Sports broadcaster DAZN suffered an operating loss of $1.3bn (£1.1bn) and record overall losses of $2.3bn (£1.9bn) in 2021 despite growing revenue by almost 80 per cent.
The UK-headquartered streaming and subscription service, which is a major player in the US, Japan and Germany, saw income swell to $1.6bn (£1.3bn).
But costs also increased by around 50 per cent to $2.9bn (£2.4bn), due largely to new rights deals for Champions League and Italian Serie A football.
The conversion of $3.3bn (£2.7bn) loans from parent company Access Industries into equity added more than $700m (£576m) in losses to the balance sheet.
The platform, which was established in 2016 and has been bankrolled by Access Industries’ billionaire owner Len Blavatnik, lost more than $5bn (£4.1bn) from 2019 to 2021.
DAZN has invested heavily in rights which also include Premier League football, NFL and NBA in certain markets.
In the UK its offering is focused on combat sports, notably boxing, having reportedly invested a nine-figure sum to show all of former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua’s fights.
Last year it bid for BT Sport but was gazumped by Warner Bros Discovery.
Industry publication SportBusiness reports that DAZN is expected to report significant but reduced losses for 2022 after raising subscription prices.
It also plans to drive higher revenue by adding betting and ecommerce functionality to its platform in 2023.
“It’s clearly not great to lose $1.3bn. But on the other hand, it’s a journey,” DAZN Group chief executive Shay Segev told SportBusiness. “This is probably one of the necessary milestones on this journey.
“I arrived after billions had already been invested in DAZN, and there is already an established infrastructure that will allow the business to go to its next phase. This money has gone toward a good purpose: to build the platform we currently have.”
DAZN is available in 10 core markets, which also include the UK and Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Taiwan.
It offers a streaming platform in a further 190 countries worldwide and says it has 15m paying subscribers.