IPTV Pirates Beat La Liga and Serie A After DAZN Suffer Major Injury *TorrentFreak
As Europe’s top football leagues kick off their 2022/23 season campaigns, the push to balance the books of the continent’s most prestigious clubs remains a top priority.
In the summer transfer window alone, LaLiga outfit Barcelona spent €153m, but that’s peanuts compared to the paychecks they hand out to their best players. The club has a weekly wage bill of 5.3 million euros, of which more than 10% goes to Dutch player Frenkie de Jong. His weekly salary of €560,962 means that when his contract expires in 2026, Barcelona will have paid him €116,680,000.
For this reason, and a few dozen others like it, Barcelona need cash from fans buying tickets and premium TV subscriptions. According to LaLiga, the survival of the game depends on these revenues. When fans turn to pirate IPTV subscriptions to save money, they not only upset club accountants, but also fund criminals providing ‘unreliable’ smuggling services.
Movistar and DAZN Deal announce a new era
Movistar Plus+ and Telefónica-owned DAZN secured the rights to LaLiga late last year in a five-year deal worth €4.95 billion, Movistar Plus+ later agreeing to pay DAZN €1.4 billion to iron out the broadcast clashes. So, to help protect their investment, this month Movistar Plus+ and LaLiga secured a court order to quickly block pirate IPTV services.
With fans’ ears ringing with LaLiga hacking warnings but soothed by the benefits of legality, the stage was set last weekend for Barcelona against Rayo Vallecano and the launch of the Movistar/DAZN partnership.
From many angles, things went wrong. Movistar Plus+ subscribers were informed that they could not access DAZN content through their existing app and were asked to download an additional app from DAZN.
“You will see the DAZN [matches] in their application: if DAZN is included in your offer, you just need to create your account”, Movistar Plus+ tweeted Saturday. “It’s very easy.”
It should have been easy – easier than buying a pirate IPTV service for sure – but it wasn’t.
Having already subscribed to a service, Movistar Plus+ subscribers discovered that in order to download the DAZN app, they also needed to create an account with DAZN. However, DAZN’s servers could not cope with the volume of Movistar Plus+ subscribers, which meant they could not issue accounts or enable access to paid services.
By the time the issues were resolved, Barcelona and Rayo fans had missed half of the first game of the opening weekend of the season, despite paying a legal season ticket. Movistar Plus+ pointed the finger at DAZN, which later admitted to experiencing technical issues.
The pair say steps have been taken to ensure there are no more issues, but if unreliability was a reason for fans to steer clear of pirate IPTV services, it could be hard to come by. sell in the future. For new converts from Movistar Plus+ pirates, missing half the game was probably against what they were promised.
Unfortunately, the trials and tribulations of supporting the beautiful game financially didn’t end there.
Italian football fans live worse
Much like La Liga, Italy’s Serie A finds itself in a perpetual war against pirate IPTV services and set-top boxes known locally as “pezzotto”. Serie A is also a fan of ISP blocking, which is regularly backed by stern messages from its CEO that hackers are killing the sport. This weekend, the fingers of blame were pointed in other directions.
Due to “technical issues” suffered by DAZN, Serie A fans were unable to watch the football matches they had paid for. Large numbers of subscribers could not log into their accounts and for those who could, being randomly kicked became a feature of the season opening weekend.
As fans on Twitter claim Serie A and DAZN are responsible for “killing football”, gangs of hackers with uninterrupted access to matches rejoiced as legitimate buyers fumed in frustration.
When pirates receive a better product, it’s already over
From a public relations and anti-piracy standpoint, the weekend was a disaster. Serie A recently relaunched its ‘Piracy Kills Football’ campaign which is being promoted in all football stadiums via graphics and a big screen video spot during the first two rounds of the new season.
If the only goal was to get the eyes of the pirates, the campaign was a complete success as only the pirates had continued access to the matches. If the goal was to encourage behavioral change among pirates, the damage could last for years. But just when things couldn’t get any worse, that’s exactly what they did.
Here is the government
Valentina Vezzali, a six-time Olympic gold medalist and 16-time world fencing champion, now spends her time battling in politics as Italy’s undersecretary for sports. After seeing the football debacle over the weekend, she is demand a meeting between Serie A and the government to find out what was wrong.
Italian telecoms regulator AGCOM, also responsible for blocking piracy sites, is also invited. It’s unclear what AGCOM can do, but a presentation of how blocked hacking sites can provide better service than multi-billion dollar companies could be a potential PPV event in its own right. .
According to a local report, at some point over the weekend, DAZN was forced to separately link to a low-res broadcast. Viewers would have ditched their TVs for smaller devices because the picture quality was so poor. Again, great fun for pirates;
“Breaking news: #DAZN buys #pezzotto servers to bring their service up to standard. As a gift to all customers, as compensation, also documentaries and hot channels,” a user wrote in response.
When approached for an explanation of the chaos, Serie A said they would not comment. Considering that even the “criminals” behind pirate IPTV services tend to offer explanations to upset customers (while providing a seemingly superior content delivery experience), one has to wonder who is in the wrong business and what will take to sort things out.
In the meantime, DAZN will air the rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua in the US and other markets next Saturday. That’s what was announced, at least.