DAZN introduces premium accounts, tightens device rules in Italy


FILE PHOTO: Internet streaming service DAZN's logo is pictured in its office in Tokyo, Japan March 21, 2017. Picture taken on March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

MILAN (Reuters) -Sport streaming app DAZN will introduce a premium subscription and tighten rules on access to its services in Italy as it strives to boost revenue after a multi-billion euro deal to show top soccer games in the country.

Backed by billionaire Len Blavatnik, DAZN last year won the right to screen Serie A live matches in Italy for three seasons with a 2.5 billion euro ($2.7 billion) bid, in one of the largest deals for the video-streaming service in Europe. But the contract has proved challenging for DAZN, with the service experiencing technical outages at the start of last season, while the company itself also complained about abuses of its password sharing policy and piracy.

DAZN said under its new standard subscription, entailing a 29.99 euro monthly fee, access to its video app would be limited to two devices. Concurrent watching of the same live event would be allowed only if devices were connected to the IP address of the same household. DAZN also said it would also introduce a 39.99 euro premium subscription, called DAZN Plus, which would allow up to two devices to connect to the same live event from any location. Premium subscribers would also be allowed to register up to six devices to the app.

Over the last Serie A season, DAZN offered a single subscription plan in Italy at 29.99 euros, featuring the conditions of the new premium offer.

"The (new) proposed subscription plan...reflects the value of sports events we livestream in Italy," Stefano Azzi, head of DAZN's Italian operations said in a statement. "We have developed this offer to continue investing in Italy."

DAZN's announcement comes when Italy's biggest phone group, Telecom Italia (TIM), is seeking to cut the cost of its 1 billion euros distribution deal with the sport streaming service.($1 = 0.9378 euros)

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Keith Weir, David Evans and Alex Richardson)

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