DAZN (pronounced “da zone”) is a sports-only streaming service that’s available in several European countries, including the UK and Germany, as well as Canada and Japan. As of September 10, 2018, DAZN US is now available.
The London-based service launched with the promise to offer US sports fans a far cheaper alternative to Pay-Per-View sports. As such, the majority of what DAZN US offers, at present, are fighting sports that, in the past, were typically only available through cable TV and Pay-Per-View services.
Is DAZN the right service for you? We decided to take DAZN’s US version for a trial run following the launch. Here’s everything you need to know about DAZN US.
DAZN is a sports-only streaming service. It offers various sports in the different countries where it is available. For US residents, DAZN is currently focused solely on fighting sports that users would otherwise be forced to pay a significant amount to see through cable TV and Pay-Per-View.
The service originally launched in 2016, offering a unique library of sports at a low cost to users. As sports contracts and streaming rights can vary, DAZN does not always provide the same sports in every country where the service is available.
For example, DAZN Canada is the only DAZN region that provides PAC-12 NCAA basketball and the more obscure sport, snooker. Ostensibly, DAZN’s goal is to try to provide its users access to streams that are otherwise unavailable or difficult/expensive to obtain in their respective countries. This is why most DAZN regions outside of America carry the NFL and MLB.
In the US, DAZN is only set to offer fighting sports, such as MMA and boxing. That will include some exclusive matches that will only be found on DAZN, or in limited locations outside of DAZN. The first major scheduled events include Bellator 205: McKee vs Macapa (simulcast on Paramount Network) and Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin.
According to DAZN CEO James Rushton, the company’s goal in the US is to “offer fans top quality pay-per-view quality fights each and every week” He added that DAZN’s US users will be able to view the entire fight card, not just the main fight or the top two fights. This makes things simpler for fans. Usually, undercards are shown for free on cable networks, but the main card requires a PPV pass, which makes things quite confusing.
You can get DAZN for $9.99 per month, which comes out to just around $120 per year. The service offers the first month of service free, which is far more generous than most other streaming services on the market, which typically only offer the first 7 days free.
When attempting to sign up on launch day, I found the website still had a “coming soon” message, but I was able to sign up via the app.
If you pay via the mobile app, you can have your monthly subscription fee subtracted via your mobile billing account, such as Google Wallet. Outside of that, you can pay using all major credit cards and debit cards.
You can sign up for DAZN anywhere in the US. Additionally, you can take your DAZN account with you to any of the countries where DAZN is available. When traveling overseas, you’ll get access to the different content DAZN offers in various countries.
That means that if you’re a US resident traveling to Canada, Germany, or the UK, you’ll still be able to stream NFL matches, as well as have access to sports you may otherwise be interested in viewing.
Unfortunately, traveling to other countries with your DAZN account does mean you won’t be able to watch the US-based streams and exclusive matches DAZN offers in the US. So plan your vacations accordingly, if you don’t want to miss major fights!
Thanks to the fact that it’s been available in various other countries for a few years, DAZN US is launching with a wide array of device and platform support.
You can stream DAZN directly from your web browser on both Windows or Mac OS computers. Most web browsers will work, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Opera.
DAZN has apps for iOS and Android devices (tablets and phones), as well as apps for popular TV devices such as the Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and TV Stick. There are even apps for the two most-used gaming consoles on the market: the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
All told, you’ll be able to stream DAZN on almost any device you want immediately after signing up for the service. (However, as a reminder, on launch day the website via computer web browsers was still unavailable.)
DAZN US – Using the Service
Your experience using DAZN may vary, depending on whether you’re streaming via one of the dedicated apps or a web browser. In general, when you load up DAZN, you’ll be greeted with a few key options.
First, you’ll see a “Featured” section that details the videos that DAZN believes you may be interested in. You can scroll through these to see what featured events or videos are available for viewing.
Below that, DAZN provides an “Upcoming” section. Here, you’ll find all of the events that are scheduled to be broadcast through the service for the next 30 days. On day one of the service’s launch in the US, the “Upcoming” section featured Joshua vs. Povetkin, Bellator 206: Mousasi vs. MacDonald, and Worlds Collide: Vargas vs. Dulorme in the “Upcoming” section.
DAZN also has some original content lined up for the service. The first show to drop is “Ak & Barak”, which is about a duo of hosts who travel around to different locations, including fighting stadiums, matches, and have interviews with fighters.
For example, the pair (who always wear hats, it seems) interviewed Anthony Joshua prior to his fight with Alexander Povetkin.
The service also has sections for the different sports it carries, as well as various on-demand video content for those matches, including replays, interviews, and other unique content. You’ll find sections for Boxing and MMA featured prominently. Under the “More” section, there are also on-demand videos for Soccer, Cycling, and Cricket.
DAZN’s app has a few additional features you may find useful.
First, you can set a reminder for upcoming events that you don’t want to miss. Events that allow you to set reminders will have a clock symbol in the featured image. Simply tap or click on the clock symbol to set your reminder.
Once a reminder is set, you’ll receive the push notification close to when the event is scheduled to start and streaming becomes available for it. Reminders can be set for pre-game interviews and not just fights.
