The past year proved a milestone for the delivery of live sports online. Events such as the World Cup in Brazil allowed the broadcast industry to further understand the opportunities and challenges of such delivery methods. This topic took centre stage at the IBC2014 Content Everywhere Hub Theatre in Amsterdam. Franck Coppola, President of Hexaglobe, […]
The past year proved a milestone for the delivery of live sports online. Events such as the World Cup in Brazil allowed the broadcast industry to further understand the opportunities and challenges of such delivery methods.
This topic took centre stage at the IBC2014 Content Everywhere Hub Theatre in Amsterdam. Franck Coppola, President of Hexaglobe, said that the broadcasting of sports content anywhere, on any device, has been getting a lot of traction due to consumer demand and a fear of missing out.
Coppola highlighted some new usage scenarios driving the use of content everywhere, such as the ability to choose your own point of view which was offered to fans during the Sochi Olympic games, where the host broadcast OBS streams were made available to the end users.
Usually on broadcast TV, you get slices of each sport and you cant watch the sport you like from beginning to end, he said.
Our company participated in Roland Garros for France Television and tennis fans were delighted because they could see [action on] all the courts, not just the main courts.
He also noted that the FIFA World Cup crossed boundaries in terms of information sharing across national borders over social media.
Traditionally, all media attention in a country was placed on the national team whereas this time it was like being in a global fanzone. Integration between social networks and on demand content is not yet as good as it could be, however.
Coppola added that the improving quality of streaming and bandwidth worldwide is facilitating this delivery to second screen, making it a viable first choice.
The delivery during the World Cup worked well even during peak times and this is really new compared to previous tournaments, he concluded.
However our content everywhere technologies are less stable than our broadcasting technologies. If we want 50% of the global audience connected to the same event theres a lot of work for the CDNs.
Meanwhile Albert Lai, CTO of Brightcove, highlighted the challenges of addressing a fragmented device and delivery landscape in the multiplatform world, especially when it comes to sports content.
We see a number of different models being used in our sports vertical customers, such as live to VOD workflows, live stream monetisation or multiple-monetisation models, he explained, giving the examples of EVS and Universal Sports.
EVS facilitates live to VOD workflows, taking live content directly from the stadium and quickly transcoding it, enabling second screen applications to reach an audience on mobile devices. Universal Sports combines different business models, from TV everywhere to subscription VOD, transactional VOD and advertising-based VOD, to deliver sporting content to their audience, he added.
For companies trying to deliver and monetise content across every stream, the major challenge in what Lai terms the post-iPad era has been the proliferation of operating system platforms, device form factors and business models.
When you look at that media value chain there are inefficiencies in every step and the question is how do we make it easier for companies to streamline this entire workflow, from codecs, file formats, captions, to the end user devices, audience measurement, he noted.
Its not only about the fragmentation that you see today but about the fragmentation that you see tomorrow and how your business can adapt to that.
For Rory OConnor, VP of services at Irdeto, live sport is the most valuable content the broadcast industry delivers to the public and it needs to be protected.
Deloitte estimates it was worth about £16bn pounds this year, up over £2bn year on year, he said at IBC2014. The other big growth industry is broadband.
OConnor believes the world is at a tipping point where consumer devices used to view content exceed the number of set-top boxes.
Europe tipped over in 2012, North America in 2010, were expecting China and the rest of APAC to follow this year leaving India to 2016. Once you cross the tipping point, OTT becomes bigger than broadcast.
He added that during last years World Cup, his company detected over 7.5 thousand illegal world cup streams in a scenario where FIFA had exclusive rights for many of the worlds regions such as the Middle East which didnt mandate free to air.
This represents over 22 million illegal views, the same as the whole population of Australia!
Especially with the advent of 4K content, which will primarily be delivered over the internet, OConnor feels its imperative for the biggest content rights owners to fight piracy through technologies like watermarking and offer consumers a viable alternative at a reasonable price, through an OTT strategy.
By Monica Heck & Fergal Ringrose for IBC Content Everywhere.