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Serie A seeks DAZN clarification after streaming issues

Viewers in Italy complain of buffering, signal instability and poor video quality.

25 August 2021 Ed Dixon
  • DAZN says service requires ‘physiological moment of adjustment’
  • Streaming platform is in first season of three-year Serie A domestic rights contract

Sports streaming subscription service DAZN has responded to concerns over the technical quality of its coverage of Italian soccer’s Serie A, attributing the issues to an adjustment period.

DAZN secured one of its biggest ever rights deals earlier this year, penning a new three-year contract worth over €2.5 billion (US$2.9 billion) to secure domestic rights for the top-tier Serie A until the end of the 2023/24 season.

However, its opening weekend of coverage saw complaints about the transmission that was distributed over the internet, with viewers reporting poor signal, buffering and bad video quality. Most subscribers also did not have the option of a terrestrial back-up TV channel, which was only made available in areas considered to have poor broadband coverage.

In response, Serie A chief executive Luigi De Siervo has requested reassurance from DAZN that the problems will not continue. The service has since been invited to participate in a technical roundtable organised by the league.

Communications regulator Agcom is also seeking answers from DAZN, with consumer organisation Codacons pushing for affected subscribers to be compensated.

DAZN had already given an explanation for the problems encountered during defending champions Inter Milan’s 4-0 win over Genoa on 21st August, attributing them to a traffic peak limited to a single content delivery network (CDN). It said the issue was quickly resolved.

Now, DAZN has issued another statement addressing the wider concerns for its coverage.

‘In recent months, new technologies have been implemented and important changes have been carried out, against which, already at the end of the first day, excellent results have been achieved such as the increase in the cumulative audience compared to previous years,’ the statement read.

‘We continue to work, continuing in constant dialogue and collaboration with the authority and partners, fundamental in this project of unprecedented change, as well as in the development and enhancement of DAZN Edge, the proprietary cache for traffic management and in the further process optimisation with global CDN.

‘As in every phase of change, and as has already happened in the past, the introduction of new technologies of this magnitude requires a physiological moment of adjustment, a phase necessary to allow further improvements, fully expressing the incredible potential of streaming to the advantage of football, sport and the whole country and DAZN's commitment to this process is absolute and unconditional.’

DAZN has previously had to apologise for issues with its Serie A coverage. In April, the service said it would investigate disruption that prevented viewers from watching two live matches. With viewers complaining of a blackout, DAZN added it would offer compensation to subscribers who had been affected.

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