Fox Sports NRL

A new service to PAY TV subscribers that will enable users to take their NRL coverage on the go

The Client

Fox Sports is Australia’s leading sports producer and broadcaster and home to Australia’s favourite subscription television sports channels as well as Australia’s number one general sports website.

Fox Sports broadcasts an average of 23 hours of live sport per day into 2.3 million homes around Australia with over seven million potential viewers through Foxtel, Austar and Optus TV.

The Challenge

Fox Sports wanted to provide a new service to its Pay TV subscribers that would enable them to take their NRL coverage on the go.  The challenge was to deliver a dedicated NRL iPad app that would provide live streaming of its five weekly matches. In addition the app would provide a VoD catch up service for every other match broadcast during the current round.

The service would also provide fans with access to weekly NRL shows and other NRL news services.  The iPad app would also include dedicated fan features such as ‘My Team’ personalisation, play-by-play tracking and analysis of all games through an interactive Match Centre, as well as video highlights, news and other stats.

“As soon as something happens in a game, the Fox Sports stats guys get it in a database and it’s instantly available for the fans in the FOX SPORTS NRL iPad app. From that perspective I think it will completely revolutionise the live game experience for the rugby league fan.”

Mark Gasnier

St George Illawarra great

Switch Media’s Role

Whilst Fox Sports decided to build the iPad app itself it chose to use Switch Media’s cloud based video content management system, the Switch Media Manager, to support hosting the service and to provide a workflow environment to support the ongoing delivery of the service. Essentially, the Switch Media Manager would be used as the engine room for the management of the service’s video assets and live streams.

With Switch Media providing access to an extensive library of Media Manager API functions already implemented as a part of the Foxtel GO and Foxtel Play services, Fox Sports was able to deliver the app within an extremely tight deadline. In addition, the Switch Media Manager platform is being used to provide access services to support Fox Sports chosen DRM platform provider. Other key components supported by the Media Manager include login access, device management, encoding services, live streams, and video on demand (VoD).

Project Outcomes & ROI

The FOX SPORTS NRL iPad app was made available for download in the Apple iTunes store in April 2013.  From its launch the service provided premium subscribers with live streaming of up to five matches as well as live streaming of Fox sports four dedicated NRL shows – Monday Night with Matty Johns, NRL 360, Sterlo Show and The Back Page. In addition, full match replays are readily available on demand.

Today the service is continuing to give NRL fans unprecedented mobile access to live match coverage, VoD, match stats, analysis and an enjoyable social environment in which to share their favourite NRL moments.

Project Summary

  • Providing Fox Sports with application development interfaces to enable fast turnaround of app development and functionality
  • Ingest and encode of live video streams and VoD streams
  • Integrated DRM platform support
  • Developing a management platform for service exhibition windows
  • Creating administration and workflow services to monitor and deliver service content
  • Providing a service usage and analytics engine