Who is the Super Bowl MVP? Will this be the fourth time for Tom Brady? What is the final scores of the Super Bowl 2017?
History speaks it all; Super Bowl is the only event that falls into the most-viewed livestream category among all major shows. According to Fox Sports, Super Bowl XLVII which was streamed live by FOX attached above 528,000 audiences per minute, which is 4% high over 2013’s Super Bowl. This year again, FOX is preparing for record Super Bowl 51 Live-Stream for audience.
Devin Poolman the SVP, digital platforms for Fox Sports must be under little stress as he is responsible for live-stream Super Bowl LI without authentication on Fox Sports. Moreover, the live-stream will also feature the targeted digital ad insertion for 170 of its more than 200 affiliates.
Last year CBS gained 3.96 million unique viewers for the live streaming, but what’s Fox expecting this year?
“A little bit bigger,” laughs Poolman, but the group is anticipating a significant larger audience with Super Bowl 2017. Though, he hasn’t shared any numbers, but for sure he wants the network operations for streaming to go easy. This is why Fox decided to withdraw the Pay-TV authentication for live stream
Devin Poolman further said –
“There’s a little bit of tradition there to go unauthenticated and a belief that the Super Bowl is an event for all NFL fans,”
“We certainly believe in helping the Super Bowl reach the largest audience possible.”
Authentication brought many issues in past, which is why Fox wants to ensure smooth operation for such big event where scalability and reliability both are critical.
Fox’s streaming workflow begins with its telecast feed that the online team gets via built-in redundancy. The team encodes a mezzanine file, and then moves for further running via dedicated fiber – which is again a built-in redundancy part to MLBAM. The MLBAM offers backend services and final encoding from there the file goes to three CDNs – Akamai, Limelight, and Level3 — for final delivery.
720p is the top resolution the Poolman’s team can expect from the telecast, so there will be no 4K or 1080p streaming for fans this year. MLBAM would make six renditions of adaptive-bitrate HLS streams. 720p at 60 fps being the top rendition, which could be used in case of any traffic issues.
However, Poolman is planning to use 720p at 30 fps and he will have his focus on quality, which mostly rely on Conviva (third-party partner) to locate congestion or performance issues if any. And if require, Poolman will remove the top rendition to ease the network burden.
The ad-decisioning of Fox is managed by FreeWheel’s Hybrid Linear Digital Ad-Scheduler (HyLDA) program and include client-side and server-side both insertion. Fox will design a new pleasing layer for ads, which is been tested on multiple events earlier including some in the NFL Playoff games. Fox will live stream to iOS, Android, Fire, Roku, Chromecast, and Xbox apps, which required updates to support the ad insertions.