MediaKind, and Microsoft Redefine D2C for One of the Most Watched Sports Leagues in the US

The Goals

  • Increase fan engagement with a direct-to-consumer (D2C) app.
  • Deliver an elevated viewing experience and improved quality.
  • Capitalize on the massive global fan base to maximize revenue and improve content monetization ability.

Limitations & Challenges

  • The quality of streamed games required higher resolution and better visual quality than the previous solution allowed to match the stadium experience.
  • With the explosion of D2C offers, fans expect more personalized content, offers, and interactive features.
  • Live latency of more than 45 seconds severely impacted the fan experience for in stadium and stream synchronization with broadcast networks.

The Approach

Build and deploy a video streaming solution capable of delivering more than 1 billion streams each season with dynamic advertising insertion and advanced entitlement management using Microsoft Azure Cloud Infrastructure.

Customer Overview and the Need for a New Technology Partner

Our customer is a top-tier professional sports league and a global phenomenon. With fans spread across the globe, their brand is recognized as a pinnacle league in professional sports.

As the distribution of live sports content has moved online, fan expectations to watch their favorite teams play anywhere meant an app based direct-to-consumer (D2C) model was needed. Previously, the league operated separate platforms for domestic and international audiences, but this did not scale and was insufficient to deliver a high-quality and engaging viewing experience.

The existing platform presented several key limitations:

  • Video Quality: To emulate the stadium experience, exceptional video quality was a critical requirement. The existing quality of streamed games fell short and needed enhancement.
  • Fan Engagement: Limited capability to provide personalized content, bundles and interactive features to improve engagement.
  • Live Latency: Pre-existing live latency of more than 45 seconds severely reduced the fan’s live game experience and impacted monetization opportunities in the age of social media.

The MediaKind Solution

Wanting a single platform to centralize all the content, including live games, video on demand, game highlights, in-game content, ticket purchases and merchandising, MediaKind brought 30 years of video technology expertise and our award-winning product portfolio to deliver:

  • Live video contribution and distribution system reaching broadcast and in some cases below broadcast latency.
  • Video-on-demand distribution system with an upgrade to 1080p resolution from 720p.
  • Flexible subscriber management and content bundle creation.
  • Content rights management and entitlement handling.
  • Advertising and blackout management.
  • Live to VOD for advanced viewing and improved user experience.

Here’s how we did it..

Solutions Summary

The Results

  • >400,000 concurrent users
  • ~12,000 distinct streams
  • >100 million ads per month
  • 1 Billion video views with no downtime
  • 48% increase in this season’s viewership
  • 50% increase in league pass subscriptions
  • Maximum content protection and availability

Each project, customer and application are special to us, but with the ability to impact the way tens of millions of fans see their favorite teams play, well, that is extra special. Joining with Microsoft Azure to make this trend setting live streaming platform come to life was pivotal in the project’s success and it epitomizes our slogan “Live Without Limits.”

Discover how we deliver a next generation media experience