iStreamPlanet Helps Stream NBC Sports to Super Bowl Records

NBC Sports Group was taking no chances with the live streaming of this year’s Super Bowl. They relied on the same workflow that delivered the Sochi Olympics, working with products and services from iStreamPlanet, Microsoft, Akamai and Adobe to complete a reliable, robust, end to end solution.

superbowl-workflow-graphiciStreamPlanet worked with NBC Sports, Adobe, Microsoft and Akamai to architect the primary and backup workflows using the same primary workflow, infrastructure and services as the Sochi Olympics

“The Super Bowl stream on the NBC Sports Live Extra platform went fantastically well,” said Rick Cordella, SVP and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “We were excited, not only by the record-breaking consumption, but also the quality of the streams we delivered to football fans.”

Final numbers for the Super Bowl live stream according to NBC Sports:

  • 1.3 million concurrent users, up 18% *
  • 800k avg viewers per minute, up 52%
  • 213 million total streaming minutes, up 99%
  • 2.5 million uniques, up 9%
  • 84.2 minutes average engagement time per viewer

*compared to 2014 Super Bowl

While the live stream is considered a big success for NBC Sports, as expected there was also criticism of the live stream experience. Much of this was focused on the lag behind the broadcast, in some cases more than a minute. This is due to the complex workflow required to deliver a high viewership live stream with high quality.

OTT live streaming will continue growing at exponential rates as content owners and distributors invest in new services to satisfy the multiscreen needs of their current customers and look to capture the cord-never millennials.

The key to success for live streaming a big live event like the Olympics or the Super Bowl isn’t something that’s apparent to the viewer. It’s the workflow telemetry, the ability to look into each step of the workflow to find and address any issues before they impact the end viewing experience.

“Insight across the entire workflow is the key to successfully streaming a live event such as the Super Bowl,” says to Mio Babic, CEO and founder of iStreamPlanet. “Taking advantage of real-time telemetry and alerts we were able to monitor the quality of the source and the encoding and confirm ad marker and slate insertions, closed captions, and uninterrupted publishing in order to catch any issues before they could impact the viewer.”

As the technologies across the workflow mature and workflows are consistently deployed in scalable, repeatable models, with higher levels of telemetry and analytics built-in, the live streaming experience will continue to improve for viewers on all devices.

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