Perform to merge with STATS, DAZN to focus on streaming

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DAZN Group has sold its Perform division, including Opta, to a US investment firm STATS. The deal will lead to Perform’s  merger with Stats, the sports technology, data and content company.

The merger will help DAZN focus on the global expansion on their OTT sports platform. Vista Equity Partners is behind the acquisition which will see DAZN receive both cash and a “significant” minority stake in the newly formed company.

The exact financial details of the merger are not revealed.

An official release has stated that the US-based STATS and Europe-based Perform will combine and use artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to accelerate innovation in sport by generating machine learning predictions to improve team performance and player evaluation, automate natural language insights for broadcasters and sports technology, and form new data for sportsbooks.

These innovations will be the foundation of the future strategy of the new entity, extending across all of STATS and Perform, including Opta, RunningBall and Watch&Bet, allowing rights-holders, leagues, media, and gaming partners to derive the most value and develop the richest experiences for billions of fans.

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“Bringing Perform into the fold will create the most advanced artificial intelligence company in sports, providing deeper, more robust data and insights, which is essential to our global partners,” STATS chief executive, Carl Mergele said.

“Not only will we be able to improve our offerings to existing customers, we now have the opportunity to expand our presence in global markets where Perform has paved inroads for years as a leader in digital sports content.”

The owner of DAZN Group, Len Blavatnik, said: “The combination of STATS and Perform creates a powerful opportunity as the experience of sports for consumers continues to evolve.

“We look forward to working with the new business and with Vista, as we remain focused on fully maximising DAZN’s potential.”

The acquisition of Perform further boosts Vista’s wide-ranging portfolio of companies, which spans the software, data and technology industries, and also includes secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats.

DAZN’s over-the-top (OTT) platform currently operates in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, the US and Spain, and is planning on becoming the ‘Netflix of Sport’.

Perform employs more than 1,500 people around the world and works with media owners, rights-holders, bookmakers and professional sports teams. It is not clear at this stage whether all employees are included in the deal.

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