John Skipper left ESPN abruptly in December 2017, just days after he announced a contract extension. In March 2018, he revealed he had been had been suffering from substance abuse issues and the victim of an extortion plot. Now he’s well and truly back, with an ambitious digital venture called DAZN. Bloomberg Business Week spoke with Mr. Skipper and discussed the prospects for the service as it begins to expand.
Skipper won’t call DAZN a “Netflix for sports,” at least not publicly, but it’s useful shorthand. DAZN offers live sports on the internet for a monthly fee. It started in Germany and Japan in summer 2016 and now also operates in Canada, Italy, and the U.S. The German service (which is also available in Austria and Switzerland) offers four of the top European soccer leagues plus the NBA and NFL for about $10 per month. In Japan, subscribers get domestic soccer and baseball, plus MLB, the NFL, three European soccer leagues, and UEFA Champions League, for about $15. U.S. service began in September, offering boxing and mixed martial arts at $10 a month.