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    Australia starts live streaming of its two main sports with Telstra’s Ooyala

    Ooyala, a Telstra subsidiary and a leading innovator in premium video publishing, analytics and monetization, is powering regional and international live-stream broadcasts for two of Australia’s major sporting franchises, the National Rugby League (NRL) and the National Basketball League (NBL).

    The customers are the first to utilise the new Ooyala Live solution, helping them have more engaged viewers, expand their fan base and gain revenue throughout Australia and beyond.

    Ooyala Live is a new, re-architected and out-of-the-box solution that allows premium content providers to easily and quickly live stream content to any device, the web or in-app experience. Ooyala Live supports streaming linear TV or live events, either ad-hoc or scheduled, with live-to-VOD capabilities. The live-to-VOD capability gives customers the option to automatically create catch-up content from its live stream, giving audiences greater flexibility to consume video as well as immediately increasing inventory to boost monetization.

    Ooyala is also an official Media Solutions Partner with Facebook, allowing Ooyala Live customers to syndicate their official live broadcasts and videos streams to Facebook Live.

    Ooyala Live also includes a real-time dashboard for customers to monitor the health of all live feeds, including quality of service and integrity of streams. It also comes with all the advantages of the Ooyala video platform including content and player management, publishing, performance and engagement analytics, as well as monetization.

    “Ooyala Live is an agile and easy-to-use solution allowing production teams to quickly set up live channels and stream within minutes, without sacrificing the quality or functionality our customers demand,” said Ooyala Senior Vice President of Products and Solutions, Belsasar Lepe. “As smartphone adoption continues to swell across the globe, content providers have a massive opportunity to deliver live streams to mobile screens, especially sports providers, and the NBL and NRL are shining examples of recognising and capitalising on the growth of mobile viewing today.”

    The NRL is helping its 18 member clubs deliver live broadcasts to their fans. Working with Telstra, the digital rights partner of the NRL, the Cronulla Sharks were the first club to live stream its broadcast to all devices. As a result, the team saw viewership across 38 countries, with 37 percent outside of Sydney and 60 percent on smartphones. Using the Ooyala Live platform, the Sharks streamed pre-game commentary, the official full-length trail match and post-game interviews, reaching more than 30,000 fans.

    Given the success of the Cronulla Sharks, the NRL is now providing the Ooyala Live platform to its other member clubs for rolling out their own live offerings over the course of the 2016 NRL season.

    “With Ooyala Live, we delivered continuous, premium-quality video of Sharks rugby league to both local and internationally dispersed fans,” said Cronulla Sharks Head of Digital Commercialisation, Scott Maxworthy. “Further, 39 percent of the viewers who streamed the game were completely new to our site, proving we have a significant opportunity to reach and deliver live rugby league to untapped audiences that can’t get to games or prefer to watch content online.”

    In the 2015 to 2016 season, the NBL upgraded its official in-app stream with a more comprehensive and premium offering for its mobile customers consuming live and video-on-demand (VOD) content. With only eight days to build, test and launch the service, the NBL needed a technology provider able to deliver premium content with a flexible platform to integrate and collaborate with its multiple technology partners. In choosing Ooyala, the NBL launched an end-to-end, seamless solution on time and at scale.

    Initially exclusive to subscribers, the new platform resulted in the company’s user base to triple in size in a single season. As such, given their confidence that audiences will grow as the league expands throughout Asia, the NBL stripped all geo-restrictions from their app and lifted the subscription requirement for its live content. Today, all NBL fans, regardless of location, can watch the official broadcasts of NBL games both live and VOD via the NBL app thanks to Ooyala Live.

    “Australian basketball fans are enormous consumers of digital content, so we are conscious that our mobile and digital strategy has to be sophisticated and innovative,” said NBL General Manager, Jeremy Loeliger. “With the assistance of Telstra and Ooyala, we have been able to offer a quality option to watch all NBL game for the entire season on any mobile device. It has since become an integral service to our growing audience, and one which we think offers a platform for much greater innovation and fan engagement.”

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