Caribbean Premier League Deploys Grabyo Tools To Bring T20 Cricket to the World
Online presence features clips, sharing, spirit of the Caribbean
Is there a strong international demand for cricket? The Hero Caribbean Premier League answers with an emphatic yes. The league shared 650 clips online during its recently concluded season, attracting 41 million views. Now that’s some impressive bowling.
Sharing videos over multiple social-media channels, it also counted more than 21 million engagements, such as when viewers liked, shared, or commented on a clip.
The league achieved these numbers by working with Grabyo, the London-based cloud video platform that lets content owners share live and on-demand videos over multiple channels and platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Grabyo currently has about 50 employees and additional offices in the U.S. and Singapore.
Grabyo, in its third year working with the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), has helped the league grow its online presence over time. The league plays Twenty20 (T20) cricket, a faster-paced version of the game just right for both onsite spectators and TV viewers. It’s also well-suited to online sharing, with plenty of quick plays for bite-size viewing. The CPL’s enthusiastic fan support — with lots of singing and dancing in the stands — also makes for great clips. The league came to Grabyo years ago with two objectives: to bring live streaming of its games to all markets where it didn’t already have a licensing agreement and to grow an audience by sharing clips over a variety of social-media platforms.
The CPL used two of Grabyo’s web-based products in its online production: Grabyo Studio for live publishing and clipping and Grabyo Producer for online production. The league repurposed its live TV feeds, creating encodes for Grabyo. It streamed 1080p live coverage to Grabyo’s AWS ingest point, and Grabyo distributed the video to the league’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
CPL producers were able to create clips from those live streams even while the games were going on. Using Grabyo Producer through a web browser, the league could share exciting moments just seconds after they occurred.
It also captured the spirit of the Caribbean in its clips, according to Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon. “The content that they shared wasn’t just the content on the field. It’s the Caribbean, so you can imagine it’s quite a fun party atmosphere around the grounds. Lots of music, dancing, and some of the content was showing that.
“Seeing a team celebrate and dance,” he continues, “that’s an example of not just bringing the wickets and the sixes during the tournament — which undoubtedly are important — but also the cultural flavor of the event itself. I think it’s important to showcase that, but, also, that’s the kind of content that can really work from a social-media perspective.”
Want a taste? Check out this montage of celebration moves by different players. It was one of the league’s most-viewed clips of the season. Not all the league’s popular clips showed on-field action; sometimes the halftime show got a lot of attention.
The CPL’s workflow was divided between teams in the Caribbean and London. While the onsite team handled live video production, the London team created highlights from the uploaded video. It also supervised the Facebook and Twitter live streams, ensuring that they got where they needed to be. With Grabyo’s online tools, a production team can be far away from the action.
Because Grabyo can also ingest clips created outside the platform, the CPL created some outside content as well. By distributing online, Capon says, the league was able to reach a younger, more mobile-centric viewer than it gets with TV.
The league monetized its online content through sponsorships. Grabyo works with the Twitter Amplify program and Facebook’s branded-content service but doesn’t integrate any of the online ad networks.
Although the Hero CPL’s 2018 season is over (the Trinbago Knight Riders won their third title in four seasons), Grabyo is enthusiastic about supporting it and growing its online presence for years to come.
“It’s been a strong relationship now for a number of years,” Capon says. “We work well with the team. We’d definitely like to continue to do that as we move into 2019, and, each year, we try new things with the CPL. I’d be hopeful and confident that we continue this partnership next year.”