Akamai Streamed to 800,000 Viewers Per Minute During Super Bowl
The Super Bowl was available for free streaming this year, with no pay TV authentication required. NBC's decision certainly made the game accessible for many fans who couldn't be near a TV. Akamai powered that streaming, and made a few stats available about big game performance.
In a blog post, John Bishop, Akamai's vice president and CTO for its Media Business Unit, said that the NBC Sports Live Extra stream averaged 800,000 viewers per minute, with a peak performance of 1.3 million concurrent users.
A few days prior to the game, Bishop wrote that Akamai would use 160,000 edge servers distributed in over 1,200 networks to stream the Super Bowl. Algorithms selected the best route for each stream, he noted.
But how did fans like the overall experience? A review in Sports Business Daily knocked the app for not providing any extra features, and simply offering the same feed that TV viewers saw. There was no way to access player stats or chat on social media. The reviewer also noted that the stream was often slow to load and the app crashed occasionally.
While NBC and Akamai have gotten live streaming down for mass viewing, here's hoping they provide a richer online viewing experience next year.
Previous Super Bowls offered less-than-satisfactory live streaming experiences. Will CBS Sports get it right for the masses this Sunday?
The site will carry teaser videos, game day commercials, and original content. Viewers will be able to vote on favorites once the game ends.
Using predictive analysis, Akamai downloads personally selected HD videos to subscriber devices using off-peak traffic.
When these three technologies are used together, they create a player development environment that works across a wide range of devices.
In a first, NBC won't require pay TV authentication to stream this year's game, but smartphone viewers will still need to pay for access.
Live sports streaming is a growth area for LiveU backpacks, which will be seen in Sochi and at the upcoming World Cup, as well.
Sports, entertainment, and music sites are benefiting as brands look to stream their commercials pre- and post-Super Bowl.