The 2017 edition of the Australian Open broke all records, with viewership surging on both TV and streaming channels. The historic finale between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal drew dozens of millions of viewers across the globe and was tipped as the biggest final ever.
Eurosport, the number one sports destination in Europe, owned by Discovery, saw its coverage of the finale reach 20.7 million viewers across Europe via its broadcast channels (Eurosport and DMAX) and its online Eurosport Player. This made it Eurosport’s most-watched tennis match of all time and second most-watched sporting event in the channel’s history!
Delivering these kinds of volumes to live audiences is a major challenge. Unpredictable traffic spikes often lead to network saturation and in turn rebuffering, choppy video or even service outages. They are also extremely costly in terms of bandwidth for the broadcaster, especially if viewers tune in to HD and 4K content!
This is precisely why Eurosport turned to Streamroot over a year ago. As the company sought to grow the platform, they needed a solution that was robust, cost effective and would naturally scale to their spiky live traffic. They chose Streamroot peer-accelerated delivery to optimize their existing infrastructure and maximize their delivery capacity.
So what happened during this year’s historic Australian Open? Just that. Large audiences translated to a dense mesh network of viewers and demonstrated the power of our peer-to-peer solution.
The average number of viewers on the Eurosport Player rose sharply during the semifinals and finals held January 26.
During this time, Eurosport delivered approximately half of this traffic via Streamroot’s peer-to-peer technology. Capacity offload fluctuated around 50% during the tournament and peaked during the men’s final, with peer-to-peer making up nearly 60% of total throughput.
This translates to huge bandwidth savings for Eurosport during their most important event of the year. It also means more efficient delivery – segments are sourced not only from the server but from other viewers, reducing pressure on the traditional infrastructure and providing a natural defense against the quality issues that plague high-profile live events.
The Australian Open embodies one of the key challenges for online broadcasters. Media consumption is increasingly shifting towards online distribution channels and new platforms such as tablets, smartphones or smart TVs. Traffic overload is a threat to both user experience and broadcaster profitability. Streamroot’s peer-accelerated delivery both turns traffic peaks into an asset and fosters more predictable costs for profitable growth.
More intelligent delivery, lower costs, quality ensured!
Game, set, match.