The Daily Telegraph

Blavatnik’s ‘Netflix of sport’ to slash jobs

- By Matthew Field

THE loss-making sports streaming company controlled by billionair­e Sir Leonard Blavatnik has slashed engineerin­g jobs in its London headquarte­rs months after securing a $250m (£220m) cash injection.

Dazn, billed as the “Netflix of sport”, is understood to have cut “dozens” of design and technical roles in London, Amsterdam and Poland as part of a restructur­ing. The sports streaming company broadcasts boxing and Ultimate Fighting Championsh­ip matches to paying customers and owns the rights to broadcast the English Football League in Europe.

However, it failed in an £800m effort to acquire BT Sport earlier this year and has burned through billions of pounds in its efforts to establish itself as a rival to terrestria­l sports broadcaste­rs.

Dazn was spun off from the former FTSE 250 gambling data company Perform by Sir Leonard’s Access Industries.

The 64-year-old Ukraine-born entre- preneur, the majority shareholde­r in record label Warner Music, bankrolled its losses in February, injecting a further $250m cash into the firm.

Despite his ongoing investment, insiders said the company had made significan­t cutbacks to its engineerin­g teams in Europe. A spokesman confirmed the redundanci­es: “To achieve our ambitious vision of reshaping the way people around the world enjoy watching sports, we are continuous­ly refining our operating model to support the business needs.

“This will necessaril­y result in a realignmen­t of skills across the organisati­on in all our markets and department­s; we are actually increasing our headcount globally.”

It is understood the company is creating additional engineerin­g roles in a hub in India, although a source close to Dazn insisted this was to build extra capacity and that European roles were not being outsourced.

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