Harvard Athletics Enhances the Live Streaming Game With LiveU Bonded Cellular

Harvard Crimson is comprised of 42 Division I teams. Harvard Athletics produces home games for 32 of those teams including football, hockey, basketball, fencing, and track. Rowing is the most watched sport by Harvard alums and probably the most challenging when it comes to connectivity – especially along the Charles River.

The Athletics team dove into cellular bonding a few years ago. At the time, the crew used a different solution and found that the connectivity worked, but the video didn’t look great. They were re-introduced to LiveU at NAB last year and after initial testing, were convinced that LiveU’s hardware-based HEVC encoding proved to provide the best of both worlds – connectivity and the highest quality in low bandwidth conditions.

“We accomplish that goal by staying in touch with our Alumni and allowing them to follow the university and their favorite teams from wherever they are in the world. What better way to stay connected than with live video?” notes Imry Halevi, Assistant Director of Athletics, Multimedia and Production at Harvard University.

Harvard Athletics used the LiveU HEVC Solution to produce regular season races, as well as the Ivy League Rowing Championship along the Cooper River in Camden County, NJ. With 8 teams competing in 18 races throughout the day, the production went so well that Harvard Athletics was commissioned to produce the championship for four other athletics conferences over the three-day weekend.

“This was a major production and by far our biggest undertaking. The production went smoothly, and we couldn’t have done it without LiveU,” added Halevi.

This season the production team is upping their game with more cameras, more LiveU HEVC units, and the incorporation of live drones to cover in-season and post-season rowing races.

Races were historically viewed on The Ivy League Network, as well as Facebook Live and Twitter streaming. With the high-quality HEVC solution, this year Harvard Athletics is distributing the races to ESPN +.

“Harvard alumni remain Harvard sports fans forever. Live video upholds the university’s mission of staying in touch with alumni and parents. We’ve received countless emails thanking us for providing live coverage of our teams,” concluded Halevi.