Aspera Powers Digital Content Distribution for ACC

Aspera, creators of next-generation software technologies that move the world’s large data at maximum speed, announced that the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), one of the premiere conferences in collegiate athletics whose league office manages championships for 25 sports that its 12, soon to be 15, member institutions compete in, has deployed Aspera’s patented high-speed transfer technology to power their digital sports content distribution service.

The ACC’s Advanced Media department, responsible for producing and distributing press conference coverage, highlights, and special event footage to media outlets, uses Aspera’s patented fasp transport to ingest video content from the schools at maximum speed, edit and transcode the content, and distribute it to media outlets via fast and reliable Aspera faspex transfers from a customized web portal.

Previously, the ACC had to wait several days for content to arrive on tape via FedEx, and by the time it was cut and put up on the satellite feed, the content was already old news – and that didn’t fly in today’s fast-paced world. The conference needed to have content ready for broadcasters on the same day as it was collected and within hours of the event, so that nearly 200 media outlets that subscribe to the ACC’s distribution service could incorporate the content into their programming in time for the evening news.

The ACC deployed software solutions from Aspera to meet their increasingly time-sensitive deadlines. First selecting Aspera Connect Server to speed up the end-to-end process from content ingest to distribution, the ACC later made the switch to faspex at the beginning of 2013 to take advantage of automated email notifications as well as data analytics that capture the details of user content consumption.

To pull in HD video content from schools, the ACC set up a series of workgroups and designated one for each of its member schools. Administrators at each school simply upload content into their workgroup, where the ACC pulls it down to their Avid platform for editing and then adds watermarking and creates versions in both ProRes and H.264 video compression formats. Using faspex, the ACC uploads the files to a customized web portal where media outlets can access them and select the content they need. Additionally the ACC has created workgroups for their television partners, ESPN, Raycom Sports, ACC Digital Network and Fox Sports Net South to share content with the conference.

Using Aspera’s SDK to customize the platform with ACC branding, the conference built the strong and robust portal, known as the ACC Video Clip Service (AVCS), with the intention of providing a simple and easy experience for the media members accessing it.

Due to restrictions emplaced by media rights holders, highlights can only be made available for seven days, and faspex allows ACC to control how long content stays on the site before it is deleted.

The ACC has received positive feedback from both the schools contributing content and the media outlets consuming it. Schools and media outlets benefit from the simplicity of the platform, which provides ease of use for staff with varying levels of technical expertise. The outlets also benefit from email capabilities that allow the ACC to alert end users through email, providing outlets with the content they need without requiring any extra effort on their part.

Immediacy is extremely important in the media industry, and the ACC can now make content available on its platform by 4pm to give media outlets enough time to incorporate it into programming for the six o’clock news. Faspex allows the ACC to become more aggressive in hitting media deadlines.

“With Aspera, we don’t have to wait on a third party to move our content around,” said Scott McBurney, ACC assistant commissioner for advanced media. “We’re now in control of our own destiny and better able to capitalize on providing a seamless platform to all of our constituents.”

“It was a pleasure to work with the ACC to integrate Aspera high-speed transfers into their web portal via our SDK, providing the efficiency and ease-of-use that was required by ACC administrators, member institutions, and the media outlets that use the video distribution service,” said Mike Flathers, CTO of the Aspera Developer Network. “With high-speed Aspera transfers, the ACC cuts time from their end-to-end distribution chain while benefitting from other desirable features, such as detailed reporting and notification capabilities, as well as the simplicity of email-based collaboration.

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