LiveU Boosts Super Bowl Presence by 70%
IP-based live video services and broadcast acquisition/management/distribution solutions provider LiveU supported its largest Super Bowl deployment to date, with a 70% increase in the number of LiveU field units used in Phoenix, AZ, compared to last year’s event. A total of 85 LiveU field units were in use to cover Super Bowl week XLIX and additional events in Phoenix, including the Pro Bowl, Media Day, Fan Fests, the Phoenix Open, and the Big Game itself. This included rights-holders and other broadcast networks, local affiliates from across the US, several NFL teams, and international networks.
LiveU also secured two dedicated hotspots in downtown Phoenix for the exclusive use of its customers, providing an extra layer of redundancy. LiveU’s professional services team was onsite throughout the week to provide 24/7 service and support, as needed.
Since the first appearance of LiveU’s cellular bonding technology at the 2010 Super Bowl, LiveU has reported accelerated growth of the technology’s adoption each year.
“Fans crave sports-related content. Over the past few years we’ve seen demand for content increase, and both traditional and online media increasing their amount of coverage to maintain a competitive edge and to cross-promote their other assets” says Ken Zamkow, LiveU’s VP Marketing, Americas. “LiveU is helping fuel this increase in live programming by offering very cost-effective and easy-to-use tools for video transmission and management.”
According to LiveU, many broadcasters trust LiveU as their primary means of uplink from major events due to the performance of LiveU’s LU500 portable yet resilient transmission backpack, the maturation of cellular bonding technology, and the increased LTE deployment by cellular carriers, resulting in broadcasters sending a greater number of LiveU devices, and renting or driving-in fewer satellite trucks compared to previous years.
LiveU provides a lower cost solution compared to traditional uplink, allowing local stations to produce more original content and causing additional stations to cover the Super Bowl with their own people on the ground. This includes those who aren’t rights-holders for the game and aren’t from the participating markets (such as stations from outside New England and Washington state, and non-NBC affiliates).
More NFL teams, even those not in the game, sent representatives with their LiveU units to cover their Pro Bowl players and other events at Radio Row. According to the company, more than half the NFL teams currently use LiveU on a regular basis to stream exclusive content to their websites and mobile apps.
Over the last year, LiveU has increased its overall customer base, and has deployed additional units with existing customers. This naturally led to an increased number of units at the Super Bowl.
While in most previous years the Pro Bowl was played in Hawaii, this year it was played in the same stadium as the Super Bowl, resulting in a larger concentration of events surrounding this the main event and attracting more media coverage. In addition, the Phoenix Open Golf tournament was played on the same week, and various large fan fests and concerts took place around town.
“Although we ended up not needing the hotspots at all, we secured them because we wanted to give our customers an extra layer of redundancy and peace of mind, in the event that there would be cellular congestion in downtown Phoenix during the week,” Zamkow continues. “But the reality was that the cellular LTE coverage was excellent, and our own technology has matured to a point where everything was chugging along smoothly across downtown Phoenix throughout the week.”