Guest Comment: IPFL accelerates sports highlights production and distribution with MX1 360
Sports organisations all around the world are looking for evermore efficient ways to handle quick turnaround highlights of their content to meet the accelerating fast-response times of online markets and social media, writes Elad Manishviz, CMO and Chief Business Officer of Sports & Events Business Unit at MX1. The Israel Premier Football League (IPFL) is a case in point. Responsible for coordinating the activities of the country’s burgeoning professional soccer leagues, it needed to find a better workflow to manage the production of multiple highlights packages of its weekend games.
In doing so it had a few key requirements. Firstly, any new service platform had to feature easy integration with third-party statistical data. Secondly, the IPFL wanted the ability to publish assets and highlights to B2C platforms. And lastly, it wanted to be able to take full advantage of remote production workflows, with the flexibility to access the solution from any location, thus meaning it no longer had to send editors to venues.
After comparing various solutions on the market, the IPFL chose MX1 360 as the only provider that ticked all the relevant boxes. MX1 360 provides the league with an end-to-end, cloud-based media asset management solution that is easy to use, optimised for rapid turnaround workflows, and integrates with third-party technologies and sports data providers. It can also be user-customised to meet specific needs and requirements, complies with industry-wide security standards to provide a secure collaborative environment, and features an intuitive dashboard and UI, which requires very little training to master.
The workflow employed by the IPFL is simple and straightforward (see graphic). Live game feeds are managed and ingested in the MX1 360 service platform, where it is combined with XML data sent by Redwood Technologies, a leading provider of sports statistical data. This is used by editors to rapidly locate key game events.
IPFL editors can access the MX1 360 platform from anywhere (including home offices) and prepare highlights using low-resolution proxies. The system then delivers full HD highlights to broadcasters and service providers in any required format for broadcast, online, or VOD delivery.
All content, highlights, and metadata are then archived within the platform and can be repurposed at a later point for additional monetization opportunities.
Being able to handle all of these workflow elements from a single centralised platform brings many efficiencies to the operation. Beyond managing the day-to-day workflow and producing match highlights, MX1 360 provides the IPFL with several other key advantages. Powered by a hybrid cloud and on-premise software and infrastructure mix, it allows the league to leverage the power of the cloud with all the benefits of scalability, flexibility, and agility over traditional hardware-based infrastructure. It is also cost-saving: no additional infrastructure is needed as video flows exclusively through offsite MX1 facilities.
According to Gil Halevi, head of digital at IPFL, “MX1 360 gives us full control over sports content, in real time, allowing us to manage our broadcast partners and their access to the different content we produce quickly and effortlessly. In the future, we look forward to leveraging the flexibility of MX1’s service and expanding our content highlights into the OTT and online realm.”
Today, IPFL is using the MX1 360 platform for traditional broadcast service management, delivery, and monetization. As Halevi hinted, though, as soon as the IPFL decides to expand into the OTT environment, MX1 360 will ensure that the organization is well-equipped to provide highlights of multiple games, on the fly, for delivery over the internet.
With an easy-to-use content management solution at its fingertips, the IPFL can further cement its position as the leading provider of live football events in Israel, and carry on meeting the rapid and demanding — not to mention evolving — workflows of the live sports environment.