The Benefits of Using a Global Media Network for High-Value Live Sports

With the market for high-profile live sports events becoming more global, the importance of collaborating with a partner with a commensurate reach is becoming ever more important.

While major sporting events in the calendar have always been global properties, increasingly rights holders are finding a global demand at all levels of the sporting portfolio. Leagues and organizations are able to build audiences far beyond their local territories, connecting with both overseas fans on the one hand and building new audiences on the other. From the ubiquity of international soccer shirts across Asia to the immense popularity of cricket amongst the subcontinental fans in the USA, sport is a global phenomenon that reaches way beyond the cycle of major tournaments and games.

Connecting sports with audiences

Content delivery from the USA alone accounts for 20% of the global market, and the connectivity that Telstra provides to Asia and around the world delivers sports and entertainment content to global audiences.  The Telstra Global Media Network (GMN), together with the networks of our partners, reach over 300  points of presence in the USA. This offers high-bandwidth and assured access, meeting the quality of service continuity and connectivity requirements of high-value live video content. Our eight trans-pacific cable routes connect the United States with key international markets across the Asia-Pacific region and deliver 20TB of cable capacity in and out of the country.

The US market and our strength in Asia though is only part of the picture. Telstra offers an extensive global network spanning over 250,000 miles, with access to more than 2,000 points of presence in over 200 countries and territories globally. We also offer connectivity to 58 data centers worldwide with one of the largest integrated data center footprints in the Asia-Pacific region. The Telstra GMN Partner Alliance offers an additional access to more than 2,500 end points, including 1,000 sports and media customers, 1,500 high-profile sporting venues, and 10 global teleports.

This enables us to design media network solutions to the most exacting requirements, for leading sports brands and companies. We have worked with WTA Media to design a unique global network capable of delivering video from the WTA Tour’s 47-plus locations across the globe. This includes “dual and diverse” fiber connections designed for the stringent requirements of live video, with built-in redundancy and two geographically diverse paths to WTA Media hubs for scalability and resiliency. Key to the success is fiber’s ability to scale, which allows WTA Media to cover multiple events in parallel, leading to an expansion of content from 700 matches a year to over 2,500 matches in a single season.

Enabling innovation

We know how sports broadcast works. From bringing better ways to deliver content from unique camera angles at major events globally using Globecam, to monitoring live events from our state of the art Telstra Broadcast Operations Center, or streaming content to Asia and beyond, our expertise in sports enables innovation with our customers in Australia and around the world.

Not only does the scale of the Telstra network ensure high-quality, low-latency video delivery for broadcasters and audiences, it is also a key enabler in the pivot towards at-home production. From our collaboration with Fox Sports Australia and NEP Australia to roll out an Australia-wide Distributed Production Network (DPN) for the remote production of Tier One sports content from the NEP Andrews Hubs in Sydney and Melbourne, to the first successful Trans-Pacific remote production in 2018 between Sydney and Los Angeles, this has become the new normal. Most recently, our DPN delivered 30 HD live camera and graphics feeds from June’s World Relay Championships in Japan, 8,000 km from the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama via Tokyo to the NEP Andrews production hub in Sydney.

The ability to leverage the power and capacity of the Telstra network also enables us to innovate in other areas of interest for sports broadcasters. Our Globecam miniature camera kits, for instance, are built to capture the high-octane action of sporting events and provide a highly immersive viewing experience. The kits are lightweight, compact and use innovative low-latency digital link technology to receive and transmit live content right from the field-of-play or court, whether deployed as a RefCam, NetCam, UmpireCam, or HelmetCam, depending on the sport. Globecam is provided as a managed service and can be tailored to suit the individual requirements of sporting codes, event organizers, and broadcasters.

Assured Quality of Service

Whether for long-term or occasional use, the size and scale of the Telstra Global Media Network in combination with our partners means we have the capacity to deliver your content with an assured quality of service where and when needed. We have years of  experience delivering content in and out of Asia — indeed, we have the largest subsea cable network in the Asia-Pacific region, carrying up to 30% of the region’s Internet traffic and offering access to the most intra-Asia lit capacity — and our partnerships elsewhere around the world ensure we provide a truly global solution.

Our network’s capacity is the perfect solution to cater to rising demand for Ultra High Definition content from the sports market, while providing the robust connectivity and low-latency connections that at-home production demands. It allows connections directly into major broadcasters and major venues around the world, while our global Broadcast Operations Center and additional Master Control Rooms in Asia, USA, and Europe ensure that all content is monitored and managed around the clock.

Sport is a global passion. To reach growing audiences and meet increasing demand for live content for fans around the world, what is required is a service that has the reach, bandwidth, and stability that the Telstra Global Media Network provides.

Author: Anna Lockwood, Head of Global Sales, Telstra Broadcast Services – IBC Stand number (if applicable): Hall 14.F18

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