By Elvira Pollina
MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's communications watchdog on Thursday called on sport streaming app DAZN to put measures in place in order to prevent malfunctions during streaming of live matches of the country's top soccer league Serie A, stepping up pressure on the online platform.
Owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik, DAZN in March secured the rights to screen Serie A live matches for three seasons with a 2.5 billion euro ($2.89 billion) bid, under a technical and distribution partnership with Italy's biggest phone group Telecom Italia.
The deal, a major one for DAZN in Europe, marked also a major shift for Italy where live soccer, one of the most prized and popular content in the country, had been mostly distributed through satellite and digital terrestrial television platforms.
However, since the start of the current season viewers complained about blockages and poor quality of the streaming while at least three major outages occurred during live matches, sparkling protests among users.
AGCOM said DAZN must adopt all measures to prevent malfunctions of its video platform as well as developing an efficient customer care service in order to address reported services issues.
The authority also said it had launched a procedure to define quality parameters for live streaming of matches of Italy's top flight soccer league and thresholds and criteria for possible compensation in case those were not met.
DAZN said in a statement it has already shared with Italian authorities measures it had put in place to improve the service. "We remain available to discuss with the watchdog in order to agree more efficient and fair solutions in the short term", it added.
($1 = 0.8653 euros)
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by Agnieszka Flak and Alistair Bell)