We’re still in the game with cloud and IP-based networks

Live sport. It’s what more and more of us want to watch. This was clearly demonstrated in July when three major sporting events were broadcast in the UK on the same day – the British Grand Prix, and the finals of both the Wimbledon Men’s tennis tournament and the Cricket World Cup.

Live sport is a key driver of growth and the adoption of new technology, with the success of teams and major events dramatically shifting the playing field for content distributors.

A summer of sport is great for armchair enthusiasts, but viewing habits have matured beyond passively consuming broadcast TV in a living room, rapidly evolving to include diverse platforms. Not only are people using a wide range of devices to consume content, they are also consuming content in a myriad of locations. Seamless, and quality experiences, across devices is now a common expectation. There is also a growing trend where both casual viewers and hardcore fans consume multiple events on multiple devices at the same time. At Arqiva we’re supporting these evolutions in consumption by using cloud and IP-based technology to meet the demand to stream live sport from anywhere to everywhere with high concurrency.

In a specific instance, Arqiva was engaged to provide a platform solution which enabled a multi-national wide media broadcaster to acquire, process and distribute a wide range of sporting events from across the world, delivering multiple formats to an audience connecting via a wide range of devices.

The time frame between acquiring rights, to the actual start of a season or beginning of a high value event is often short, however the costs of pre-emptively building dedicated infrastructure for a potential peak concurrency can be prohibitively high and the associated development and engineering effort is highly complex, with facilities sitting idle between events. Delivering a proposition which can be spun up and shut down, in a cloud environment, means you only pay for the services you use when you use them.

“Live sport is a key driver of growth”

While the original solution leveraged Arqiva’s investment in infrastructure and development to support high concurrency sporting events, their requirements dynamically changed when they acquired the rights for a series of high value 24/7 sport channels before the season kicked off. Within hours we were able to fully support the change in this request.

Integrating with the Arqiva API, meant that our customer can stop and start services at will from their familiar work flow engines and CMS. Moreover, the orchestration and API means that beyond reconfiguring their portion of the platform reactively customers can also enrich their consumer offering by inserting signalling for post programme trimming, ad-insertion, audio blanking, localisation, subtitling and slate insertions. Furthermore, using our platform, they can address the future challenges of new formats and bitrates etc.

The secret to all of this, however, is not simply using cloud services. Rather, it’s the ability to reliably and cost effectively orchestrate all component parts of a service, thereby addressing the inevitable changes in a dynamic world.

With the ability to bring new product features, and enhanced consumer offerings, to market in small and short development cycles, product evolution in the media and broadcast industry has stepped up a gear.

Our products and solutions enable customers to simply create and configure their required work flow in seconds in the Cloud. Of course, this makes it all sound pretty easy, but as our work with the global broadcaster showed, there were more than 70 discrete technical and business processes needed to create events or channels. Needless to say, this is incredibly complex to manage sustainably when manual processes are used.

That’s where our orchestration capabilities came to the fore. At Arqiva we provision the necessary resource and the applications (and configure them), deliver the networking requirement, provide the security overlays... the list goes on. Crucially, this orchestration is fully automated, which delivers greater speed and accuracy.

“Product evolution in the media and broadcast industry has stepped up a gear”

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