The sale continues DAZN’s push to centralize its core business around live streaming. In 2018 the company was split from its original parent, the sports data firm Perform Group, which was later sold. DAZN also recently unloaded Goal.com and a pair of other soccer news sites to a group backed by private equity giant TPG for more than $100 million.
A DAZN spokesman confirmed the sale and buyer. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Sporting News began publishing as a weekly back in 1886 and transitioned to digital-only in 2013. DAZN, then Perform Group, originally acquired a 65% stake in the company back in 2013, and later purchased the rest.
DAZN is backed by Ukrainian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik and run by former ESPN president John Skipper. The company recently launched its global platform, a subscription service available in more than 200 countries that will focus at the outset on fight sports. DAZN also has country-specific products—like in Japan and Germany—that have a much larger array of rights.
PAX Holdings is led by chairman Tom Hall, a longtime gaming executive. The family office invests in and advises companies across real estate, wine and spirits, social media marketing and gaming. Sporting News could have value in that last category—as legal sports betting spreads across the U.S. (and the globe), many operators have turned to established media companies as a way to acquire new customers. Sporting News, which carries a name many U.S. sports fans recognize, could become an affiliate business in that model.
PAX has worked with some of the biggest gaming companies in the world, including Betfair, William Hill, Entain (formerly GVC Holdings) and the Stars Group.