Milan fans outside of Italy continue to be snubbed

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Milan fans taking a picture with M'Baye Niang at the end of Bournemouth-Milan on the 3rd of September 2016 at the Vitality Stadium (@acmilan.com)
Milan fans taking a picture with M’Baye Niang at the end of Bournemouth-Milan on the 3rd of September 2016 at the Vitality Stadium (@acmilan.com)

Written by Marcello Furgiuele, President of Milan Club Montreal.

We live in an age of instant gratification, thanks in large part to the internet which has facilitated the ability to share information freely and easily. Social media has enabled people from across the globe to come together, particularly those who have a common interest.

In a fast paced world where information is just a click away, availability and access to content is key for any business to drive customer engagement.

The same applies to Milan and its fans all over the world. We are in 2016, yet despite advances in technology and globalization, access to Milan games and content on demand for rossoneri fans outside of Italy leaves much to be desired.

We are still operating in an old age model, where Milan fans are divided in two tiers. There are the Milan fans in Italy who have access to anything and everything Milan 24/7, and those outside of Italy who get whatever it is that is legally permitted to be shared outside the Italian peninsula.

Milan Club Montreal at Ciociaro Bar on the 22nd of October 2016 (@ACMClubMTL)
Milan Club Montreal at Ciociaro Bar on the 22nd of October 2016 (@ACMClubMTL)

Having been a Milanista for over 30 years, it frustrates me a great deal to see very little progress being made. I can go on and on of what needs to be changed so I will limit my focus on my top 5 irritants. I will also refrain from discussing anything from the Serie A league, as that is another hot topic that merits it’s own article.

1. Rai Italia: It was in May 2005 that RAI was finally broadcast in Canada, much to the delight of our large Italo-Canadian community. According to RAI Italia, over 90% of the Italian households in Canada subscribe to the channel. Eleven years later, while TV technology is advancing to Ultra HD 4K, we still get a standard signal that hurts your eyes when you watch RAI Italia.

Italy is known for its great food, top designers and fashion sense, love of beautiful cars and passionate about calcio. What kind of image is Italy projecting with RAI still broadcasting on a standard signal? It is unacceptable to watch calcio matches that are not broadcast in HD.

Milan fans during Bayern Munich-Milan on July 28th in Chicago (@acmilan.com)
Milan fans during Bayern Munich-Milan on July 28th in Chicago (@acmilan.com)

2. Supercoppa Italiana: The Italian Super Cup (Milan vs Juventus) will be played on December 23rd in Doha, Qatar. We are December 2, and we still don’t know if the game will be broadcast in Canada. How is this possible? I tried contacting RAI Italia, and I was told “we are still waiting to know if we have the rights to broadcast outside of Italy, we will find out shortly.”

The game is in three weeks, and they still don’t know if they have the rights to broadcast the game? I also tried to contact the Serie A league but didn’t get any answers. Showcasing Italy’s two most important teams in an official match is a great way to promote the clubs and the league. To get as many fans as possible to watch you need to properly promote the event and they have failed miserably in this regard.

Milan fans during Bayern Munich-Milan on July 28th in Chicago (@acmilan.com)
Milan fans during Bayern Munich-Milan on July 28th in Chicago (@acmilan.com)

3. Milan TV: Milan TV is the official channel of AC Milan, a 24/7 dedicated channel providing news, interviews, press conferences etc. which you can subscribe to only in Italy via SKY. Meanwhile in Australia, Foxtel provides its customers with a package that includes Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United TV. Why limit the amount of viewers for this channel? Why can’t it be accessible for Milan fans outside of Italy? Why can’t we watch it online via a paid subscription?

4. RAI online: RAI has a plethora of online content available for viewing, however it is only accessible for residents in Italy. Why this limitation? For those of us outside of Italy who pay to subscribe to RAI Italia (currently $7 a month) why can’t we access the online RAI content since we are paying customers?

Milan fans before Bournemouth-Milan on the 3rd of September 2016 at the Vitality Stadium (@acmilan.com)
Milan fans before Bournemouth-Milan on the 3rd of September 2016 at the Vitality Stadium (@acmilan.com)

5. beIN Sports: Ever since beIN Sports got the rights to broadcast Serie A matches, it has significantly reduced the availability of viewership for those who want to watch calcio with English commentary. In the past, games were broadcast on Telelatino (regular signal) and The Score (in HD). Those channels, for the most part, were included in packages or would be available for an extra dollar or two per month. With beIN Sports, you have to subscribe to this channel (currently $16 per month).

There is also the option to watch online with beIN sports connect ($20 per month) this gives you more options as you can watch live events that are not broadcast on TV. I know of many people, myself included, that refuse to pay that amount monthly, especially since beIN sports focuses the majority of its marketing towards La Liga. In fact, there have been incidents where Serie A matches were cutoff in order to promote or broadcast La Liga matches, much to the dismay and anger of the Italian calcio fans.

