DAZN VP of production and editorial operations Louise Lawler has explained the strategy behind the FTA women’s sport platform DAZN Rise

DAZN UWCL Women's Champions League football

DAZN VP of production and editorial operations Louise Lawler has revealed the strategy behind the recently announced DAZN Rise platform. 

DAZN Rise will launch in Germany and Austria from 16 March, and is a free, ad-supported streaming platform dedicated to women’s sport. It will first be available on Samsung TV Plus and waipu.tv, with other platforms such as LG and Cliq to follow.

The broadcaster’s rights include the Women’s Champions League, Frauen Bundesliga, Liga F, and Division 1 Feminine, as well as non-football rights such as golf, handball, basketball, hockey and boxing. There will also be non-live content such as documentaries.

Lawler was speaking at Stats Perform’s Embracing Equity In Sport event, held ahead of International Women’s Day, which featured a group of female leaders in sport speaking about the growth and challenges for women in the industry. She spoke alongside England Rugby women’s game director Alex Teesdale, BBC Sport women’s sport lead Anna Thompson, and Upshot founder and CEO Preeti Shetty.

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Lawler pointed to DAZN’s commitment to women’s sport, and confirmed that the streaming platform will be aiming to replicate platforms like Rise across multiple territories.

She said: “DAZN made a commitment to women’s sport a couple of years back with the Women’s Champions League… This deal was slightly different as it wasn’t necessarily about seeing commercial opportunities for an initial return. It wasn’t going to drive subscriptions to justify the rights fee, but what it could do was grow the sport, so then you could get commercial opportunities and subscriptions follow.

“We now have quite a substantial rights portfolio around women’s sport and we’ve proactively gone about doing that. The idea around it was that the appetite for women’s sport was growing massively, and for the WUCL we did a deal with YouTube for free streaming for exposure. The campaign was “We ALL Rise With More Eyes”, and it really showed us that the engagement was there with those people who wanted to watch the sport but getting that commitment from them was a little trickier at this point.”

Lawler added on DAZN Rise specifically: “This initiative is offering something unique to that market for people who want to watch women’s football but don’t necessarily want to pay a high tier subscription for our Bundesliga or Serie A rights. This helps the viewership grow but gives us a commercial opportunity as well as there’s advertising around it to support that programming. I think it’s something we want to look at across multiple territories, not just Germany. For example, in Spain it’s called DAZN Victoria [and requires a subscription fee]. Across our FAST channels, we’re looking at opportunities within women’s sport. The market is there now, and I think if you can make it available in every which way possible, more eyes definitely means more success for the sport.”