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M2A Connect helps Spark Sport gain operational insights and content delivery efficiency

Journal Article from M2A Media

Wed 07, 04 2021

Spark Sport is a premium live and on-demand sports streaming service in New Zealand.  Launched in 2019, the platform offers a wide range of live and on demand content such as New Zealand Cricket, English Premier League, England Cricket, NFL, MBA and more. The streaming provider also streams channels such as NBA TV, MUTV, LFCTV, EDGE TV & TAB Trackside, through which sports content is available to viewers around the clock.

The Challenge

As an OTT platform, owned and operated by New Zealand’s largest digital services provider Spark NZ, Spark Sport needed infrastructure to manage, record and preview its licensed sports content. The team at Spark Sport sought greater visibility and operational control of its live sports transport throughout the supply chain.

Already using AWS Cloud infrastructure, Spark Sport was looking for a live video IP solution that wrapped around AWS Elemental Media Services and offered them scheduling automation, the ability to monitor streams in a meaningful way and control their cloud transport costs.

The Solution

Head-quartered in London, the team at M2A Media has been developing cloud-based video solutions for global rights owners and broadcasters since 2012 and is well versed in helping emerging OTT platforms achieve their ambitions of reach and growth.

M2A CONNECT, the company’s latest live IP-video transport product, was the light-touch solution Spark Sport needed to power the delivery of sports content from its global rights partners at a competitive price point.  Driven through the intuitive M2A Console, M2A CONNECT also affords Spark Sport security, reliability and ease of use.

The M2A CONNECT solution ingests redundant copies of livestreams into AWS Elemental MediaConnect in two Availability Zones providing an orchestration and oversight of the inter-regional routing between AWS regions.

All sources and proxy feeds are made available through M2A CONNECT via AWS MediaLive and MediaPackage, with the Console exposing monitoring metrics and health status of all streams. A full channel schedule can be added via the M2A CONNECT API, or the M2A Console provides an intuitive user-friendly interface allowing operators to easily schedule events. M2A CONNECT orchestrates the activation and halting of AWS infrastructure according to the events schedule, offering safety around provisioning time and over-runs as well as automated scaling as necessary. The final ‘Hand-off’ of the transport streams uses an AWS MediaConnect output in the agreed regions and AWS account.

Through use of M2A CONNECT, Spark Sport now benefits from dynamic automation of AWS Media Services, operational efficiency for high transport stream concurrency and operational insight via the M2A Console.

Conclusion

Through its advanced orchestration, M2A CONNECT brings a new level of ease to the provisioning of cloud infrastructure for live video transport, making it the perfect solution for sports rights holders and broadcasters. Scaling capacity up for knock-out rounds, scaling resilience up for tentpole events, and scaling all down for mid-week or season end have never been easier, and those last-minute deals no longer necessitate the round-the-clock working to deliver.

“When Spark Sport launched, its ambition was to revitalize sports delivery in New Zealand.  M2A Media is the perfect partner with the perfect solution to do just that. As a smart orchestration layer on top of AWS Media Services, M2A CONNECT is helping us future proof our broadcast operations.” Andrew Martin, Operations Lead at Spark Sport NZ

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