By 2024, live sports viewership is projected to rise to over 160 million in the US. The number shows how popular live sports are. If your club or organization is considering broadcasting live sporting events, having access to a quality live sports streaming setup for reaching your audience can be a daunting task. To help you understand the basics for establishing a successful and affordable live sports stream, here are 5 expert tips.
Choose the Right Equipment
For successful live sports streaming, one must invest in good live streaming equipment. With online sports streaming, good gear and seasoned camera operators are a must. Here are a few important equipment elements to consider:
Camera– First, you need a good quality camera for recording a live sports stream in any kind of lighting conditions, even in low light as sports events are often held during evenings.
Resolution- Online sports streaming demands high video resolution streaming. We recommend full HD- 1920 x 1080 (or 1080p). 4K resolution is slowly becoming the norm, so if you want to be future-proof, invest in 4K.
Nevertheless, even if you can’t afford 4K, a 1080p camera is a good investment and should last for years delivering excellent quality recording capacity.
Auto Focus– Crystal-clear focus is imperative for a successful live sports stream as viewers expect to watch even the minute details during tournaments. That’s why auto-focus performance is important for sports video cameras. Ideally, you should opt for a camera with fast, impeccable auto-focus capabilities.
Frame Rate– Frame rate plays a big role when streaming live sports online. That’s because sporting events involve fast-paced movements between players and the actions would look blurry if the frame rate is low between 24 or 30 fps. This is especially true when you try to show slow-motion replays.
The theory behind frame rate is- the faster the action, the higher the FPS for experiencing a more fluid motion.
We recommend recording at 60 fps for crisp, super slow-motion video. Having said that, you can still stream live sports at 30 or 60 fps with a medium-price camera.
Opt for a Cloud Live Streaming Server
Most live tournaments generally get a large share of the audience and it often becomes difficult to estimate how many people will tune into each broadcast for how long. Opting for a live cloud streaming server definitely serves the purpose as cloud streaming provides the flexibility to scale audiences on demand.
A cloud streaming server like Muvi Live Server encodes your live sports streams on the cloud at different bitrates to serve viewers with varying internet speeds. In this way, even during peak traffic, a cloud server capable of adaptive multi-bitrate streaming lets your users unlock a lag-free viewing experience, irrespective of the number of concurrent viewers.
Also, it is wise to opt for a live server that is peer-to-peer live video streaming enabled. Muvi Live Server supports peer-to-peer live streaming for your users to stream live content directly from their Android & iOS devices.
Opt for Multi-CDN Live Streaming Solution
After a live sports stream is encoded, it is distributed and delivered using a content delivery network (CDN). CDNs are essential for online sports streaming because they make it possible to distribute the stream to users located around several corners of the globe. Without a CDN, the entire live streaming workflow can easily run into bandwidth issues.
However, a single CDN is often prone to suffer from problems such as outages, vulnerability to DDoS attacks, disruptions, etc. Also, they are prone to network congestion during peak hours when content consumption is maximum.
In contrast, a multi-CDN option offers reliable alternative strategies against outages and DDoS attacks as it intelligently switches traffic to other available CDNs when one is down. In an era where content delivery can be an expensive and complex process, we suggest opting for a multi-CDN-enabled live server to help you ensure higher availability, better performance through effective failover mechanisms and better security.
Muvi Live Server is multi-CDN enabled which makes audio/video delivery with low latency possible even if one CDN fails.
Monetize your Live Sports Stream
If you want to make money from your live sports streams, opt for a streaming solution that supports multi-monetization options like Muvi Live Server. These include advertising, pay-per-view, and subscriptions.
TVoD- Pay per view or TVOD is one of the most popular content monetization models. It involves users paying for single event games. If you’re able to stream an event that has a higher demand, revenue can be even greater.
With a platform like Muvi Live Server, you can restrict access to videos by the number of views or number of hours, or both. You can also choose to set up TVOD/PPV for an entire sports tournament or standalone games.
SVoD- SVoD or the subscription model is the most ideal for online sports streaming. The subscription method allows streaming sports events for fans to bulk-purchase tickets to a whole season, tournament for a nominal one-time fee.
AVoD- Advertising is another common monetization model while sports streaming. Unfortunately, it can be hard to generate significant income from ads unless you’re attracting a very large audience.
Video monetization options like PPV, AVoD and subscriptions are available with Muvi Live Server that allows you to earn revenue anytime, anywhere. Also, you can put your live stream behind a paywall for your viewers to enter payment info before they proceed to watch your content.
Promote on Social Media
Investing in time, energy, and money into proper equipment can yield you low results if you are not coupling it with proper social media promotion. If you aren’t able to attract the right audience, no one will be aware of your efforts.
One interesting thing you can do with live streaming is integration with social media platforms where you have a loyal following.
One way of doing this is simulcasting– broadcasting to several social media channels at once so that you can meet your audience where they are, and increase your live streaming viewership numbers. Many live streaming platforms, including Muvi Live Server, make this possible.
If you are thinking of live video streaming to multiple locations, you have a few options.
- Option One– You can use software that specializes in Simulcasting.
- Option Two– Go for a software encoder which is a more technical option.
- Option Three, the easiest one- Simply use the share code generated by your streaming service provider. No technicalities!
Social sharing is extremely beneficial when it comes to getting more views on your live sports streams and brand building. It makes your live broadcasts more accessible allowing you to add more fan followers on social platforms.
Online sports streaming represents a growing market with dedicated audience support. The industry is growing at a rapid pace and the pandemic has only increased the traction. The speed, size, and setting of various sporting events present unique obstacles to the broadcaster. However, with proper equipment, live streaming settings, promotion, and monetization, live sports streaming can be a huge success!
Start live streaming sports today by using a dedicated, professional live streaming platform like Muvi Live Server.
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