Serie A seeks assurances as Comcast held responsible for DAZN blackout
Italian soccer’s Serie A is seeking assurances from DAZN, the international subscription streaming service which recently signed a bumper rights deal with the league for next season onwards, that it will avoid future service failures after users encountered a blackout of matches over the weekend.
DAZN revealed that responsibility for the problem lay with external partner Comcast Technology Solutions, a division of the US media giant, as viewers were unable to watch its Italian coverage of Inter Milan versus Cagliari and Lazio versus Verona.
Serie A sent a letter to DAZN just hours after the matches asking for assurance that the sports streaming service will "avoid similar episodes in the future," particularly after it was recently named as the main domestic rights holder of Serie A for the next three seasons.
Under its present agreement with the league, DAZN, shows three out of the 10 Serie A games each week.
Comcast is DAZN’s video distribution partner and the OTT platform swiftly issued an apology to its subscribers and explained that the transmission problems were caused by a failure of the CTS service.
In a statement, DAZN said: “We deeply regret the issues faced by customers accessing DAZN. We worked with our partner, Comcast Technology Solutions, to resolve the issue that unfortunately impacted DAZN and several other broadcasters in the region. Whilst the service was restored, DAZN is fully aware of the impact on the fans.”
The Comcast unit said that a technical malfunction caused temporary service interruptions in Europe for four of its CTS video customers and said it was “in close contact with them as we resolved the issue and apologise to all that were impacted.”
Although the problem was resolved, DAZN announced it would provide “appropriate compensation” to customers.
Comcast owns pay-television giant Sky, which was last month displaced by Sky as the main Serie A broadcaster in Italy for the 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle.
The streaming service will hold live rights to all matches in Serie A, 70 per cent of them on an exclusive basis, in a deal worth €2.5 billion ($3 billion).
As well as in Italy, DAZN users encountered service problems in Germany.
DAZN apologised to subscribers via its German Twitter account and explained that the problem due to the failure of the authentication service provided by CTS.
Meanwhile, DAZN is understood to be preparing a bid to renew its rights to Spain’s LaLiga in Italy.
After completing its lucrative deal for Serie A, the OTT broadcaster has now set its sights on extending its agreement for LaLiga for the next cycle from 2021-22 to 2023-24, according to Italian media reports.
DAZN has shown LaLiga in Italy since it launched in the country in 2018.