March 13, 2019 / 7:25 PM / 7 days ago

Digital sports network DAZN to start running ads

Internet streaming service DAZN's logo is pictured in its office in Tokyo, Japan March 21, 2017. Picture taken on March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Digital sports network DAZN, which launched in September with the aim of disrupting traditional sports media broadcasting, will start running advertisements some time in 2019, the company said on Wednesday.

Until now, DAZN, pronounced “Da Zone,” has been ad-free. This year it will introduce ads from German carmaker Volkswagen AG and brewery Krombacher, as well as a unit of Malta’s Tipico Group Ltd and GVC Holdings Plc subsidiary bwin Interactive Gaming AG, both of which are offshore sports betting operators.

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, DAZN operates live and on-demand streaming content in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, Canada, the United States and plans to launch soon in Brazil.

The consumer-facing content provider DAZN was part of a larger media and social gaming group called Perform Group. That group is also rebranding itself as DAZN Media, it said on Wednesday.

“DAZN has set out to change the way the world sees sport and we now feel that we are in a position to change the way brands engage with sports fans,” Stefano D’Anna, one of the group’s co-founders, said in a statement.

Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Susan Thomas

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