Case Study: Online video upgrade for Football League Interactive across 89 web sites

Earlier this year, the Football League decided to build on its Player video platform offer to meet the expectations of fans. It saw an opportunity to create a premium quality video platform that could be tailored to every club in the Football League.

Technology is changing the game for football fans in the UK. This year’s fixture release day was a digital record breaker in the UK, with more than 3,000,000 views across the FLi (Football League Interactive) network. The associated clubs published a total of over 3,214 new pieces of content within the same day.

Video makes up a good portion of this content. And as Adobe Digital Index’s 2015 report revealed, the number of users watching sports streams is surging by 640% each year. The Football League saw the need to invest heavily in video as fans desire better quality video and new ways to watch it. The Football League chose StreamAMG to help deliver on its new video strategy.

What’s more, FLi needed to make PlayerHD available around the world, with a strong user experience and fast load time. The Football League follows its fans around the world, and regularly looks into which teams have large global followings. It knew that audiences were large enough to build a service that reached globally.

This PlayerHD platform would need to: ingest multiple streams at full HD bitrates; deliver video to mobile, tablet and all major browsers; provide a stable monetisation and subscription system; integrate seamlessly with a new FLi app; stream live video to a global audience; create faster, smoother workflows for media teams to deliver video; and continuously evolve the product for football fans.

PlayerHD was also to act as the ‘Live Hub’ for teams’ pre-season tour content, where a number of clubs would use StreamAMG’s live expertise to stream fixtures in the run-up to the start of the new season. With the new PlayerHD planned, the FLi put forward the aspirational slogan: “Support your club. Whenever. Wherever.”

The challenge

Launching 89 different video websites on one day is no easy feat. StreamAMG needed to provide the FLi with a tailored solution for June 25 that saw each club re-launch its video subscription platform as PlayerHD, offering for the first time a multiple device-compatible service with HD content, match highlights and live audio commentary.

The company’s sports office, based in MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, provides technical account management, customer support and streaming production. The new partnership has been aided by StreamAMG’s construction of a custom data facility, able to accommodate the number of concurrent events required by the project, and broadcast live audio and video content with minimal delay to a global audience. StreamAMG also recruited new team members at management, account management and customer service level as part of the new project.

Prior to the launch, the StreamAMG team went on a road show of the different clubs, training their teams on the new platform and putting into place all the support workflows for both the media teams and the fans.

StreamAMG provided a clean launch of the new HD service on June 25. After the launch, and when they could all take a breath of relief, Duncan Burbidge, CEO for StreamUK said: “I’m very proud of StreamAMG today… We delivered 89 video websites on our best day ever.”

The new offering represents a major development in the consumption of online football video, as fans look to engage with their clubs through digital and social media, across multiple devices anywhere in the world.

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