@ACMClubMTL
@ACMClubMTL

Other than marquee matchups of Serie A and some Champions League games, I only have one love, Milan. I have a hard time understanding how it is not possible for me to pay for a service that allows me to watch all Milan matches and other content, how I want, when I want.

It is my sincere hope that once the sale of Milan is completed (enough with all these delays already) the new ownership will be open to new ideas and ways of doing things in order to give all Milanisti (both inside and outside of Italy) the opportunity to connect with the team by giving us full access to Milan content.

Marcello Furgiuele
President,
Milan Club Montreal

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Great article, i enjoyed reading every word and agreeing to it we Milanisti around the world definitely need more connectivity to our club!

    However, did anyone else look at the Milan Club Montreal picture and notice something?

    If you look carefully you will see Gio standing near the center behind the guy with the white Milan shirt. Gio is the host of Rossoneri TV, a YouTube channel that dedicates itself to cover everything to do with AC Milan!

    From match previews, reviews, transfer updates, player analysis, livestream discussions with subscribers with topics concerning the best team in the world (Milan of course) and plenty more other stuff to keep Milanisti around the world like you and i updated!

    If you haven’t checked out his YouTube channel i suggest you do coz i always watch his channel since it provides very good content, and in English too so that’s good!

    I sound like i am promoting his channel, dont worry, i am not paid to type this, i’m just tryna spread the word that, there is a channel already in YouTube that may interest you Milanisti who may not know of it yet!

    So go check out Rossoneri TV on YouTube if you havent, you wont be disappointed!…and as always…FORZA MILAN!

    • Thank you so much for this Dwayne! I really appreciate your comment. PS. Yes, it’s me in the picture.

  2. God bless you real for this observation, imagine what Milan fans here Nigeria miss when fans in Canada are going through this.

    we all need the development. hopefully when the sale is completed.

    I bleed Milan.

    • At least you guys have a fanbase in your country, here in Vanuatu i think i’m the only Milanista here! i frikin bleed red and black! i go out of my way to order official Milan merchandise and learn some of the chants sung by the Curva Sud during a game, the nearest known huge Milan fanbase closest to me is probably the Milanisti in Indonesia LOL!

      Aaaah well! being the only Milanista here in Vanuatu aint so bad, at least i dont support a shit team or am a plastic fan, i will continue to support Milan forever! FOOOOOORZA MILAN!

      • Yes, we are lucky to have a group of many rossoneros… Sometimes we watch the game together and when it s derby, we also create our own coreografia.. You should check it on utube. Hehe..

  3. Am from Nigeria and i face the same challenge too…..dont get access to Milan games……and even when i get to see some via RAI the picture quality is so so terrible……Am a die hard fan of Milan who can sacrifice almost anything to watch us play even if its just a training match between A & B team……i also crave to watch our primivera team but i cant……please something needs to be done urgently……….I BLEED RED & BLACK

    • Same here bro, i bleed red n black. but is unfortunate am from dis part of the world where everything seems to be difficult. Forza Milan

  4. Well said and just on point with every flaw noticed. I sincerely hope when the new management comes in things will improve drastically. Tired of searching and looking for bits and pieces of our to follow ma beloved team. And lastly on the standard signal broadcast that is so appalling, thank goodness some else too has raised thr issue. Pls our dear Ac Milan remains one of the legendary clubs and one of the best in the world pls the fans deserve the very best.

  5. Great article, Milan fans all over the world encounter similar problems. Not related to this, but few years ago I wanted to buy Milan jersey (the one from last season of Ibra and Silva when we won the league) at official Milan pages. The shipping was free in all of Italy and I’m fine with that but I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that shipping to Croatia (look at the map and see the distance from Italy to Croatia, specially Rijeka) was higher then the cost of the jersey & that it is less expensive to ship it to Iraq:) If I want to order the jersey right now I would pay 90 euros + 37,40 for shipping and the shipping for France, UK or Germany is 13 euros and USA 17 euros!!! Nothing has changed over the years now that Croatia is in EU and I can right now sit in my car and be in Trieste for one hour. Can people from Germany or France say the same? It’s just absurd how Milan likes to show off with numerous fans all over the world but has none benefits for them or zero changes over the years!

    • Completely agree with you bro, Milan needs to learn to adhere to its fans and build from its huge fanbase, hopefully the new management can fix that!

  6. Fantastic! I’m positive every Milan fan has felt some negativity towards the availability of watching mathches/anything Milan related.

    I completely understand your qualms against Bein Sports. They’re basically the only way to watch Serie A/Milan matches here in the States and Canada (elsewhere too). I get my subscription cheaper than the 16 dollars, but it comes with other channels that I never watch through Sling TV. I’m glad to have at least that, but damn is it annoying when La Liga matches are played instead of Serie A. I’m a bit biased when it comes to this, but Serie A is in my heart and I don’t care for La Liga at all. But when Bein doesn’t play the Milan matches, I’m forced (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) to stream illegally (not always the best option, but every now and then it tends to be better quality than Bein on Sling, ironically).

