Jamie Horowitz Joins John Skipper's DAZN as Head of Content
The former ESPN and Fox Sports exec joins the streaming startup amid a new content investment of about $12 million.
Jamie Horowitz has been tapped to head up content for DAZN’s platforms in the U.S. and Canada, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Named to the newly created role of executive vp, content, North America, Horowitz, 42, will report to executive chairman John Skipper.
Horowitz, late of ESPN and Fox Sports, has been consulting for the sports streaming service for the last nine months. The position is effective immediately and formally unites Horowitz with Skipper, who joined DAZN last year as executive chairman, after his sudden departure from ESPN in late 2017.
DAZN (pronounced “da zone”) streams live sports for a monthly fee. Headquartered in London, it launched in Germany and Japan in 2016; it’s the No. 1 sports platform in Japan where it has rights to domestic soccer and baseball as well as MLB, NFL and UEFA Champions League. It now operates in nine countries including Canada, Italy and Spain, with the German service also available in Austria and Switzerland. And later this month, it will launch in Brazil. In the U.S., the service (which is available for $99 annually or on a monthly basis) streams more than 100 hours of live boxing and MMA fights a year. And last year, Skipper signed star Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez (who is represented by Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy) to a rich $365 million deal to broadcast his next 11 fights. The second fight under the deal — against Daniel Jacobs — is May 5 in Las Vegas.
The platform also has deals with Matchroom Boxing, GGG Promotions, Bellator MMA, World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas. Skipper also recently sealed a deal with Major League Baseball that gives DAZN live look-ins of MLB games, but not rights to stream entire games. This allowed DAZN to launch ChangeUp, a nightly whip-around show. Adnan Virk, who was fired by ESPN earlier this year for allegedly leaking to a reporter, was hired to host as among the hosts of ChangeUp. Virk also contributes to DAZN’s boxing coverage.
Horowitz was fired from Fox Sports in July 2017 amid an internal investigation of harassment claims. At the time, Horowitz's attorney Patty Glaser stated, "At no point in his tenure was there any mention by his superiors or human resources of any misconduct or an inability to adhere to professional conduct."
Horowitz’s hiring is in conjunction with seven-figure content investment that sources pegged to be around $12 million. His mandate will be to grow the sports streamer’s original content slate beyond live rights. Already he’s had a hand in launching 40 Days, a docuseries produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s Uninterrupted that chronicles the grueling eight-week training period ahead of a title fight. The first installment streamed on DAZN as well as Uninterrupted; 40 Days — which is a somewhat more ambitious version of HBO’s now-defunct boxing series 24/7 — is expected to become an ongoing franchise around DAZN’s biggest fights. Of course, the marketing appeal of James, who tweeted the announcement to his 44 million Twitter followers, is undeniably valuable for DAZN.
Skipper made the announcement in an email to staff May 3. "In his new role, Jamie will oversee all content for the North American business, including live production, original programming, social content, editorial, and scheduling," wrote Skipper. "The focus will be using content to acquire and retain subscribers."