Microsoft Azure Media Services Drives NBC Digital’s Record-Setting Super Sunday
Building off of the success of its 2014 Olympic Winter Games live streaming partnership, Microsoft Azure Media Services supported NBC Sports Digital as a technology partner in its record-breaking streaming of over 11 hours of content to 2.5 million unique users with a peak of 1.3 million concurrent viewers as part of Sunday’s Big Game. With 800,000 average viewers per minute, NBC Sports Live Extra broke the previous streaming record by 52%, greatly surpassing the record set last year of 528,000 average viewers per minute.
Behind the scenes, Azure Media Services provided the live workflow backend for the event.
Azure Media Services ingested streams directly to US East and US West datacenters and each feed was then dynamically packaged with ad markers to HLS and HDS formats to enable delivery across all of the most popular devices including iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
To ensure 100% uptime Azure Media Services used a dual datacenter architecture with seamless failover and also had multiple active and passive streaming scenarios on hand for any eventuality causing playback interruption including natural events disrupting both US East and US West datacenters.
While streaming this channel to over 800,000 average viewers per second, Azure Media Services leveraged under 10% of provisioned capacity – a testament to the exponential capabilities of live streaming in the cloud.
Azure Media Services’cloud-based media capabilities, including Cloud DVR, sub-clipping for highlights and seamless Live-to-VOD transition, continue to help make events, such as Super Stream Sunday, a success. From the London and Sochi Olympics to the big game in Phoenix and beyond, as the demand for live streaming sporting events and content on connected devices continues to grow, the hyperscale of the Microsoft Cloud will continue to deliver rich and interactive live media to millions of viewers quickly, easily and cost effectively.