Seven served another record-breaking Australian Open as Australians tuned their televisions and streamed on their favourite devices to watch the stars square off across Melbourne's 16 courts.
Australia was able to catch up on more games than ever before and much sooner thanks to Brightcove Live. Tennis fans could access full matches from the tournament, on-demand, within an hour of the match’s completion.
Seven used the Live product while still in beta, for the single purpose of workflow improvement using the Live-to-VOD feature, With this new feature, Seven could clip full-length matches from running live streams, and publish to online audiences in less than half the time it would previously. This meant not only could tennis fans catch up on their favorite moments sooner, but significantly for Seven, it reduced production hours and the need for on-site production facilities, drastically simplifying the workflow and improving time-to-live.
The long-awaited final clash between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, for example, was available to viewers online to re-watch (or watch for the first time) within 45 minutes of its completion on the Sunday night. Similarly, the William sister’s finals’ match was published in 20 minutes of the match’s end.
Typically, a video of this length could take up to 6-8 hours to fully edit, prepare and upload to content servers. Anecdotal feedback from media organisations reveals that the highest demand for catch-up content is within two hours of it ending on linear television, as a result, the need to publish this content as soon as possible is paramount.
This initiative was part of a bold expansion by Seven for this year’s Australian Open. Fans could access a freemium or premium service to watch both live and catch up matches, as well as highlight clips, anytime, anywhere. Premium users could enjoy High Definition streams in up to 1080p for all live streams.
Brightcove Video Cloud underpinned Seven’s bold expansion of its video on demand content during the tennis, allowing the broadcaster to publish more than 400 highlights clips, such as interviews with the stars and match highlights, as well as full-length matches, to fans through its digital channels.
Open APIs also gave Seven the ability to customise metadata when creating videos to simplify workflow. Seven was able to leverage the metadata to drive the delivery of content, like pushing premium videos to subscribed users in-app. Seven could also tap into its own match schedule, pull the relevant metadata and publish it to Video Cloud alongside the clipping request, to speed up the time to publish.
“Brightcove has been a long term partner of Seven West Media and our Product & Technology team,” said Damian McNamara, Head of Digital Video, Infrastructure & Operations at Seven Network . “The Live-to-VOD feature made it easy for us to publish videos to our content-hungry viewers close to match end. We are always looking for ways to improve the viewing experience; being able to give fans the content they want quickly is incredibly important. We look forward to continuing to deliver the biggest events in sports.”
Header art credit: "Rafael Nadal Vs Philipp Kohlschreiber" flickr photo by swampa shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license / Modified from original by added blur and overlay