IMG Expands EDGEsport Channel to New Regions with the Zixi Platform

  • Challenge

    IMG needed a cost-effective and easily deployable solution for distributing the EDGEsport live linear sports channel to multiple locations throughout Asia Pacific and beyond.

  • Solution

    The Zixi Platform integrated seamlessly with IMG’s existing technical workflow, replacing an expensive satellite uplink contract with a much more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective solution. 

  • Benefit

    Within weeks, IMG was able to dramatically reduce costs and offer the EDGEsport channel to new territories beyond Asia Pacific.

 

IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 30 countries.

The company is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media, and owns the broadcast rights to some of the world’s most iconic sporting events, including Premier League football, Wimbledon, the Australian Open, and more.

 
In 2012, IMG launched EDGEsport, the first-ever 24-hour premium action sport channel, to the Asia Pacific market. Aimed specifically at active and athletic urban young adults, EDGEsport features action sports like surfing, snowboarding, BMX, mountain biking, skateboarding, Supercross, skiing, base jumping, freestyle motocross and wakeboarding. IMG started by distributing EDGEsport in Asia across various pay TV cable, satellite and IPTV platforms, with the goal of expanding distribution across the globe.
 
Like many other broadcast organizations, IMG is seeing an explosion in demand for content—especially live sports. Viewers want access to content like the EDGEsport channel anytime, anywhere across a variety of devices. IMG saw the opportunity to expand their distribution both within Asia Pacific and beyond, but needed a scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solution to replace traditional satellite and fiber. 


Choosing the Zixi Platform

Although IMG typically relies on satellite and fiber for content aggregation and distribution, they were interested in exploring an Internet-based solution for EDGEsport. To find the right system, IMG worked with Cerberus Tech, a UK-based global services and integration specialist in IP connectivity and video broadcast and distribution. Cerberus recommended the Zixi Platform, and met with IMG to scope out the solution and conduct in-house demonstrations using Zixi technology and the public Internet. In the end, IMG chose the Zixi Platform to increase their flexibility, extend their reach, change their economics, and easily deliver the EDGEsport channel to audiences in Asia Pacific and beyond.

“IMG is one of the many leading media organizations who have recently deployed the Zixi Platform,” said Chris Clarke, CTO at Cerberus Tech. “Large broadcasters are moving to Internet-based distribution to more effectively reach and better serve their customers. When they look at the Zixi Platform, it’s an easy choice.”

 

  Adding Zixi to Existing Infrastructure Since each of IMG’s distribution partners had different technical requirements and requests, Cerberus helped to design several workflow configurations that could be deployed as needed based on the partner’s requirements. Each configuration involves file-based media originating from an Amagi edge-based playout system. Some distribution partners have the Amagi systems on-site, while others use Zixi Broadcaster to bring in the Amagi feed from IMG Studios in Stockley Park, London. In all cases, live linear content is handled by the Zixi Platform working in conjunction with ATEME Kyrion CM5000 encoders and DR5000 decoders.
 

“Large broadcasters are moving to Internet-based distribution to more effectively reach and better serve their customers. When they look at the Zixi Platform, it’s an easy choice.”

—Chris Clarke, CTO, Cerberus Tech

Edge sport - diagram


The Zixi Platform allows IMG to offer a 5Mbps version alongside the 10Mbps version, so all sites can get the content regardless of bandwidth limitations. Additionally, Amagi allows IMG to individually localize the content—a town in Thailand might receive one version, while a town just across the border in Cambodia receives a completely different version.

“The Zixi Platform integrated seamlessly with our existing EDGEsport workflow,” said Richard Chipperfield, Workflow & Streaming Architect at IMG. “Zixi is helping us expand to new regions while simultaneously reducing costs.” 

 

 

“Zixi is helping us expand to new regions while simultaneously reducing costs.”

—Richard Chipperfield, Workflow & Streaming Architect at IMG

The Benefits of Zixi Before implementing Zixi, IMG was limited to 16 broadcast partners in the Asia Pacific region. Now, they are able to easily explore other partners and regions without significant long term capital investments in traditional fixed video transmission alternatives. The IMG sales team can now offer EDGEsport alongside other existing offerings to dozens of other broadcast partners, and make the channel available in completely new regions. IMG has since expanded EDGEsport to the USA, Greece, and Amazon Prime video, with more to come.
 
“We were able to easily add three new partners that would not have been possible before. With Zixi, IMG can keep exploring new opportunities. Zixi provides us with infinite reach and flexibility to the partners who want our premium live content.”
 
“Zixi has opened up entirely new business opportunities for IMG, enabling them to offer the EDGEsport channel to any destination on earth,” concluded Clarke. “Now is a great time for companies to explore using the Zixi Platform instead of traditional satellite and fiber.” 


 

“With Zixi, IMG can keep exploring new opportunities.”

—Richard Chipperfield, Workflow & Streaming Architect at IMG
 

For more information, contact our sales team at info@zixi.com.

 

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