Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

NBC Sports Group Looks to Block the Ad-Blockers for Live Video

Article Featured Image

How do content providers ensure that their ads are seen, and that online video viewers don't create the equivalent of a DVR for streamed content, where they can skip ads at will? For NBC Sports Group, the answer is player development.

During a recent Streaming Media East panel on reducing complexity and improving reliability in server-side ad insertion, Eric Black, vice president of technology for NBC Sports Group, explained that his team might get ads as long as 2 1/2-minutes to fill the breaks inherent in live TV sports coverage.

"We're still in a world where we're trying to get 7- and 15-second creatives right now, so when you look at a traditional TV model, we're still getting a lot of 30s," Black said. "Depending on the program itself, we may even get a 2 ½ if it's something very custom. I think the nature of our business is live sports so we've got these ad breaks."

Combatting ad blockers in live video is a critical goal for NBC Sports.

"It's definitely a concern for us. We're trying to look at it more holistically if not just 'Is server-side the answer to that problem?' but 'What can we do client-side to help mitigate some of the ad-blocking techniques?'"

The answer is diving into the player code and working with developers.

"You can do stuff done on a kernel level and maybe work with Adobe directly or work with other partners directly to try and find a way around it," Black explained. "When we look at player development itself, when you look at how an ad is coming into the manifest itself, is there a way to go around some of the more popular ad blockers? The answer is even on the player level, without even going down to the Flash level, there are ways around it."

For more on improving server-side ad functionality, watch the panel discussion below and download the presentation.


Server-Side Ad Insertion: Reducing Video Player Complexity & Improving Reliability

Factors such as the proliferation of devices with differing capabilities, concern over the use of ad blockers, and the need to insert digital ads into live streams have driven many distributors to move ad insertion management from the video player to server or cloud-based solutions. While this approach can reduce the complexity of player applications and provide improved streaming performance and reliability, it can also introduce some tradeoffs in advertising functionality. Attendees will hear the views of leading media outlets and technology solution vendors on this emerging trend in video streaming.

Moderator: Glenn Goldstein, SVP, Chief Technology Convergence Officer, Viacom
Speaker: Ralf Jacob, CRO, Verizon Digital Media Services
Speaker: Eric Black, VP, Technology, NBC Sports Group
Speaker: Jon Heller, Co-Founder, Co-CEO, Freewheel
Speaker: Paul Gavalis, Sr. Director, Video & Audio Platform Technologies, ESPN

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

NBC Launches Playmaker Media, Streaming Video Support Service

After 10 years of live streaming the Olympics and other high-level sporting events, NBC Sports creates a side business out of it. The IOC is its first client.

A Stitch in Time: How Stream Stitching Beats the Ad Blockers

Ad blockers are the bane of online video publishers everywhere. Can stream stitching, also known as server-side ad insertion, save the day?

Will Online Video Ad Loads Ever Get LEANer? Don’t Bet on It

One side shouts that ad blockers are a necessity, and the other side shouts that they're robbery. The IAB takes a middle position and asks for restraint.

NBC Announces Seeso, a Streaming Service Devoted to Comedy

With an impressive roster of online originals and broadcast favorites, Seeso hopes to satisfy comedy lovers for $3.99 per month.

Ad Blocking Technology: It’s Not User Choice, It’s Stealing

144 million people around the globe are using ad blockers to skip ads, and some of the biggest companies online are sitting back and letting it happen.

NBC Will Launch Authenticated Live Linear Broadcast Stream

In a win for TV Everywhere, pay TV customers will soon have the option of watching live NBC programming on any device.

NBC Universal: Auto-Authentication Offers Higher Success Rates

Some pay TV customers are sharing their credentials with friends, but the bigger problem is that many find authentication too challenging.

Streaming Media East Keynote: NBC Sets Olympic Video Records

Over 850,000 viewers watched the USA-Canada men's semifinal hockey match, a huge increase over anything NBC had delivered before.

Note to Olympic Whiners: This Is What NBC Does

Enough with the complaining, enough with the hashtags. We've seen all this before and it's not going to change.