OTT & Digital

DAZN Canada pens NFL carriage deals

Move comes after OTT broadcaster experienced streaming issues in 2017.

by Sam Carp

DAZN Canada pens NFL carriage deals

Perform-owned over-the-top (OTT) broadcaster DAZN has announced sublicensing deals for its National Football League (NFL) coverage in Canada after experiencing streaming issues last season.

The platform, which launched in Canada in 2017 as the exclusive rights holder of NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone, has signed agreements with a selection of cable and satellite providers including BCE Inc., Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and SaskTel. The deals means that all four companies will distribute NFL Sunday Ticket for the upcoming season.

DAZN confirmed that the four providers can further sublicense the content to other companies, although the streaming service will remain the only place in Canada to watch every NFL game with exclusive rights to RedZone.

The move comes after DAZN’s launch in Canada was riddled with technical issues, including muffled sound and buffering video, leaving fans frustrated and forcing both the company and the NFL to apologise for ‘inadequate service’.

DAZN eventually signed sublicensing deals with Shaw and SaskTel in October, and has opted for a similar strategy this year to ensure fans can still watch the NFL if the company’s streaming issues resurface. 

“We are happy to be partnering with Canadian cable providers to give Canadian NFL fans more choice when it comes to their viewing experience,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN’s senior vice president of revenue.

“We are proud of the progress we’ve made since our launch last summer, including adding some top-notch sports properties to our offering and substantial platform improvements that fans will notice and enjoy. We are also excited to be adding even more sports programming in the coming weeks, all at the low-cost Canadians have come to expect from us.”

Markowski also said that DAZN has made significant investments in its operations to address last season’s issues, adding that the company has tested the platform continuously over the NFL’s off-season break.

DAZN has also invested in more content in Canada, adding rights to the Uefa Champions League and Europa League European club soccer competitions, while it also has a partnership with Major League Baseball’s MLB Network.