Sport is not free for anyone
DAZN Canada now owns Canadian tennis rights. This means that DAZN will exclusively stream the ATP World Tour 250 series, WTA Tour, Davis Cup, and Fed Cup to those that subscribe to their services. In other words, if you are in Canada, the only way to legally watch matches from these events is by buying into a subscription package with DAZN Canada.
The biggest trend in sports is to not give fans what they want. Do a Google search of the top sport leagues, events, and teams around the world and there is a good chance you will find they appear on cable channels or exclusive streaming services that alienate fans. The only way the average sports fan is able to watch the sports they want today is to subscribe to multiple expensive streaming services.
Wasn’t the idea of cutting the cable cord to make it cheaper to watch what we want to see? Well, not for sports fans. Sports fans need to subscribe to multiple channels and platforms to watch the sports they love.
Tennis sells out
The latest slap in the face to sports fans came courtesy of the World Tennis Association and streaming platform DAZN. Who is DAZN? Well, if you don’t know that is fine, because I too had to research the group. DAZN apparently stands for ‘Da Zone’, one of the stupidest names in sports broadcasting. Despite the ridiculous name, DAZN has deep pockets and it has worked out broadcasting rights deals with top sports leagues around the globe. The WTA is one such group DAZN has shown the money to; and that is where the problem lies.
Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu won the BNP Paribas Open which pushed the love the country has for her further. Unfortunately, few Canadians saw the tennis final as DAZN had the broadcast rights for the tournament.
DAZN has snapped up a load of sports rights in Canada. MLS, NFL, WTA tennis and more has moved to DANZ. While most Canadians will get their sports from TSN, DAZN hopes to lure a large number of fans over to their platform.
Sports steaming is the Wild West
According to a 2018 Forbes article, DANZ cost customers $20 a month or $150 at an annual introductory price. It isn’t much until you add up the number of TV services people subscribe to today. Netflix, Internet service, cable, Prime, and more services are available to households and the cost can be in the hundreds of dollars.
The WTA sold its rights to DAZN for big money. The London-based DAZN has been incredibly aggressive in acquiring rights with little to no interest in sports fans.
DAZN hasn’t had the smoothest ride since debuting in Canada. Of course, that is the problem with sports streaming services which seem to be fighting it out in a digital Wild West. While the WTA sold out to DAZN and Canadian tennis fans lost out, the steaming platform claims to be increasing subscribers.
The platform’s main draw is the NFL due to streaming a large number of regular season games. DAZN also shows all playoff games and the Super Bowl.
While DAZN is happy with the life, the WTA may be rethinking their rights sale to the highest bidder. Fans have been turned off, but they should get ready for further sports leagues to alienate supporters. The WTA’s sale of rights and fan reaction should be followed by other sports leagues. In the end, the fans do pay money to watch games. However, sports leagues know fans will pay whatever it takes to follow the sports teams they love.