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Kayo scores big for streaming sports

Kayo wants to be the ‘Netflix of sports’ for Australia. AWS helped build that dream. Australians have always had a special relationship with sport. In fact, in 2006 the country introduced an anti-siphoning law, which gave Australian public broadcasters first right of refusal on covering certain sporting events, so that there would be the widest public access to those events. In Australia, access to sport is practically a civil right. After dominating traditional TV broadcasting for decades, sport is quickly making headway in the online and streaming market. Last November, Kayo Sports launched Down Under a new online media company driven by the vision of creating an Australian ‘Netflix of sport’. The multi-sport streaming service offers Australian fans a selection of more than 50 live sports, powered by Fox Sports Australia, ESPN and beIN Sports. Subscribers can stream Kayo’s library of live and on-demand content via iOS and Android devices, on laptops and PCs, as well as on TVs with Telstra TV, Apple TV and Chromecast Ultra apps. Events are streamed in 1080p HD and the service offers the ability to stream as many as three events at the same time. Kayo’s SplitView feature allows viewers to keep their eye on up to four events or camera angles simultaneously. The attention to the user experience also extends to a ‘no spoilers’ mode, which lets Kayo viewers hide stats and scores so they can catch up on game events without ruining the final result. The service also offers a feature called Kayo Key Moments, which lets viewers skip straight to highlights during on-demand viewing. The service offers up to 50 different sport events. These include favourites like football, cricket and rugby (and Aussie rules football), but also extend to niche sports like rowing, darts and drone racing. 30,000 Hours of Sport Much like many new online video services, Kayo has built its video infrastructure using tools provided by AWS.  “Kayo provides a new way for Australians to experience sport,” explains Thomas Kaurin, director of Technology at Kayo Sports. “With over 30,000 hours of content and games, it’s critical we deliver the best possible experience. AWS helps Kayo do this through its fast pace of innovation, with constantly evolving tools that help us deliver a world-class experience.” Kayo uses AWS Elemental Live encoding on-premises to prepare live streams for the AWS Cloud, where AWS Elemental Media Services process, package and deliver HLS and MPEG-DASH streams for distribution through the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network. This livestreaming workflow delivers broadcast-quality video content with much lower delay than traditional livestreaming sports simulcasts. Kayo lets users control the action with pause, rewind and replay functionality, delivered by AWS Elemental MediaPackage. MediaPackage is supported across multiple AWS Availability Zones to reliably repackage and originate content for delivery to Amazon CloudFront. Great Performance Performance, scale and resilience were priorities for Kayo in building its video infrastructure. AWS Elemental Media Services and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) are designed to scale automatically with an increase in demand, and MediaPackage manages resources across multiple AWS Availability Zones as it prepares and originates content for delivery to CloudFront.  A data lake built on Amazon EC2 and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) enables analysis of live performance data to support continuous optimisation. On the front end of the service, AWS Lambda and AWS Step Functions support serverless execution of sign-ups and user validation. Storage built on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Amazon Simple Storage Service Glacier (Amazon S3 Glacier) is used to analyse live performance data to support continuous optimisation. AWS Lambda and AWS Step Functions provide a serverless execution of sign-ups and user validation.  “The time-critical nature of sports puts a premium on performance that goes beyond any other type of content streaming,” says Paul Migliorini, managing director ANZ at AWS. “AWS means broadcasters can have confidence in an outstanding live user experience, while providing the library of sports that consumers expect.”]]>