Going live for interactive ice hockey

Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV3 is to deploy the VimondSports web player to create a live online ice hockey experience for viewers, while fibre network operator TeliaSonera has signed a deal to deliver NHL to Scandinavia, writes Adrian Pennington.
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Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV3 is to deploy the VimondSports web player to create a live online ice hockey experience for viewers, while fibre network operator TeliaSonera has signed a deal to deliver NHL to Scandinavia, writes Adrian Pennington. Vimond’s ice hockey portal will give MTV3 a new revenue stream and a new way to engage viewers, enabling it to take full advantage of its ice hockey broadcasting rights. "Sports are key to our online strategy, and the product that Vimond offers enables us to create a truly engaging and high-quality user experience for watching live sports," said Sami Kanninen, head of WebTV, Internet and consumer business at MTV3. Consumers can subscribe to the ice hockey package, which gives them access to a portal with an array of interactive services. Subscribers will not only be able to watch live or on-demand matches online, but will also be able to switch cameras to view additional angles or live streams; chat with other viewers; publish comments to Facebook; review team statistics, match line-ups, and other facts. Previously viewers could watch TV online using a connected device, but interactive or social viewing required a separate device or application. “We are very pleased and excited to break new ground in Finland yet again with MTV3," said Helge Høibraaten, CEO, Vimond Media Solutions. “Their live sports centre will ensure that MTV3 remains a market leader in Finland.” With VimondSports, a broadcaster can offer subscribers the ability to chat with other viewers, watch live games and see results during the event with full DVR and time-shifting capabilities, replay goals during live games or see other events together with the main event. The module contains registration and payment capabilities, and can be delivered as a complete service for multiple sports events. TeliaSonera on ice The fibre network operator TeliaSonera International Carrier is to deliver 35 HD match feeds of NHL ice hockey games a week to rights holder, Viasat, for the next five years. The announcement, said TeliaSonera, highlights the performance advantages of delivering on fibre internationally. “TeliaSonera’s network concept routes feeds on two geographically recognised, diverse paths so that even if there is unexpected network disruption on one path it is invisible to the broadcast customer regardless of the distance between the location of the original transmission and the play-out,” it stated. Company president Erik Hallberg (pictured), said: “We are proud to be involved in bringing the first North American sport to Scandinavia using a fibre-based media platform. Over the next five years it will enable Viasat to broadcast almost 6,000 hockey games in HD. We are working with some great partners to ensure a complex solution of the best possible quality is delivered to hockey fans in Scandinavia.” The Scandinavian-based operator chose Snell to supply a consignment of its Alchemist frame rate convertors, which help to maintain the quality demanded for fast motion HD sport broadcasts. Encompass Digital Media will provide the US contribution. TeliaSonera International Carrier is the owner and operator of the largest fibre optic network in Europe, the third largest in the world, serving more than 85% of all European ISPs. Its Media Content service offers international video contribution and distribution over a global fibre network. www.teliasoneraic.comwww.vimond.com

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