EPL) soccer championship.

In May, rights to the EPL, worth £5 billion ($7 billion) remained with the existing trio of Sky, Amazon, and BT Sport and DAZN was not permitted to participate in the bidding process.

Speaking at the Royal Television Society convention at Cambridge on Wednesday, the former Disney and TikTok top executive described that process as an “unusual circumstance.” “We’d like to be able to compete for rights when they come up,” Mayer said. “And certainly we want to be at the table or have a chance to be at the table in the future – so I hope that I would hope that that’s how it will be handled coming forward.”

DAZN has frequently been mentioned as a possible suitor for BT Sport. “We would love to have EPL, there are many paths to get there, ultimately how we get there… whatever makes the most sense,” Mayer said. “BT Sport is a great business because they have a lot of rights that are fabulous – EPL, Champions League, rugby…. they’re a good sports service.”

Recently, Mayer and Tom Staggs’ as yet untitled media holding company backed by private equity giant Blackstone acquired Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine in a $900 million deal.

Mayer revealed that the new company is looking to acquire businesses all over the world and that the Hello Sunshine acquisition was “part of a larger whole.” “We’re going to bring in other category-defining businesses and brands that will fill out a whole spectrum of audiences,” Mayer said.

Regarding the privatization of U.K. public service broadcaster Channel 4, which was the hot topic of discussion on the day, Mayer described it as a “great business” and added that while American media companies might be interested in owning it, his new company wasn’t one of them.



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