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The Hauser Report -- DAZN: Charging More for Less

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  • The Hauser Report -- DAZN: Charging More for Less

    I subscribed to DAZN as soon as the network began streaming fights in the United States. My account lists me as having been a subscriber since September 17, 2018. The subscription renews automatically on March 17 of each year unless I take the affirmative step of cancelling it.

    I just cancelled my subscription to DAZN.

    DAZN's boxing program has been a disappointment. During its early years, the network didn’t deliver everything it promised to subscribers. But overall, its fights were better than those offered by its competitors.

    Unfortunately, rather than improve since then, DAZN's boxing content has deteriorated. Its subscriber retention program is now based in significant part on the lethargy of subscribers (such as myself) who see a once-a-year charge on our credit-card bill and pay it out of habit.

    Last month, I received an email from DAZN. It began by thanking me "for being a valued DAZN subscriber" and expressed the hope that I "enjoyed the award-winning and record-breaking fights last year on DAZN." The next paragraph advised, "In 2023, DAZN brings you an unrivalled schedule including top-tier fights featuring some of boxing’s biggest names. Ryan Garcia returns to the ring in early 2023."

    Of course, when the email was sent, Ryan Garcia's next fight was (and still is) slated to be on Showtime-PPV.

    Then, after referencing the now-postponed May 20 fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, the email proclaimed, "DAZN is now the true home of crossover boxing and all KSI fights following a new 5-year deal with Misfits Boxing."

    Except KSI's fights will be on DAZN pay-per-view (which is not included with the monthly subscription fee). And I wouldn't watch them if they were free. I signed up for DAZN to watch good professional boxing matches. I don't care about bells and whistles and trash sport and what DAZN's email referred to as "darts, pool, and more."

    Then came to the straw that broke the camel's back.

    In March 2022, I'd been billed $99.99 for a full year of DAZN. Now (the email advised me) DAZN is increasing its annual subscription fee to $224.99 pursuant to what it euphemistically calls its "annual Super Saver" rate. That's a 125 percent increase over last year.

    Now let's get real. DAZN's move comes at a time when there's more competition than ever before for consumer streaming dollars. And consider the alternatives.

    Disney offers a bundle that includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month with ads (or $19.99 a month with the ads limited to ESPN+). HBO Max offers a choice between a stream with ads for $9.99 a month (or $99.99 a year) and without ads for $15.99 a month (or $149.99 a year). Paramount+ with Showtime charges $11.99 a month (or $119.99 a year). Netflix costs $6.99 a month ($15.49 without ads). Peacock is $4.99 a month with ads and $9.99 a month without. Apple TV costs $6.99 a month.

    DAZN is now charging its subscribers substantially more than these content providers - $224.99 a year (averaging out to $18.75 a month). Alternatively, DAZN subscribers can pay $24.99 per month on a month-to-month contract. And remember; DAZN's content includes ads.

    Moreover, DAZN's price increase comes at a particularly inappropriate time since the network announced late last year that, going forward, its most attractive events will be on pay-per-view. Subscribers will be asked to pay an additional pay-per-view charge for the fights that they most want to see. For example, DAZN charged subscribers an additional $64.99 for Canelo-Golovkin III.

    In other words; rather than attract new subscribers with the lure of improved content, DAZN appears to have opted for a business strategy designed to squeeze every last dollar out of current subscribers who have remained loyal to the network. And while DAZN might lose incrementally less money in the short term as a consequence of this rate increase, the new price points will turn off potential new subscribers and inevitably drive away old ones. Ultimately, that will translate into even more red ink on DAZN's balance sheet.

    Last month, DAZN executive vice president Joe Markowski sought to justify the price increase, telling writer Declan Taylor, "We are leaning on a lot of data and a lot of experience from a lot of global markets. I’ve led a couple of price rises in the U.S. and they’ve been successful and have made business sense for us."

    But in reality, DAZN's operations in the United States appear to have been a financial disaster. The network has consistently refused to reveal the number of subscribers that it has in the U.S. But by all credible accounts, these numbers are grim.

    So I pulled the trigger. I went to the DAZN home page. Then I clicked on "Menu . . . My account . . . Subscription . . . Manage subscription . . . Cancel."

    Would I watch Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin on DAZN if I still had my subscription? Sure. But I can live with watching that fight on YouTube or some other platform an hour after it's over. And in truth, most of the fights that DAZN televises these days are of little interest to me.

    As a boxing fan, I wanted DAZN to succeed. I really did. But the network has made empty promise after empty promise to me. It failed to deliver on its pledge of regularly-scheduled "pay-per-view-quality fights for one low monthly price." Its good fights have become fewer and further in between.

    If Len Blavatnik (the oligarch investor who has lost billions of dollars as a consequence of foolish decision-making by DAZN) wants to pay for DAZN's mistakes, that's fine with me. But Blavatnik is now asking me to pay for DAZN's mistakes. No, thank you.

    Thomas Hauser's email address is His most recent book – In the Inner Sanctum: Behind the Scenes at Big Fights – was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism. In 2019, Hauser was selected for boxing's highest honor - induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

  • #2
    Yea i agree with you, the DAZN fights have been less then interesting and i am not going to type away as to why or who the fighters are. I picked up DAZN for the World Boxing Super Series. I enjoyed that alot. But then as the fights continued and there was a flood of them i found that many of the fights and fighers were not even up to FNF standards or Tuesday night Fights and i will not mention HBO but I could. Boxing is not DOING itself any favors by this. There seems to be no concern for boxing as a sport. No concern for how boxing will attract new fans, no concern at all for those of us who grew up with boxing. There is a pattern there some how what could it be. Oh yea the fan dont matter, sound familar ? Who drives boxing it is still the fan. What did DANz do with boxing it used it as a money grab nothing wrong with grabbing some money we all have got to make a living but come on dude really ? First it was someone anyone with a gimmich some kid who liked pro wrestling and wanted to tell his story about planes and cocain. Good for the the kid he made a buck but he is not an attraction. There is a list of them i will not give them ink. Then DANZ decided to save woman the injustice of not being able to box. Well i do not watch woman box but you all took the men out of boxing and made woman because they were cheaper to pay a gimmick as well. Oh and those ads for DANZ who could stand it after a while. I fighter gets knocked in the firs round and you want to see his eyes his corners eyes and voice but no NO NO llll lets sell those damn batteries. Let the two trained monkeys tell us what was said in the corner. Garbage in the end. I could go on but i got better things to think about.