In September, shortly after the roll out of DAZN in Italy, Veronica Diquattro joined as Executive Vice President, Revenue for the region. Swapping music for sports, Veronica previously held the position of Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Europe at Spotify. We caught up with Veronica to get the scoop on DAZN’s short but successful journey to become the number two sport broadcaster in Italy in a matter of months.
Having previously worked at big names such as Google and Spotify, what have you taken with you from such established companies to a ‘start-up’?
Both at Google and Spotify I had the opportunity to experience the introduction of a new technology, first with the launch of Android Market and then a music streaming service. It’s the same desire to bring disruption, guide market innovation and change how people consume content that I wish to bring into another industry. Much like Spotify has become the leader and main source of revenue for the music industry, I think DAZN is in the best position to do the same in sports broadcasting.
What would you say is DAZN’s biggest challenge in the Italian market?
I would say it’s a combination of factors.
Firstly, the arrival of DAZN was big news for sport fans, especially football fans, who were used to watching their favourite team on traditional linear channels. It’s a totally new experience for them, and the change of habit can’t happen overnight. Part of our mission is to ‘educate’ fans on a new technology and be part of the digitalization process of the country, which is still at an early stage compared to other European nations.
Another challenge in the Italian market is piracy, which we are addressing together with political and sports institutions to preserve the value of our rights. We are
convinced that our business model and our offer are an attractive option to consumers and represent a great opportunity for growth.
What sets DAZN out from its traditional linear, and more recent OTT, competitors?
Data analysis is one of the main benefits of OTT compared to linear channels. It enables us to customise user experience based on their behaviour and preferences, by offering their favourite content anytime they log in to our service, live or on demand. Without the constraints of a linear TV schedule, we are also able to give visibility to sports that don’t find space in traditional TV channels and help them grow in our country.
With Serie A & B rights in the bag, how do you see DAZN continuing its growth in Italy?
Serie A and Serie B will continue to be the core of our offer, but we are always looking at new relevant rights for our market. For example, we just announced the Men’s and Women’s CEV Volleyball Champions League that will see six Italian teams compete, which follows the great performances of the National teams in the World Cup.
Another big goal for us is to relaunch boxing in Italy, a country with a great tradition in the sport. Thanks to the joint venture with Matchroom Boxing and OPI Since 82, we will organise eight boxing nights in Italy per year for the next eight years, starting with the first event that just took place in Florence last week.
What sets Italy out from other markets that DAZN Is currently active in?
We are one of the first countries to have exclusive rights for select matches in the top domestic sports league in the market; Serie A. Believe me, football here is like a religion.