Akamai Gives Customers a Glimpse of the Future Online – In High Definition
- Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading provider of cloud optimization services, today announced that Internet viewers in Singapore will be able to watch their favorite shows in high definition (HD) on the Internet, from both fixed and mobile locations. ESPN STAR Sports, Asia's leading sports content provider, is working with Akamai to provide their Internet viewers with a new range and quality of online TV entertainment.
Steve Akers, Senior Director, Digital Media, ESPN STAR Sports says, "The way sports content is delivered is changing. Today fans want interactive content that impacts them in an immediate way on whichever platform they choose. ESPN STAR Sports is committed to providing this enhanced experience to fans and we continue to be at the forefront in Asia with our digital offerings."
Akamai has the most extensive HD Network in Southeast Asia, using a distributed server model that enables content providers to push the highest quality video across the Internet without buffering into almost any Asian country. This is because Akamai has the most extensive deployments inside key Asian ISPs.
The Akamai HD Network will give ESPN STAR Sports several benefits. The company will be able to provide an online HD experience that complements HD television, while consumers get a rich, interactive and personalized experience. ESPN STAR Sports can also benefit from the scale that Akamai provides with its network of servers, which helps avoid Internet congestion especially during peak traffic periods. Another benefit is adaptive bit rate streaming, which automatically adjusts video streaming quality to a user's bandwidth or Internet connection. This will enable ESPN STAR Sports to bring more content online in HD, while ensuring that all fans, regardless of their connection, can view their content in the highest quality possible. Akamai has delivered hundreds of events around the globe across its platform and HD Network, and has found when offering content in HD, viewers are engaged longer and viewing times increase.
"Sports organizations and broadcasters have always been at the cutting edge of technology, and ESPN STAR Sports is right in line with that," said David Habben, Director of Digital Media Asia at Akamai. "We're excited to be working with ESPN STAR Sports to bring live sporting events and on-demand sports content online in high definition. Sports fans are always looking for more ways to engage with their favorite sports, and by delivering across the Akamai HD Network, ESPN STAR Sports can not only improve the quality of their online viewing experience, but offer them more personalized features to interact with the game, brand and other sports fans. We're seeing a shift across Asia as content owners bring more and more TV and entertainment content online, and we look forward to working with more companies like ESPN STAR Sports to ensure they are delivering the quality and experience their viewers are demanding."
Akamai's HD Network was designed to allow content owners and publishers the ability to deliver live and on-demand content by using an infrastructure of tens of thousands of HTTP servers deployed globally in ISP networks, and to offer a personalized and interactive consumer experience through advanced features, such as DVR, multi-camera angle switching, and adaptive bitrate streaming technology.
About ESPN STAR Sports
ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between two of the world's leading cable and satellite broadcasters. As Asia's definitive and complete sports broadcaster and content provider, ESPN STAR Sports combines the strengths and resources of its ultimate parent companies – Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.) and News Corporation Limited (STAR) – to deliver a diverse array of international and regional sports to viewers via its encrypted pay TV services.
ESPN STAR Sports showcases an unparalleled variety of premier live sports from around the globe 24 hours a day to a cumulative reach of more than 300 million viewers in Asia. ESPN STAR Sports has 19 networks covering 24 countries, each localized to deliver differentiated world-class premier sports programming to Asian viewers. This includes ESPN SEA, ESPN China, ESPN Hong Kong, ESPN India, ESPN Malaysia, ESPN Philippines, ESPN SEA 2, ESPN Taiwan, MBC-ESPN (Korea), STAR Sports Asia, STAR Sports Hong Kong, STAR Sports India, STAR Sports Malaysia, STAR Sports SEA, STAR Sports SEA 2, STAR Sports Taiwan, STAR Cricket, ESPNEWS and ESPN HD.
On the ground, the ESPN STAR Sports Event Management Group manages and promotes premier sporting events around Asia. ESPN STAR Sports aims to reach consumers at any time, any place and through all new media platforms, both internet and mobile. The multi-lingual, online platforms, espnstar.com, espnstar.com.cn and espnstar.com.tw interact with millions of users providing them with in-depth sports news, results and competitions. Developed for the sports fan that is constantly on the move, mobileESPN enables the serious sports fan to follow their favorite sports more closely than ever before with a combination of specially produced video news clips, in-depth news coverage and analysis.
Akamai® provides market-leading, cloud-based services for optimizing Web and mobile content and applications, online HD video, and secure e-commerce. Combining highly-distributed, energy-efficient computing with intelligent software, Akamai's global platform is transforming the cloud into a more viable place to inform, entertain, advertise, transact and collaborate. To learn how the world's leading enterprises are optimizing their business in the cloud, please visit www.akamai.com and follow @Akamai_APAC on Twitter.