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How CBS Sports Approaches Cloud vs. On-Prem Streaming Workflows

Most of the essential elements of streaming workflows and architecture are moving toward the cloud. But according to Corey Smith, Sr. Director, Advanced Production Technology, CBS Sports Digital, Paramount, the fundamental question driving streaming workflow development should always be not how do we migrate this or that process to the cloud, but what will serve the production and the viewer best. He and Magnus Svensson, Media Solution Specialist, Eyevinn Technology, Sweden, discuss this topic further in this Streaming Media Connect 2024 clip.

Svensson asks Smith for examples of workflows that he thinks are more efficient when done in the cloud and what he thinks are the more efficient workflows on-premises.

Smith emphasizes that the decision to move to the cloud should be based on the readiness and confidence of the business. “A lot of the higher-tier events are still going to be very much centered around the truck world because that's where the confidence is at,” he says. “That's where people feel like they can walk into a truck, and it's the very same show they did last year.”

Since cloud remains an emerging tech, there is not a huge push into cloud-based workflows into large-scale Remote Integration Model (REMI) environments, such as the Super Bowl or the Masters Tournament. “Within five years, maybe we're doing 165 cameras switching in cloud, but I don't know that the tech evolution is quite there yet,” he says. “At least in the sports side here at Paramount, [we use] cloud to our advantage in terms of doing distribution packaging.”

Smith gestures to the large screen behind him and says that what’s being shown “is a hundred percent digital linear network. So the only thing live that's coming into this network is essentially our studio shows from our facilities, whether it's a live match coming from a European provider or it's something that's coming in on satellite…it all gets converted at some point to our cloud-based workflow. So, as we have these studio and desk shows, they're just providing contributions to a cloud-native base playout and distribution infrastructure. So the things that we've been able to take on is the mass control and beyond [of] operations, as we continue to build these hybrid workloads, is to focus on things like, do we need craft edit in the facility anymore? Can we actually migrate our asset management system to cloud? We've already proven with Zixi and other providers out there, [that] the stream aspect, the packaging of that – whether it's going to YouTube or Twitch or somebody else's channel – all of that stuff has been around for almost a decade or more now.”

Ultimately, Smith reiterates that at this point in time, cloud technology should augment existing environments, not replace them, and that some tasks are still better suited for on-ground production.

See videos of the full program from Streaming Media Connect February 2024 here.

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