POWERING A WORLD’S FIRST IN LIVE SPORTS DISTRIBUTION WORKFLOW
During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, hundreds of millions of sports fans across the globe followed 64 games in 12 venues across Brazil. The tournament draws far more fans and viewers than any other single sport – in 2010, an estimated 3.2 billion people tuned in with over 900 million watching final game alone1. Demand for coverage in 2014 appeared to be even stronger given the record-breaking viewer numbers released for many competing countries that includes several games with well over sixty percent of the national viewers tuning in2.
Over the last four years, consumers have embraced new technology and devices that have influenced their viewing habits. Over half the global audience was projected to watch coverage online for 20143. Given that growing trend, sports broadcasters, media production partners and software technology companies like Aspera have worked together to combine their best technologies to create a revolutionary cloud-based content delivery workflow that enabled viewers to consume live HD media in ways they never have before.
A TEAM OF INNOVATION
For the first time in history, this World Cup has introduced a large-scale system for high-resolution end-to-end live streaming in the cloud to second screens. While “second screen” is not new to global sport, this architecture is indeed a first. The basic digital broadcast workflow for each game can be summarized as follows: Live video feeds captured from up to 24 cameras (EVS C-Cast) are transferred in real-time using high-performance WAN transport (Aspera) from Brazil stadiums into the cloud platform in Europe (AWS running Aspera On Demand) for real time processing into multiple formats and bit rates through a scale-out cloud video platform (Elemental Cloud) for processing into a range of online viewing formats and are delivered to regional broadcasters and streamed to online viewers across the world.
The platform takes advantage of the latency and packet loss resilience of the Aspera FASP protocol, the Aspera Direct to Cloud storage transfer capability, and the Aspera auto-scale platform, to deliver consistent transfer of the live feeds in spite of heavy round-trip latency and packet loss (over 200 milliseconds and 10% packet loss from Brazil to Europe AWS).
Consumers enjoy live and near-live coverage of the games from any laptop or mobile device with optimized viewing, and from multiple camera angles. Unlike the past, consumers no longer have to settle for one live feed on a television.
With this new architecture, regional broadcasters with rights to the televise have access to all live camera feeds from the game rather than only one live stream from the game’s central production site, which provides the broadcasters far greater freedom in what online live streaming and edited content they can distribute.
THE NUMBERS FROM BRAZIL
To further appreciate what happened behind the scenes, consider the key metrics: during the duration of the tournament, over 27 terabytes of video data was moved at high-speed in under 14 hours of transfer time. Other key metrics are summarized below.
|Key Metrics ||Total Over 62 Games ||Average Per Game |
|Transfer Time (in hours)||13,857||216|
|Number of GB Transferred||27,237||426|
|Number of Transfers||14,073||220|
|Number of Files Transferred||2,706,922||42,296|
THE BOTTOM LINE
Live event broadcasting – sports in particular – is currently evolving in strides with breakthrough technologies and IT infrastructures that enable amazing new viewing experiences for consumers, and new monetizing opportunities for smart broadcasters all over the world.
Aspera’s technology is helping to unleash the power and scale of cloud video processing for second screen experiences, and allowing sports broadcasters and content delivery networks to broadcast live events in radically new ways. This is a major step for those looking to stay ahead of the demands of consumers as well as their competitors for major sporting events. Aspera is thrilled to have helped make this live second screen experiences possible for many around the world.
"With Aspera, we don’t have to wait on a third party to move our content around. We’re now in control of our own destiny."
Scott McBurney, Assistant Commissioner for Advanced Media, ACC