    Serious changes need to be made.

    You’re not alone.

  7. Dude, google these words, in no particular order:

    reddit ac milan stream

    in the first resulting link, you will find a reddit thread with all possoble SD and HD streams in all available languages at gametime. It costs you nothing. If you so insist, hook your PC or notebook to a HD TV device. But please stop crying. We live in the new age. I know nobody who still relies on a TV programme for ANYTHING anymore. It’s the thing of the past.

    Saluti

  8. Frankly, I’m a little shocked that U can’t enjoy Milan match in Canada, you know it’s at least a developed country. While in China, you can always watch Serie A in 720P. U may try Lesports with vpn next time. 🙂

  9. They are way behind the rest of the leagues. In the U.S. a couple of years ago we get to see Premier League games on regular tv broadcast now. Thanks to the EPL striking a deal with American television, we get to see those matches free on regular tv, no more expensive subscriptions to Cable providers. Plus EPL gets extra revenue from all the commercials.

    A while ago it was impossible to get any Serie A Matches here. Always had to watch some crappy stream online. Now with so many Online tv providers and Bein having the rights to the Serie A, I can catch some of the matches. I use SlingTV which includes Bein sports. They will broadcast some of the Milan matches. They I added FuboTV for $10, now I get to see all the Milan games with Bein connect.

    EPL and La Liga always get TV Deals around the world, which in part has helped many teams grow. Italy is way to behind on everything, and thus is why they can’t compete.

  10. Guys I might know a way of watching Milan online. Ever heard of sopcast? I know a site with a lot of links to it. Most of the commentarry is Russian, although there’s some English and Italian. Anyway, I’ll give the link here if anybody is interested. BTW it’s usually HD as far as I know.

  11. Great article, because i have beeing ac Milan”s fann for 30 years now! And my life is all about ac Milan and they”re sucses as a team! So even while i write almouth every day about what we as ac Milan should do in order to upgrade our team, i still have the feeling that they don”t listen to me and take my opinions seriously! Forza Milan! Cause i bleed if Milan bleeds and i selebrate as they do, so my every day is still about living whit really strong emotions about what is going on whit ac Milan! Last five years has beeing really painful as a ac Milan fann, but i still believe the better times are ahead of us as a team and i will never stop supporting this team no matter what”s the case!

  12. Pls Nigerians get “star times decoder” n subscribe u’l get all seria A actions live esp our Darling Milan games.

  13. Here in My motherland , I get to see every bit of ac milan matches thanks to the intelligent brains working at the top level and the way my country is goin forward. Here in India we dont have rai sports or bein or any other pay per view channels. We have sony channels over here who never dissapoint the fans in this great country. Only sometime like once in a blue moon they decide to air tennis but they do not dissapoint their football audience as we can see live milan matches in ultra hd on their website sony liv. So this is a suggestion from me to the admin living in canada to write an email to sony entertainment to open their market in canada. That solves a page from your book . Jai Hind! Mera Bharat Mahan

  14. Same in Fiji, no seria a coverage at all on paid TV. Have to resort to Internet live streaming every match day.

  15. It’s mostly a serie a failure than solely milans. Italian football was the pinnacle in the 90’s and early 2ks as well as the 80’s but lack of serious leadership in the league put everything out to pasture. As well general corruption in Italy that decreed that stadiums should be owned and controlled by townships and not the clubs themselves. This put the league in a huge disadvantage going forward.
    One should look at the epl to see how a well managed and marketed league looks like.
    They overhype their league and every British player ad nausea. Their reach is now global while here in the USA we can only get beIN. Not good.
    We used to get coverage by fox sports and it was in HD and good commentary but some crazy reason the league went with beIN.
    Maybe if fester runs to serie a presidency he will tackle this. maybe.

  16. Dear all @ Ac Milan in Italy,

    This is to notify you that a lot of people are bleeding red + black DNA and we all need urgently attention in terms of match viewing and recognition.
    all other clubs get this every time and they mock us every time. even as the Team performance is not good, we still stay with AC MILAN ( BECAUSE I CANNOT SUPPORT ANY OTHER TEAM – JUST MY SPIRIT).
    So, please get us BALOTTI ANDREA AND CREATIVE MIDFIELDER. because the striker scoring ability will be higher if he has creative midfielder to open the game and feed him well. Then we can get back to win the league and champions league.

    Also, lunch AC Milan channel on supper sport (dstv) so we can see more of our match.

    hope you can get this, and act on it.

    Forza Milan.

  17. Brilliant article. I’m from India and despite globalisation, its sad that getting jerseys and merchandise for teams from EPL or spanish league are much easier than Milan. I’ve missed quite a few matches time and time again as its not being broadcasted. Hope things change soon.

    Forza Milan

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