Tennis Australia, the country’s governing body for tennis, is ace at mastering a complete content strategy that puts video front and centre to engage fans year-round. But there’s a lot more to delivering a comprehensive viewing experience than meets the eye.
Creating dynamic, inclusive content is especially crucial in the world of sports. No longer subject to broadcaster scheduling, sporting organisations are leading the charge to extend viewing experiences not just beyond TV, but off the court as well. Tennis Australia is proving itself in this game, keeping fans around the world entertained and in the know, streaming both live broadcasts, as well as replays, post-match speeches, behind-the-scenes moments, press conferences and more. The spread of content is allowing Tennis Australia to create highly personalised, digital connections to fans, anytime and on any device.
The 2017 Australian Open proved a major test for Tennis Australia’s content strategy and delivery, with published content attracting a whopping three million live views and more than eight million views for video on demand (VOD) during the tournament.
The Open was a huge success, with online video setting new records, including:
Combined audience views of more than 11 million (live streams and VOD)
Snackable highlight clips with average completion rates of over 80 percent
23 countries from around the world tuned in, led by the United States in terms of viewership
The highlights from the match between Denis Istomin and Novak Djokovic earned the title of most watched video in the tournament, followed by the match point cliffhanger from the finals match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
With those numbers, it’s no wonder Tennis Australia considers live video and VOD the most important parts of its overall content strategy. But victories like these aren’t possible without the right infrastructure and tools behind the scenes. Brightcove’s Video Cloud platform, in partnership with Akamai Technologies, powered Tennis Australia’s content streaming during the tournament, ensuring tennis fans had a seamless online viewing experience when reliving their favourite moments from the Open. During the tournament, Brightcove Video Cloud enabled Tennis Australia to upload, transcode and publish hundreds of video clips daily.
Grand slam with VOD
Tennis Australia needed to deliver on-demand content, hot shots, and highlights to its hungry viewers in different countries as fast as possible throughout the tournament. Brightcove enabled Tennis Australia to do just this — typically within five minutes of the end of a match — so the organisation was often first to market.
Coupled with Akamai’s next generation Content Delivery Network, Tennis Australia was able to deliver a better-than-broadcast-quality online experience at scale across any connected device — mobile, desktop, tablets, connected TVs, game consoles, and more. Akamai supported the delivery and distribution of VOD content, ensuring that despite the high traffic volumes generated by on-demand streaming, fans could see every volley, ace, and point made in high quality, instantly for a superior viewing experience every time.
Tennis Australia was also able to take a more intelligent approach to content distribution through Brightcove, easily customising video for each social platform or complex broadcast agreement and rapidly sharing it with viewers in their channel of choice.
Lots of love for live
Live streaming capabilities meant the organisation could take the Australian Open from Melbourne Park to fans in different countries around the world. Using Brightcove Live, Tennis Australia was able to expand brand awareness and reach new audiences in the moment through a bespoke live channel, streaming up to 16 courts and behind-the-scenes content simultaneously. Live content not only promoted the Open, but showcased Tennis Australia’s capabilities and capacity for delivering engaging content at scale. Brightcove gave Tennis Australia the confidence to jump from thousands of views to millions concurrently. Live streaming at this scale traditionally requires extensive on-premise equipment, which cannot only be costly to set up, but cumbersome to operate. But by moving this workflow to Brightcove’s live architecture, Tennis Australia was able to suddenly burst its capacity to enormous scale when required for the tournament, without incurring costs during the off-season.
As more and more broadcasters and media organisations bet big on live video and VOD, the Australian Open serves up a case study for how to get these critical elements of content strategy right in a big way. During the tournament, Tennis Australia was able to maximise its reach, engage with its audience of millions, and highlight online video through a powerful content game plan backed by best-of-breed infrastructure and tools.