DAZN partners with UEFA and YouTube to grow women’s sport

The landmark announcement brings women's soccer to viewers for free via YouTube for the first time.

Canadian advertisers and fans alike will have access to more women’s sport content through a groundbreaking deal between DAZN and YouTube, designed to raise the visibility around Women’s Champion’s League soccer and women’s sport in general, a first for the governing body of European football.

The partnership is part of a larger deal making DAZN the host broadcaster for the league, and giving the streamer global rights for the next four seasons (2021-25), meaning exclusive broadcast rights worldwide, with the exception of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) – where rights do include clips and highlights – and China and its territories. The agreement is one of the largest broadcast deals in women’s club football history.

DAZN doesn’t share subscriber numbers (it costs approximately $19.99 per month to subscribe to the service in Canada), but a spokesperson for the company noted that the streamer’s Canadian subscriber base – it launched in Canada in July 2017 – is “extremely healthy,” and continues to grow steadily, noting as well that DAZN has advertising partners in Canada and is open to new opportunities around the partnership. Its demo skews male (80:20, male/female), with an average age of 31. Eighty percent of subscribers are 21 to 44.

Audience and fanbase growth is a key part of the initiative, along with expanding sponsorship opportunities around the sport.

“Canada will be a core market for DAZN when it comes to the UEFA Women’s Champions League deal over the next four years, especially given the amazing Canadian players in the women’s competition and widespread soccer fanbase domestically,” Michael Mobley, VP of media for DAZN, tells MiC. “We will absolutely be exploring local advertising opportunities with existing and new partners alike, both on DAZN and in conjunction with Google on YouTube, around live events as well as original programming – events and content that will live across both platforms and continuously showcase the breadth and brilliance of women’s football.”

DAZN’s UEFA Women’s Champions League YouTube channel has already hit over 3.41 thousand subscribers in the two days since its launch, and the DAZN Canada YouTube channel boasts 188,000 to date.

The deal with YouTube aims to bring visibility to players, clubs, and to the elite competition by making matches available to fans all season long. More specifically, for the first two seasons, ending in 2023, fans will be able to watch all 61 matches live and on demand via the new YouTube channel. For the last two seasons that run from 2023 to 2025, all 61 matches will be live on DAZN streaming platform, while only 19 matches will be available on via YouTube, the goal being to convert fans who were introduced to the sport via YouTube into DAZN subscribers.

To support the landmark deal,┬áDAZN, YouTube, and UEFA collectively put together “We all rise with more eyes,” a short film (two minutes) laying out DAZN’s long-term version for taking women’s football to the next level, and the impact more visibility will have in making that happen.

While DAZN was not able to comment specifically on media support for the campaign and its promotion in Canada, the streamer has partnered with Canadian soccer player Kadeisha Buchanan locally around the announcement, to use this moment as a kickoff increasing visibility around Women’s Champions League to even more sports fans in Canada, specifically, as well as globally.

A recent survey conducted by DAZN found that only 9% of Canadian sports fans have watched women’s soccer in the past two years either on TV, online or streaming apps. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they felt there aren’t as many women’s sports shown on TV, online or via streaming apps as compared to men’s sport, and 10% say they wouldn’t know where to watch women’s sports even if they wanted to. According to the study, reasons for not watching included a lack of awareness and access, with 19% saying a lack of access to cable channels or streaming apps were the reasons they could not watch.

With files from Mike Connell.