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Yahoo To Talk NFL Streaming at Streaming Media West

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If you're looking for proof that OTT is disrupting traditional broadcast, look no further than one of the keynote speakers for this year's Streaming Media West and Live Streaming Summit: Omer Luzzatti, senior director at Yahoo! Inc. and head of the company's video platform, will talk about Yahoo's stream of Sunday's Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game from Wembley Stadium in London, which marks the first time a regular season NFL game has been delivered solely via OTT outside of the teams' local markets.

The game will be delivered Sunday morning, October 25, at 9:30 a.m. ET, and be available on Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Screen, and Tumblr. According to a report in The New York Times, Yahoo has sold out all its ad inventory to 30 advertisers, including Toyota, which will sponsor the game's halftime show. "Yahoo reaches more than one billion users, and I don't know what percentage is going to watch, but it's a universe of users that's so large I'll get plenty of return," Toyota group VP for marketing Jack Hollis told the newspaper.

Luzzatti will desribe Yahoo's platform, how it selects among CDNs according to stream quality, how it collaborates with ISPs, how it delivers its ABR streams, and other details of how Yahoo delivered this historic event. Chris Mangum, Yahoo's lead architect for live video, will also be on hand for the Live Streaming Summit on a panel talking about "Measuring the Success of Content Delivery," while the NFL's Shannon Rutherford will offer a presentation at the Live Streaming Summit called "Blurred Lines: The Convergence of Broadcast and Digital Inside the NFL."

While Luzzatti's keynote on Wednesday, November 18 will focus on live event streaming, the Tuesday, November 17 keynote will highlight live linear, on-demand, and game streaming with Corey Smith, senior service engineering manager at Microsoft's Xbox Live. Smith will discuss the technical solutions he and his broadcast solutions team use to scale and accelerate video delivery to Xbox Live's 39 million users.

As you've probably guessed by now, live streaming is a big focus at this year's event. "Live linear streaming and the workflows around broadcasters taking live streams to the web is a big topic right now," says Streaming Media executive VP and Streaming Media West program chair Dan Rayburn. "We've seen Turner acquire iStreamPlanet and Amazon acquire Elemental Technologies. Comcast also rolled out a new live linear service on top of their CDN and Microsoft Azure has recently partnered to roll out a live linear platform."

While these topics will be addressed at Streaming Media West, the Live Streaming Summit will dig even deeper into both live event and live linear streaming. "The Live Streaming Summit will give attendees a chance to learn more about every step of the live streaming workflow, from ingest and backhaul to quality of service and audience analytics," says Live Streaming Summit program chair Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen. In addition to panels featuring content publishers, rights holders, and technology suppliers, the Summit will feature four Live Streaming Insights sessions—mini-keynotes, essentially—from NFL director of digital media video operations Shannon Rutherford, TourGigs'  director of technology and Innovation Casey Charvet, Al Roker Entertainment director of content marketing and digital strategy Jon Burk, and a fireside chat among Fox, Elemental Technologies, and Amazon Web Services. See the Live Streaming Summit program page for more details.

Other hot topics in streaming include HEVC and potential patent fees around HEVC content, says Rayburn, and this year's Streaming Media West will include more than 100 speakers. "The show represents a cross-section of technology and business topics that allow attendees to not only learn how to implement video but how to monetize it," Rayburn says. "One of the things that makes the Streaming Media West show unique is the technical how-to sessions. The show features numerous how-to sessions with instructors guiding you through the steps you need to encode video, build a player, create apps for streaming boxes, and set up the right webcasting hardware, among a host of other topics pertaining to the entire video ecosystem."

Among the session highlights:

  • Roku developer community director Chris Traganos will offer a how-to session on how to create a great streaming channel for the platform
  • Sling Media VP of worldwide marketing Mark Vena will look at the pros and cons of OTT vs. cable
  • A panel including speakers from Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, and EMC will explore what corporate users really want from webcasting and online video platforms
  • Representatives from Temple University, The Ohio State University, USC, and the University of Pennsylvania will discuss streaming deployment architectures in higher education
  • Frost & Sullivan analyst Avni Rambhia will evaluate the justification and ROI for HEVC

To make it easier to figure out which sessions are for you, the Streaming Media West sessions are all assigned one or more of eight focus areas, including Encoding & Transcoding, OTT & TV Everywhere, and Live Webcasting. The conference also features a How-To track and an OTT track.

On Monday, November 16, Streaming Media University features four extended workshops offering extensive instruction in four topics:

  • Codecs and Packaging for PCs, Mobile, and OTT/STB/Smart TVs
  • Best Practices for Building an End-to-End Live Streaming Workflow
  • Making the Switch from Flash to HTML5
  • Building an Open-Source Encoding Workflow

You can see all of the Streaming Media West and Live Streaming Summit sessions on the conference program page. You can register for Streaming Media West, Live Streaming Summit, and the Streaming Media University workshops individually, or with a variety of passes that include access to some or all of each of the conference components. See all the available passes on the registration page.

Streaming Media West also features an Expo with booths from more than 35 vendors covering every aspect of online video, open to all full conference attendees and anyone who purchases a Discovery Pass. In addition to access to the exhibit hall, Discovery Pass attendees can access both Streaming Media West keynotes, exhibital hall reception and outdoor beer garden networking event. All events are at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa; special rates are available for conference attendees.

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