Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company, announced that Australia’s Seven Network (Seven) provided full coverage of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games powered in part by Amazon Web Services and AWS Elemental. Seven provided a highly successful OlympicsOn7 and 7plus App and Australians enjoyed nearly 140 million minutes of video streaming over the 18 days, in addition to a Broadcast TV reach of 16 million and Social reach of 7.1 million.
“Seven proudly streamed all Broadcast coverage and up to eight dedicated channels of exceptional Olympics action – in high quality (up to HD 1080P for Premium users), reliably and securely at huge scale,” said Damian McNamara, Head of Cloud Video for Seven. “Seven continues to accelerate Premium Sports coverage across all screens, following our comprehensive 2018 Australian Open Tennis Championship, with AWS Elemental a core partner for an exciting roadmap ahead.”
Seven utilised AWS Elemental Live L505AE multi-channel live encoders, each unit processing up to eight live Winter Olympics sporting events simultaneously. This allowed viewers to follow their chosen sport, be it, for example, Snowboarding, Alpine Skiing, or Ice Hockey – all live and free. AWS Elemental advanced adaptive bit rate H.264 encoding provided each live stream in a comprehensive set of resolutions and bit rates, including full HD 1080P streaming. This ensured a seamless experience to viewers on the widest possible range of devices, from phones to Connected TV’s, across a wide range of internet connection speeds. Seven controlled AWS Elemental Live encoding appliances via the AWS Elemental system’s feature-rich application programming interface (API) to insert advertising triggers into the live video streams and to overlay graphics into the live video.
The AWS Elemental Live L505AE encoders, located at Seven’s Melbourne Broadcast Centre, packaged all live streams into Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) encrypted format, with the content then being pushed out over Amazon Direct Connect dedicated links into multiple local Amazon Web Services cloud Availability Zones within the Sydney Australia AWS Region, for comprehensive system redundancy. Live content was then cached in AWS Origin Servers in the AWS Cloud and, from there, served out via the Amazon CloudFront and Akamai Content Distribution Networks to meet the demand from Seven viewers throughout Australia.
“Seven is setting a new standard for sports fans and viewers across Australia,” said Andrew Thornton, Elemental APAC Field Operations, Amazon Web Services Hong Kong Limited. “AWS offers media leaders such as Seven the tools to scale up innovative new live streaming services with high quality and to do so quickly and cost efficiently.”
Seven’s commitment to an expanding presence in sport builds on the network’s unprecedented new agreement with the International Olympic Committee. Following its coverage of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018, Seven will stream the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020. Seven is also the home of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast (Australia) in 2018.