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July 8, 2014

Watching football like never before

by Carlo De Marchis

How deltatre helped FIFA and HBS deliver a record digital FIFA World Cup™ for broadcasters worldwide.

“The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ has set new records for streaming data traffic around the world, as football fans watch matches online in greater numbers than ever before.

The FIFA World Cup broadcast production has already broken television viewing records in several territories around the world, underlining the growing popularity of the competition, including a breakthrough in the United States.

Watching football like never before

On the digital side, leading content delivery network provider Akamai has confirmed this is the biggest event in terms of video content streaming on record, due to huge demand from fans accessing content live from the online platforms of FIFA’s Media Rights Licensees.

In the United States alone, a record-breaking 5.3 million unique viewers tuned in for the round-of-16 match between Belgium and the United States on ESPN and Univision platforms, representing unprecedented traffic for both broadcasters.

“We are proud to say that this FIFA World Cup has been the biggest multimedia sporting event in history, with more people watching matches and highlights online than ever before,” said FIFA Director of TV Niclas Ericson.“

(excerpt from the Official FIFA Media Release)

 

deltatre has been a key partner for the innovative 2014 FIFA World Cup™ multimedia project, designed, implemented and serviced by HBS, FIFA TV’s Host Broadcaster of the event.

The FIFA Web player solution — powered by deltatre’s Diva video solution — was selected by 10 Media Rights Licensees (Broadcasters) worldwide.

This is not just a TV-like experience. This is watching football like never before.

We’ll show you why.

We’ll show you how even one of the most watched goals of this World Cup may have hidden secrets if experienced through Diva.

We’ll show how watching the match and being able to follow, at the same time, the coach behaviour may actually be quite fun.

 

Scenario: Match 50 — Quarter-Final — Colombia vs Uruguay

Streaming Digital Video

This is TV-like. A live digital stream from your country’s Rights-Holding Broadcasters. This is great. You can watch the match live from anywhere. But we think a digital experience can deliver more than that.

1. Streaming digital video

PVR, VOD, Catch-up with video navigation

This is something more. There is a timeline with markers at the bottom of the video player and you can move around in the video looking for key events in the match. Both during the live match or hours later. You can re-watch the amazing James Rodriguez’s goal in the 28th minute for 1-0 as much as you like or skip to his second goal straight after that.

2. PVR, VOD, Catch-up with video navigation

Syncronising video and statistics

Data and statistics are becoming more and more relevant for football too. It would be a great idea to have access to that information while watching the video. The moment you realise that users can freely move around in the match’s video, you also realise that you need a further step: the synchronisation of all available match data and statistics with the video. This feature provides enhanced engagement and a deeper user experience.

Users can access the match’s live commentary

3. Syncronising video and statistics 01

Key Players statistics and comparison

3. Syncronising video and statistics 02

Heat-maps for each player at the exact moment in the video

3. Syncronising video and statistics 03

Detailed Passes and distances

3. Syncronising video and statistics 04

Multiple synchronised live streams

But wait there is even more: for each match 6 live feeds were made available by HBS and the video player is able to show them fully-synchronised (up to 4 together or picture-in-picture).

This means that while you are watching the action on the big screen you can follow both benches to see coach reaction or specific players or a tactical wide view. the Timeline is always active so you can go to any moment in the match on all video streams together.

4. Multiple synchronised live streams 01

As we had 10 broadcasters, for those days in which there were two matches played simultaneously, we were streaming an amazing ( 2 matches x 6 streams x 10 broadcasters) 120 video feeds at the same time.

4. Multiple synchronised live streams 02

Multi-angle video clips

36 cameras were used in most matches, on TV you normally would watch just one of them at every single moment and then a sequence of them even with super slow motion after main incident — like a goal for example. That is the standard TV produced feed. In the digital version the best alternative camera angles are made available for main match incidents directly on the Timeline, all marked with a red Multicam logo.

5. Multi-angle video clips 01

An innovative and intuitive user experience has been designed to enable users to watch the James Rodriguez goal from different camera angles, discovering new aspects of the action.

