DAZN has added some more content to its service, but it’s probably not the type content you’re expecting. The streaming service has agreed to a multi-year deal with Pat McAfee (hired by ESPN last week), and McAfee’s role with the company will be extensive. With DAZN, McAfee will have his podcast video streamed three days a week, will star in NFL-themed videos for the Canadian and German markets, and for some even more bizarre reason, will appear on DAZN’s MLB whiparound show ChangeUp.
Per the Hollywood Reporter, McAfee has also landed a radio show with Westwood One (though details of the actual show are scarce), which will be broadcast live from some of “DAZN’s marquis [sic] boxing and MMA cards.” The radio show will also be video streamed on DAZN’s website, much like his podcast.
As usual, I see how this makes sense for the on-air talent involved – McAfee is now in bed with several different media companies, and if things go south with one for whatever reason, his career won’t necessarily be tied to that job. As for DAZN, they’re getting an in with radio, given that McAfee’s new show will be aired on Westwood One and he’ll inevitably end up mentioning DAZN several times per broadcast. While the podcast and radio show aren’t DAZN exclusive, the video component will be, and as we’ve seen with B/R Live, video simulcasts of radio broadcasts are good for providing live content to viewers at a low cost. The MLB ChangeUp integration (which, presumably, won’t be a regular occurrence) is just the latest example of “former athlete talking about a sport they didn’t play” (Steve Nash……hello).
The on-site component of McAfee’s deal is still a bit odd, but it theoretically would allow him to nab high profile, exclusive interviews with fighters on the cards. I would argue about the veracity of using a non-boxing analyst to make appearances on boxing broadcasts (if that actually is what ends up happening, which is what would make the most sense), but ESPN has been rolling Stephen A Smith out on boxing events for years, so that’s maybe not the best argument.
In short: today’s a great day for Pat McAfee. It’s a fine day for Westwood One. And for DAZN, they’ve brought in arguably their second or third most prominent on-air personality, and he’s one they can build around in the future.