DAZN faces Italian backlash against plans to tighten accounts policy


A man works in the office of the Internet streaming service DAZN in Tokyo, Japan on March 21, 2017. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / File Photo

  • Minister of Industry convenes DAZN management for talks
  • DAZN holds the rights to broadcast Serie A matches

MILAN, Nov. 10 (Reuters) – DAZN’s plans to crack down on suspected subscription abuses have sparked a backlash in Italy where the sports streaming service broadcasts high-profile football.

Backed by billionaire Len Blavatnik, DAZN this year won the rights to broadcast Serie A games live in Italy for three seasons with a bid of 2.5 billion euros ($ 2.9 billion), an expansion significant impact of its activities in Europe.

The group’s package deals to watch premium sports through smart TVs have cut back on the more expensive pay-TV packages offered by established broadcasters, but users have complained about blackouts and poor picture quality.

For its part, DAZN is concerned that some Italian football fans are exploiting a loophole to share access to accounts, depriving the company of income from monthly subscriptions at 29.99 euros ($ 34.7).

DAZN will implement technical changes by the end of the year to prevent two different devices from simultaneously accessing the app if they are not connected to the same IP address, two sources familiar with the matter said.

According to the existing DAZN Terms of Service, each subscriber has the right to access the service from two different devices simultaneously without sharing the username and password.

Plans to restrict access to accounts angered consumer rights groups and politicians, prompting Industry Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti to summon DAZN management for clarification next week.

“This is another blow to the fans,” said Carlo Claps, chairman of consumer lobby Aidacon, who announced he would file a complaint with the national communications watchdog.

The company declared itself “open to cooperation and discussion with the authorities and institutions”.

($ 1 = € 0.8648)

Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Francesco Zecchini Editing by Keith Weir

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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