The State of Origin series is Australia’s premier athletic event. Mi9, an Australian digital media company, used the Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform to deliver an on-demand, multi-angle video coverage of the event. Brightcove give us the details
Every year in Australia, the states of New South Wales and Queensland compete in a three-game rugby tournament called the State of Origin series. It’s Australia’s premier athletic event—the equivalent of the Super Bowl in the United States.
Players are chosen based on where they first played club rugby, New South Wales or Queensland, and the series draws more Australian TV viewers than any other athletic competition.
In 2013, Mi9 elevated the experience for State of Origin fans by delivering on-demand, multiple camera angles during the game. In 2014, Mi9 extended the functionality to its responsive website and mobile phone app, 9jumpin. During the games, fans could choose from up to five different camera angles of key plays along with up-to-the-minute reports, player profiles, statistics and more.
Historical footage from previous tournaments, dating as far as the 1980s, was also re-encoded and introduced before the 2014 games in order to build excitement. The same innovations will be available for the club-level grand final rugby championship in October 2014.
The solution was the Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform.
The State of Innovation
“The key feature of the 9jumpin experience during the State of Origin games is the multi-camera video player,” states product manager Ed Harvey.
“Come game day, the multi-camera functionality is what gets us the viewership. No one had done something of this nature before.”
Driving the on-demand experience is the Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform. Mi9 had already implemented Video Cloud in different ways, and for the State of Origin games the team tailored the platform for its new needs.
“I’ve been here for four years,” explains video specialist Mickey Yang.
“That’s before our partnership with Brightcove began, and in those days we had bad experiences with the previous video platform. Downtime could bring down our videos for half a day, and almost every deployment introduced another bug.
“The Brightcove platform, however, rarely has major downtime, and its transcoding speed is faster. Rich ingestion and API features give our developers tools to interact with, and support turn-around with Brightcove is prompt.”
The Hits Keep Coming
Rugby is a fluid game with near constant action, but Mi9 knew the Brightcove platform was up to the task of supporting the multi-camera experience.
“I didn’t have any worries about it handling the amount of clips that came through,” says Harvey.
“The Brightcove platform was more than robust enough to handle what we were throwing at it.”
Mi9 added replay features to let fans slow down game highlights to 50 or 25 per cent of the actual speed. Other new features merged non-video content into the experience. During the game, for instance, fans could cheer on their favourite team with ‘Tweet of Origin voting’ and watch to see which team was getting the most votes.
What’s next for the 9jumpin app and the responsive web? Mi9 and Brightcove are already working on future innovations. Kristine Howard, TV Development Director at Mi9, notes, “We see the Brightcove team a lot. They keep us in the loop, which is great because we’re seeing features and can plan ideas to make the most of upcoming developments.
“And we met executives at Brightcove PLAY. It’s been a really good relationship.
Moving forward, our goal is to bring channel nine programming to as many screens as possible, with the best video experience.”