March 4, 2020

Verizon Media Platform tops a super 2019 with Super Bowl success

Just as the road to the Super Bowl is a long, hard-fought battle, preparing to deliver the big game to millions of concurrent viewers requires equal amounts of preparation.

In just the past two years, we doubled the size of our network, and, in the first quarter of 2020, our network will hit another major milestone: 100 Tbps of egress capacity. And we’re just getting started. Throughout 2020, we will add points of presence (PoPs) in Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region in response to higher volumes of video traffic throughout these areas. Whatever the event, whatever the region, we’re prepared to deliver TV-like quality streams to meet demand. No matter how many viewers are watching.

Our Media Platform has years of experience delivering major live events, and 2019 was no different. We delivered the NBA Finals, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which we streamed in 4K for the first time in the game’s history. Our Live Event Operations team also managed the record-breaking delivery of over 330 live streaming events in just one day. Delivering this type of performance expertise is why Fox entrusted the Verizon Media Platform with its most important live event: Super Bowl LIV.

Leading up to game day, we dedicated ourselves to ensuring a smooth delivery for one of the most-watched live sporting events of the year. This included adding the following capabilities and enhancements:

  • Capacity expansion: We added five points of presence (PoPs) in key metro areas, which provided 5.5 Tbps of additional egress capacity, protecting the quality of experience in the event of sudden spikes in concurrent viewers.
  • Video quality: We added multiple interconnects to maximize last-mile bandwidth, ensuring viewers didn’t experience technical issues during the game. Our team also made improvements to 4K/HDR encoding, adding richness to colors and providing higher contrast for a better viewing experience.
  • Traffic management: Thanks to our personalized manifest-based multi-CDN solution, Smartplay Stream Routing, Fox was able to confidently support high load with high quality and high bitrate 4K video delivery. Smartplay Stream Routing for Fox featured our Media Platform’s delivery network with Origin Shield. We worked closely with the teams at Fox to architect the right signal flow, tune and validate configurations, add interconnects to ensure good performance, and build dashboards for greater visibility and to assess performance operationally.
  • Flash crowd support: To handle the phenomenon that occurs when a large number of  viewers enter a live stream at once (a flash crowd), we launched a new live stream optimization feature. It combines multiple caching optimizations that delivered faster start-up times, reduced latency and rebuffering, and provided support for managing flash crowds.

These expanded capabilities and enhancements made it possible for us to support Fox’s reported 3.4 million digital viewers on the day of the Super Bowl. Our live streaming technology, including streaming in 4K, was provided for Fox digital properties and Yahoo Sports. This multi-team effort led to a win as impressive as the one by the Kansas City Chiefs.

To learn more about our network and how it can help your streaming business grow, meet us at NAB. For details on our network capacity and live event streaming capabilities, contact us now.

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