LiveU Streams Super Bowl Activities for Multiple Media Outlets
Tuesday was Media Day for the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, and LiveU was there. The company specializes in compact devices that upload live video from remote locations using bonded cellular connections, and both Super Bowl contenders are clients. Throughout the lead up to game day, both are using LiveU equipment to stream video to team sites and apps, showing activities around the Jersey City, New Jersey hotels where both are staying. They'll use LiveU equipment on Super Bowl Sunday itself, says Ken Zamkow, director of sales and marketing for LiveU, to show pregame warm-ups and post game coverage, footage that won't be available to TV viewers. Each team has between two and four LiveU backpacks, he estimates.
They're not the only LiveU clients in the New York/New Jersey area this week. Around 20 networks and online sites are using LiveU, including Fox News, CBS Sports, TMZ, local Denver and Seattle stations, and international broadcasters such as Fox Sports Mexico. All totaled, they're using around 50 LiveU backpacks.
While this is an exciting place to be, LiveU is a seasoned veteran. This is the company's fifth Super Bowl. LiveU backpacks were first used in Miami, Florida, in Super Bowl 44. At the time, its devices relied on 3G coverage; now they use 4G LTE, when available. The difference in video quality is noticeable.
"We've seen live shots that in may cases look just like satellite," Zamkow says. It's usually easy for broadcasters to get a strong signal to upload their live footage. If one street corner has a weak signal, users only need to walk a few steps to get a better one. "There haven't been many challenges this year," he notes, adding that the company's Xtender antenna helps with uploads.
The most popular way to get a LiveU unit is to take a long-term lease for one or two years. It's a turnkey offering that provides all the hardware, software, and data plans needed. Some companies prefer to purchase backpacks, while others take on short-term rentals.
LiveU has bigger events coming once the Super Bowl is done. Zamkow estimates there will be around 50 LiveU backpacks in use around the Winter Olympics at Sochi (smaller than the over 100 units used in the London Olympics because fewer countries want live coverage). The FIFA World Cup takes place this summer in Brazil, and LiveU should have over 100 units in use.
For now, though, LiveU is making sure streaming is smooth for the big game in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Zamkow says he won't be onsite, but will watch the game in New York City with friends. Who will he be rooting for? "No comment," he says. That's probably a good idea, since both teams -- and half the NFL -- are clients.
A LiveU backpack in use during Super Bowl 48 Media Day.
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