Sky Sports strikes unique deal with Ooyala

November 23, 2016

Ooyala, an iSportconnect partner and a Telstra subsidiary and a leading global  innovator in premium video publishing, production workflow, analytics and monetisation, has announced a unique deal with Sky Sports. Ooyala is automating the global syndication of clips for Sky Sports with Ooyala Flex, its media logistics solution. With this deal, Sky Sports is able to deliver hundreds of Premier League (PL) in-game clips and highlight packages for online and linear consumption to 40 international licensee partners, all within minutes.

We spoke exclusively to Rags Gupta, General Manager of EMEA at Ooyala about this deal.

We’ve been working with a number of sports publishers and rights owners for a long time including Sky Sports, who also uses our player and analytics technology. We are now extending the work that we do together in a very different type of way. Sky Sports have obligations to cut, code and syndicate clips from matches to rights owners who have bought packages of PL in other markets. What Ooyala Flex is contracted to do is automate and work with the production team at Sky Sports to very quickly get the clips and the metadata and transfer the files into the cloud and be able to render it into the different types of formats each package requires – to several partners around the world,” said Rags Gupta, General Manager of EMEA at Ooyala.

In addition to Sky Sports’ portfolio of UK linear & digital rights it is also responsible for delivering clips to over 40 international licensees in multiple file formats based on each individual licensee’s regional or platform requirements. Further, they must have all in-game clips available for download and redistribution for all licensee partners within minutes from when the actual highlight is broadcast live.

Sky Sports turned to Ooyala as it could quickly adapt to their needs and technical requirements, rapidly deploying an integrated solution in time for the beginning of the Premier League season. Through the power of automation, Ooyala Flex alleviates Sky Sports from dedicating more resources to this demanding syndication workflow, letting them focus on producing the content.

Ooyala’s role in leveraging automation

Once a notable event occurs during a live match, a Sky Sports production team is responsible for quickly creating the clip, inputting metadata and transferring the file into their cloud storage system. Once uploaded, Ooyala Flex automatically detects the clip, ingests it into the system and triggers a series of workflows that transform the clip into 20 different renditions. Once final, Ooyala Flex creates and delivers a number of unique packages, each with a subset of those 20 different renditions based on the preferences for every partner, including the corresponding metadata. 

This process is repeated and automated every time Sky Sports uploads a clip into Ooyala Flex, occurring numerous times per game, with as many as six to ten games per day, multiple times a week with some games occurring simultaneously. This is a process that, if done manually, would require an immense amount of resources and hands-on work.

This is an extraordinary syndication contract and set of requirements,” added Rags Gupta, “Today, TV whether online or linear, and especially for sports, is in a constant state of immediacy, requiring broadcasters and publishers to rethink very foundational systems and processes that have worked for decades. Without Flex and the art of automation for Sky Sport’s unique use case, they would not be able to meet the syndication demands from the PL.

Ooyala Flex gives us the confidence, and frankly, the capability to meet the Premier League’s requirements,” said Phil Marshall, Head of In-House production at Sky Sports. “There’s no question that automation has a significant role in video production today. Using Ooyala Flex, we’re able to meet the complex demands associated with this project”.