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NFL’s new Canadian streaming effort is raising some concerns

2017 FIL Rathbones Women's Lacrosse World Cup

GUILDFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 20: The Canadian flag is held by a spectator during the national anthems ahead of the semi-final match between Australia and Canada during the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup at Surrey Sports Park on July 20, 2017 in Guildford, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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In July, the NFL abruptly removed its popular RedZone channel and Sunday Ticket packages from cable and satellite in Canada and shifted the rights to all live broadcasts to DAZN (pronounced “da zone”). But as the full launch of DAZN SZN approaches on Sunday, there are reasons to be CONZERND.

Via the National Post, Thursday night’s opener gave rise to widespread complaints about “delayed feeds, low-quality feeds, non-existent feeds.” The DAZN stream also was reportedly missing audio for much of the broadcast.

DZN Canada addressed the issues with this message: “We know there were issues tonight — making your experience the best it can be is our top priority and we are working hard to deliver for fans.”

The issues may only compound when 1:00 p.m. ET rolls around on Sunday, and multiple games kick off at the same time. Earlier this week, DAZN managing director of strategic partnerships Alex Rice admitted that there were “ongoing challenges” with the British countries move to Canada and that “we’re taking it very seriously.”

Taking it seriously and getting it fixed are two different things, obviously. But at least DAZN is in the speaking zone when it comes to its issues. Via the National Post, the league has been silent on the issue, possibly due to the potential scope of the problem. DAZN’s parent company has been selling NFL broadcast rights in more than 100 countries, including Canada and Mexico. Come Sunday, there’s a chance that major and widespread issues could arise.

These potential problems are unfolding at a time when the landscape for delivering NFL game content is changing considerably. One long-term option for the league would be to deliver live games directly to American consumers through a streaming service. The potential IMPLOZN of DAZN could serve as a reminder that streaming games live through the Internet may never be as reliable as traditional broadcast models.