5. Multi-angle video clips 02

5. Multi-angle video clips 03

James Rodriguez’s amazing goal — a little secret

Now by watching one of those multi-angle clip for that goal we discovered a small secret that tells how much James Rodriguez is really a fantastic player even at a very young age.
You all remember the goal: The No10 receives the ball on his chest and volleys home from outside the area, leaving Muslera no chance.

We can’t post video here but go on fifa.com and watch it here:

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186491/index.html

A perfect execution. But as well a great preparation.

Look at the image below from our multi-angle video player: James is clearly watching the goal and preparing to shoot a fraction of time before he stops the ball with his chest.

5. Multi-angle video clips 04

5. Multi-angle video clips 05

That is a masterpiece. Look at how close the ball is to him, and how he has the instinct to do exactly the right thing. Point and shoot. Only in this way he was able to place that amazing shot right between Muslera’s fingers and the goal’s bar.

Watch Miguel Herrera (Mexico’s Coach) show

We all watched and read about the incredible show Miguel Herrera was putting into action at every Mexico match, enthusiastic celebrations and energetic disappointments.

So we thought that a special version of the video player could be created: the Miguel Herrera’s video player, with the main match action plus a small picture-in-picture window just showing him moving franticly around the bench and entertaining fans worldwide.

5. Multi-angle video clips 06

5. Multi-angle video clips 07

5. Multi-angle video clips 08

Conclusion

TV is still the main media to watch the FIFA World Cup™ live matches, but digital is becoming a fantastic complement and addition that does not cannibalise TV but expand the reach and access to live and on-demand football content, maximising the engagement and enriching the experience.

Digital opens new opportunities to watch live football where and when users want, on any device, but also enable users to create new experience models, an enriched storytelling, providing additional ways to enjoy football at this level.

deltatre’s Diva is available for broadcasters worldwide who want to innovate and make digital sport beautiful to watch, like never before.

“Diva is a fantastic mean to reach younger audiences that wish to consume their football experience in a totally non constrained way, on the move , on any device, live or as VOD. With an aging TV audience, it is key for Broadcasters to be able to capture these new demanding audiences and to create loyalty before any monetisation considerations as these will be the viewers of tomorrow” says Gilles Mas, Director — World Football at deltatre.

deltatre: Maximising the value of digital content and rights.

Facts & figures

(Excerpt from the Official FIFA Media Release: Facts & figures about the FIFA TV multimedia production of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™)

Multimedia production
Overall about 70 people are involved in the multimedia production
• 40 MRLs have booked overall 120 multimedia services in more than 60 territories
• Multimedia production and support team located at four different sites around the world, in
the IBC in Rio de Janeiro and at the headquarters of several suppliers
FIFA World Cup streams
• 6 multilateral streams, 17 individual MRL stream ingests per match, 4 individual commentary
ingests
• 243 different live streams per match (486 during parallel matches), overall 2,799,360 minutes
of encoded streams
Multi-angle clips
• On average 60 clips recorded per match, overall up to 20,000 multilateral clips throughout the
tournament
• Roughly a third of clips from multicam with 14 different angles on average
FIFA World Cup web player
• Available in more than 10 territories
• Peak active concurrent users 500,000
Combined data for FIFA World Cup web player and app after 56 matches for all markets
• Total hours watched: 15 million
• Unique users: 24 million



About the author

Carlo De Marchis
Chief Product & Marketing Officer

Carlo De Marchis aka cdm is the Group Chief Product & Marketing Officer, responsible for Strategic Product and Technical guidance, active in Business Development and Strategic Clients sponsor.

Innovator, challenger, visionary, curious, passionate, assertive, early-adopter.

Known for his fanatical user-perspective attention to the quality and usability of what deltatre delivers to clients and end-users. He has started to work for deltatre in 1988 and has participated to every step of its impressive growth. An early adopter of the web, since 1994, he is now driving the company efforts around social media and multi-platform digital solutions introducing the Holistic User Experience concept.

Has experienced the highest level sport events worldwide under different point of views and has lately been focusing on the deltatre’s Olympic efforts.

He lately focused on achieving wider business culture attending an Executive MBA and various other higher education opportunities with HBS and FIU.

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