You can view your reminders from the settings menu in the app using the “sandwich” menu button.
In the settings, you can view your reminders, change your account status, and utilize “Data Saver” which lets you reduce the video streaming quality to reduce the amount of data you’re using on mobile networks or wifi.
You’ll have two different streaming experiences when using DAZN: On-demand and live streams. On-demand streams appear to load quickly, and the video quality is in HD and clear.
If you set your app to save data, you will see some reduced quality. The sound quality is also crystal clear, but that will be impacted by the audio quality on your device. That said, the videos did appear to be a lower-quality HD, which makes sense, given the lower bitrate.
In addition, there is no option for Ultra-HD, for example, and 4K appears to be completely off the table.
Additionally, by default, DAZN’s app opens any stream at the top of the app. If you want full screen, you’ll need to tap the multi-arrow “expand” button on the video and then turn the screen to horizontal. Unfortunately, DAZN doesn’t let you decide which direction the screen goes when it’s in horizontal mode, which is a distinct limitation for those trying to watch in bed with a plugged-in device.
We were not able to test the DAZN US live stream during our initial day-one test. Based on our previous experience with DAZN Canada, the live streaming quality may not be the best, but we’re hoping for an improvement.
For review, when we tested DAZN Canada, we found that service had many notable issues. According to our writer Chris, those problems included “frequent buffering issues, dropped frames, and audio glitches.”
We will wait to see whether DAZN US has improved service for its live streaming over DAZN Canada, which we will be able to determine after the Bellator 205: McKee vs. Macapa fight.
With any luck, DAZN will have boosted their viewing experience for their US live streams and will provide a smooth experience.
Scheduled Events for DAZN US
DAZN US has a handful of live events already on the schedule, and many more that will be announced later during the year.
Under its launch deals, DAZN will have 32 Matchroom Boxing fight cards per year for at least the next 2 years. Half of those fights will be held in the UK, while the other half will be held in the US under a new Matchroom Boxing US name.
The service also has a 5-year deal with Bellator to offer that promotion company’s mixed martial arts fights. This will start with Bellator 205. That deal also extends to DAZN’s other regions, meaning anyone outside of the US using the service will now get access to Bellator matches.
That deal with Bellator also includes 7 exclusive cards per year but also includes a simulcast with Paramount Network (which is available on Philo and other cord-cutting services). The exclusive matches mean DAZN users will be at an advantage if they use the service.
Some of the biggest fights coming to DAZN in the near future include:
- Sept. 21 – Bellator 205: McKee vs Macapa (simulcast with Paramount Network)
- Sept. 22 – Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
- Sept. 29 – Bellator 206: Rampage vs. Silva 4 & Mousasi vs. MacDonald
- Oct 6 – Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
- Oct. 12 – Bellator 207: Mitrione vs. Bader (simulcast with Paramount Network)
- Oct. 13 – Bellator 208: Fedor vs. Sonnen (simulcast with Paramount Network)
- Oct. 20 – Billy Joe Saunders vs. Demetrius Andrade
Beyond that, you can check DAZN’s calendar from the “Schedules” section to see what events are upcoming on each day. You can filter by sport, or select “All sports” to catch everything available.
Overall Review: 7.6
Content quality – 6.0
It’s hard to judge DAZN’s US content this early on, especially since we’re reviewing it right as the service enters the market. However, the total content offering is extremely lackluster for what you’re getting out of the box. There are few matches scheduled, very little on-demand content available to start, and only marginal original content. DAZN has done a good job of having something to offer for those first signing up, but it has a long way to go to develop the options for US customers.
Streaming quality – 7.5
We will update our score up or down for streaming quality after we’ve had a chance to test the live streaming. At present, however, we’ve found that DAZN US has so-so quality for on-demand videos.
The quality isn’t fantastic, but it is HD in its most basic form. The lack of many controls over the horizontal direction for the app is disappointing, but it’s good that DAZN lets you implement a data saver on its video streams.
Device support – 9.0
It’s hard to argue with the devices support that DAZN offers. DAZN is available on almost every device you’re going to want to use it with. The biggest limitation is the fact that the web browser version of the site was still unavailable on launch day. We docked a point for that, but that may change later.
Value – 8
We’d love to give DAZN a higher score for value, but it’s hard to justify the present cost with so little content available on launch.
However, DAZN earns a solid 8 for one, simple fact: They’re offering matches that would otherwise only be available expensively through Pay-Per-View.
If you consider the fact that DAZN is only $9.99 per month, whereas PPV matches can be upward of $70 for a single night’s worth of content, DAZN starts making a lot of sense, especially if you want to see far more fight sports without having to break the bank every time.
DAZN US is an exciting new service for fight sports. It also gives US residents the opportunity to sign up for DAZN and watch some of their favorite sports while traveling across the globe.
Once DAZN US really begins to take off, it will be interesting to see whether the service can land more lucrative contracts and start to offer more than just fight sports.
For now, however, DAZN still makes sense as a purchase for anyone who wants to watch boxing and MMA from major promoters without having to shell out huge amounts of money on PPV passes for each match.