“Building Back Better” has become a popular political campaign slogan but it should serve the broadcast industry just as well for areas such as live event streaming and remote production. As the sector ramps up to full-time production, it is imperative it does so from a position of strength and better than that it was forced to leave at the beginning of 2020.
Since then, the wheels of change have sped up. If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that the demand for content has yet to plateau. Viewing to linear TV and subscriptions to VOD channels have soared during the lockdown. Surveys suggest that these trends won’t reverse as the “back to the venue” entertainment resumes.
Live event streaming has gone OTT and remote
Yet viewing figures for live sports sunk. Baseball’s World Series was the least-watched on record. Ratings for the NBA Finals dropped 51% from the year before. The Super Bowl was the least-watched since 2007.
It’s no longer sufficient to blame Covid. Federations and rights holders need to up their game to live OTT streaming and remote production of live events and conferences. Comcast is shutting the NBC Sports Network and shifting many of its golf tournaments and NASCAR races to the Peacock live event streaming service. NBCU’s Olympics coverage targets younger viewers on Twitch with an array of bespoke and interactive live event streaming content.
Disney will turn to live event streaming for 75 NHL games on ESPN+ and Hulu. NFL matches will be streamed on Amazon and the streaming services of Disney, Fox Sports, and ViacomCBS in addition to airing them on cable. Amazon has snapped up the bulk of French soccer rights for the league’s two top divisions for 2021-24. The list goes on.
At the same time, remote production of live events and conferences is gaining ground. No longer an experiment, remote production is the method by which the majority of the world’s live events will be produced. The bulk of UEFA Euro 2020 coverage is being conducted remotely with plans being made to cement remote over IP workflows for future Tier 1 events.
The BBC is showing the way of live event streaming. Its coverage of the prestigious FA Cup Final from Wembley in May was remotely produced by Arena TV with feeds controlled from surface applications over a Net Insight Nimbra media router with no compromise in production value and all the benefits of reduced cost, time and carbon emissions. Having all feeds at the home studio makes it easier to offer fans more complementary content and a richer experience.
Produce more with less
The ability to streamline costs yet deliver rich content to viewers hungry for live experiences is a strategic necessity in the fight for audience share. With the acceleration of cloud adoption as a delivery method, media companies gain more flexibility and reduce time to market for services, without impacting latency and quality.
At the heart of the drive to meet the demands of scale and quality with efficiency is Net Insight. Global media service provider Tata Communications is launching its new continent-spanning 100G IP media backbone in collaboration with Net Insight.
“Making our backbone 100GB capable is crucial, as new bandwidth-hungry content formats emerge, and as more and more of our customers transform how they operate through remote production,” explains Jeremy Dujardin, Tata’s CTO.
Simplifying the complexities of live event streaming to transport live, high-quality video on a national and international scale, is also imperative for The Switch. It harnessed the capabilities of the Nimbra platform to build out its self-provisioned service and enable its customers to work in a simple, new and flexible way.
Net Insight technology is relied on to scaling network capacity and remote production of live events and conferences to levels unheard of in the media industry. Our technology, in partnership, provides high levels of flexibility and guaranteed service quality while enabling our clients and their broadcaster customers to embrace the opportunities of live OTT streaming of the future.
OTT, or “Over The Top”, is an acronym for TV and film content that you watch via streaming services rather than cable or satellite providers. OTT is most often associated with large subscription-based video-on-demand services such as Netflix or Hulu, but refers to any type of content distribution channel that brings you content via the internet.
Live OTT streaming has become a crucial part of the society during the pandemic, and the observed trends suggest it will continue to rise in popularity even after the pandemic has come to an end.
Remote production of live events and conferences provide a plethora of benefits for the production company including:
- Reduced cost linked to staff travel and equipment
- Enhanced sustainability
- Increased utilization of resources including the ability to handle multiple events at once
- Increased flexibility to produce, distribute, and monetize more video content from anywhere in the world