Sports streamer DAZN names co-CEO
Sports streamer DAZN has finalised its corporate restructuring that started over six months ago by naming a new co-CEO.
Acting CEO James Rushton – who was promoted from the role of finance boss in July 2020 – has been confirmed as co-CEO, while DAZN has also announced the hire of Entain CEO Shay Segev in what is a major coup for the company.
Segev handed in his notice at Entain, which owns gambling firms including Ladbrokes, Coral and Gala, at a time when the betting giant is in the midst of a tense £8bn takeover from MGM Resorts. He had been with the company for five years, and was only appointed CEO in July, but the Len Blatnavik-backed DAZN evidently poses a more lucrative opportunity.
Departing Entain, Segev commented that “the recent interest from MGM Resorts has had absolutely no bearing on my decision.”
DAZN said that Segev’s tech-oriented background at Entain and previously Videobet and Playtech will mean that “he is ideally positioned to help drive DAZN through its next phase of rapid growth.”
Describing the new co-CEO, DAZN Group chairman John Skipper said: “We’re adding depth and fresh expertise to the team. He is recognised as one of the leading figures in online gaming and brings vast technology and operations experience to the role as well as an impressive track record in digital transformation.”
Segev said: “It is incredible to be given an opportunity to lead a business with global reach and ambition as well as the technology and resources to deliver sports to the world. This role allows me to combine my passion for sport and transformative technology to disrupt and improve the consumer experience.”
Meanwhile, Rushton’s confirmation as permanent chief exec has been long-expected, with the former CFO having overseen a major senior reshuffle along with DAZN’s rollout to 200 markets in December 2020.
African OTT set for major growth
The African OTT market is set to reach $1.7bn by 2026, according to new analysis.
Revenues will surge from $392m at the end of 2020, according to Digital TV Research, with SVOD services continuing to make up the bulk of the market. Services such as Netflix and Disney+ will grow from $299m in 2020 to $1.5bn in 2026, the firm said.
Netflix, which is the market leader, will see its share of subscribers drop from 57% at the end of 2020 to 44% by 2026, with more players entering the region. The streamer ended last year with 1.99 million subs, and this is expected to increase by more than triple to 6.26 million in 2026.
Disney+, meanwhile, is only expected to enter Africa in 2022, but the report predicts that it will finish 2026 with an impressive 3.13 million paying subscribers.
In terms of nations dominating the market, South Africa will contribute a third of the region’s revenues by 2026, with Nigeria bringing in a further fifth.
Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Regional players Showmax and MyCanal have upped their game in face of this added competition. Both of these platforms have sister pay TV companies. However, the SVOD platforms are emerging in their own right.”
Universal Cinergia Dubbing ups O’Neill to first CPO
US-based dubbing company Universal Cinergia Dubbing has promoted Kaitlyn O’Neill to the role of its first-ever chief production officer.
O’Neill, who previously served as general manager at the firm, will now be responsible for overseeing global production in the newly created position.
Joining the company in 2012, O’Neill was also named as the company’s first general manager in 2015 and led the TPN certification processes for both its Miami facilities.
“I am grateful to be part of a dedicated and passionate company striving for excellence in every way”, said O’Neill. “I am honored to take over such an exciting role to continue to contribute to the company’s expansion.”