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Cycling fans enjoy new live video programming

Betting on keirin cycle racing is an 80-year-old tradition in Japan. A new channel powered by AWS allows fans to keep track of all the action, with lower latency than ever before

Keirin is a discipline of cycle racing started in Japan in 1948. The sport is motor-paced – racers follow a motorised bicycle until the final laps of the race, after which it’s a sprint to the finish. Motor-pacing creates a slip-stream for participants to ride, allowing keirin cyclists to accelerate to finishing speeds of up to 70km/h.

AWS Media Services are ensuring that keirin cycling fans in Japan can keep up with the action

Betting has been an integral part of keirin racing since its inception, when it was one of only four sports the post-war government permitted gambling on. The money bet on keirin in Japan is said to top a trillion yen (around $6bn).

In addition to betting, Japanese fans of keirin can spend countless hours tracking riders, catching up on match results and reviewing upcoming race schedules, all of which are available via online betting service, WinTicket. 

In collaboration with AbemaTV, a CyberAgent Group internet TV station, WinTicket now offers a ‘Keirin Channel’ with 24/7 online voting, race information, odds, AI prediction functions and live video of Japan-wide keirin races. As with any other good betting service, low latency and the ability to clearly see the details of the action, regardless of viewing device, is critical to the WinTicket user experience. With this in mind, WinTicket recently shifted its video delivery workflow to the cloud, leaning on AWS Media Services to ensure the highest quality viewing experience for its audience. 

The WinTicket live video programming consists of keirin race coverage aggregated from more than 40 velodromes throughout Japan. To stream this content live, content feeds from each arena are brought into the cloud from AbemaTV’s studio and run through AWS Elemental MediaLive for video processing into adaptive bitrate outputs. Content is originated and packaged with HLS using AWS Elemental MediaPackage, and then distributed using Amazon CloudFront.

AWS Media Services enable us to deliver content with 1.5 times lower latency than other services  

“WinTicket audiences want to see race results immediately, so low latency is essential. AWS Media Services enable us to deliver content with 1.5 times lower latency than other services, giving us a strategic advantage,” says Hiroaki Egashira, CATS software engineer at CyberAgent. 

“AWS has helped us build a live delivery system with redundancy and high availability without impacting volume development processes,” says Egashira. “We’ve been able to reduce operational costs because we’re only charged on per-use basis, including serverless architecture such as Amazon API Gateway with AWS Lambda, which we’ve adopted for delivery management.”

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