NAB Perspectives: Zixi CEO Dennis Albano Pumped Over UFC Partnership
Standing in the crowded Upper South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Zixi CEO Dennis Albano could hardly contain his excitement.
On Monday, Zixi officially unveiled that UFC — the largest pay-per-view provider in the world — has selected Zixi for its IP video-delivery platform. Zixi will stream UFC events, press conferences, weigh-ins and other fight week activities to fans worldwide.
“It [adds] tremendous credibility to be chosen by them as their standard for their live-video distribution globally for their fights,” says Dennis Albano, CEO at Zixi. “It also means a lot for us because it shows that our software does what it says it’s going to do, which is to provide perfect quality over the Internet.”
UFC transmits live video to more than 200 distribution partners around the world, and its programming is available in 145 territories and countries. It holds events in a wide variety of venues across the globe, and the video capabilities of those venues differ greatly. As a result, a reliable transmission solution is critical.
“According to [VP, Digital, Technology R&D, at Zuffa] Christy King, they’ve been looking for a solution like this for five years,” says Albano. “As soon as they found Zixi and saw proof of the performance, portability, and quality, it was amazing [to them] because it gave them flexibility to move from place to place without having a lot of cost of satellite or fixed transmission.”
UFC is one of the technologically progressive sports organizations in the world, and its video production focuses on more than just fight nights. The week of an event, the UFC hosts a variety of activities that generate intense interest.
For example, leading up to UFC on Fox on April 20, fans will be able to watch weigh-ins streamed live on UFC.com. The UFC also features local fighters in a global “Fight Club” live-stream event where club members around the world can participate by tweeting their own questions to be answered live on stage. The fight-week events, which are free, are an important audience buildup to UFC’s PPV content. All of this content will be transmitted by Zixi.
Zixi offers a suite of products that delivers guaranteed quality-of-service for studio-quality video on the Internet. Zixi Feeder accepts streams from industry-standard encoders and other devices and outputs that content onto the Internet in a format optimized for IP networks. Zixi Broadcaster, running in Zixi’s cloud services or in a customer studio or data center, is a unified video-streaming hub for professional contribution and distribution. Zixi Broadcaster supports CDN ingest, live or on-demand streaming to computers, mobile devices, and set-top boxes (STBs) for IPTV or OTT applications. Zixi Receiver accepts streams from ZixiBroadcaster and outputs streams to professional equipment in video headends.