NeuLion and Mediapro Powering FC Barcelona and Real Madrid Live 4K Stream

El Clasico Live 4K Streaming By NeuLion and Mediapro
El Clasico Live 4K Streaming By NeuLion and Mediapro

NeuLion continues to see real momentum in live 4K streaming as a global leader. The biggest football match in Spain of the season between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, taking place at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, on Saturday the 2nd of April at 2:30 pm ET, is the fourth Live 4K event for the pioneering sports tech company in the last year.  The “Clasico” La Liga soccer game is offered over-the-top in Ultra HD 4K 60 FPS Resolution to Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs enhancing the fan experience to new technological levels. The Sports Techie community blog chatted with Executive Vice President at NeuLion, Chris Wagner, about the new MEDIAPRO partnership with NeuLion for this epic Live 4K streaming event, their services and the shift in the broadcast industry from high-definition to 4K. The NFL, NBA and El Clasico are delivering a specialized NeuLion experience with 4 screens at one time, clips, rewind functionality, and data layers of scores and stats.

NeuLion and Mediapro Powering FC Barcelona and Real Madrid Live 4K Stream - SportsTechie blog
NeuLion and Mediapro Powering FC Barcelona and Real Madrid Live 4K Stream – SportsTechie blog

This classic European event is streaming live in 4K with the NeuLion, Inc. (TSX: NLN) Digital Platform and delivered over-the-top (OTT) to Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TV owners that have integrated the NeuLion 4K Streaming SDK for viewing at various locations including Camp Nou Stadium,  Mediapro / Overon offices in Barcelona and Madrid, and NeuLion Offices in the United States.

The NeuLion® Digital Platform is an end-to-end platform providing licensed components from content ingestion, encoding and management to content security, monetization and monitoring that together streamline the content delivery process. The platform facilitates the streaming and sharing of high-quality content up to Ultra HD/4K, including premium sports and entertainment content. NeuLion now offers a self-serve event portal giving users quick access to videos and content.

“What makes 4K so exciting is that it significantly enhances the experience for our fans in Spain,” said Emili Planas, CTO of Mediapro. “Fans continue to ask for ways to get closer to the match and the field of play, and with 4K, that experience feels like you are sitting in the stadium.  With NeuLion we will bring 4K to our fans anywhere in the world and be the leaders in the production and delivery of 4K events.”

The live soccer event, produced by Mediapro and Overon and delivered by NeuLion, is being streamed in advance of the launch of a new Overon 4K app that will be made available for select 4K devices in the coming months. He says, “Mediapro and Overon have not set a launch date yet for the consumer availability of the 4k branded App in the Google store.”

When and where to watch FC Barcelona v Real Madrid in La Liga (2015/16)

Camp Nou
Wagner told me what the install was like at Camp Nou for NeuLion and Mediapro, stating, We dropped our 4k Encoder on the UHD Truck at the stadium.  We are using the internet to backhaul a 20 Mbps signal from our encoder at the stadium to our cloud data center that will create an HEVC MPEG DASH adaptive bit rate stream delivered through the CDN.”

He added, “We have licensed to Sony a player that gets embedded on the UHD consumer TV.  We have an android 4k App that gets downloaded to the TV.  The 4k p 60 live streams gets authenticated and streamed on the TV using the above tech.”

The 4K live sports business model is moving towards PPV.
The 4K live sports business model is moving towards PPV

4K Live Evolution
Wagner said, The 4K live sports business model is moving towards PPV.” Video content providers are licensing NeuLion’s evolving platform to offer live and on-demand digital video content to Internet-enabled devices. Subscriptions and usage are ways to monetize for partners and grow profits. They have no specific competition specializing in the live Professional sports space NeuLion occupies for almost ten years now.

In terms of PPV, Wagner feels, “These are great 4K pay per view opportunities for live 4k events, delivered over the top, at 60 frames per second, true 4K resolutions.” Wagner also said, “I see the 4k content market developing in live sports with key events offered to consumers on a pay per view basis, as an option to other video formats, offered on broadcast television or over the top at lower resolutions.”

“Streaming the “Classico” soccer match live in 4K for the first time, is a new NeuLion milestone, in a series of firsts in the end-to-end delivery of live 4K sports to internet connected devices,” said Dr. Kanaan Jemili, CEO of NeuLion. By encoding content, packaging content, and protecting content, on appealing applications like Xbox One or PS4, the 4k Live future looks bright.

Their last live 4k event was with Univision.  NeuLion, Univision and Sony delivered the first North American LIVE soccer broadcast in 4K 60fps.

On February 10, 2016, Univision delivered a 4K live stream of the friendly match between Mexico’s National Team and Senegal taking place at Marlins Park Stadium in Miami, Florida. The live event, produced by Univision Deportes and NEP, was streamed live in 4K by leveraging the NeuLion® Digital Platform and delivered over-the-top (OTT) to Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs that have integrated the NeuLion 4K Streaming SDK for viewing at Marlins Park Stadium and multiple Sony locations in New York and California.

NeuLion’s platform and SDK are the links to completing the ecosystem for delivering LIVE video in 4K to devices everywhere.

I queried whether they had future plans to stream to 4K mobile devices such as the Sony 4k phone. Wagner says, We can stream to mobile and tablet.  Resolution will be determined by the device and screen size.  So streams will span 720p , 1080p, and 4k resolutions.”

WSL / Tennis Channel
The World Surfing League (WSL) streams surf event around the world and was up with NeuLion designed apps in six to eight weeks. The WSL began streaming on YouTube and their website to now being partnered with NeuLion.

The Tennis Channel Powered By NeuLion delivers Wimbledon streaming video directly to the fans.

Any company that owns the rights to broadcast content and wants to monetize may be a good fit with the NeuLion streaming platform that provides a special experience streaming service other leagues and associations, with the audience in place, can use to reach them.

MEDIAPRO is part of the IMAGINA Group, which comprises over 60 companies including production and post-production with MEDIAPRO and broadcasting with Overon, both companies lead Spain in the acquisition and management of sports rights and are leading players in sports broadcasting throughout Europe.  IMAGINA technical production and technical services represent one of the largest companies in Spain

Jemili said, “We are very excited to have the opportunity to partner with Mediapro and Overon.  Together and over the coming months, we expect to continue to deliver great compelling experiences to sports fans.”

Streaming the “Classico” soccer match live in 4K for the first time
Streaming the “Classico” soccer match live in 4K for the first time

Sports Techie, sports and other verticals on YouTube wanting to monetize as a goal by delivering live and on demand 4K content management, distribution and monetization are the kind of partners Wagner wants to hear from.

Barca has a 10-point lead over their arch rivals from Madrid.  The last Clasico loss in Santiago Bernabeu to FCB has Real smarting. Messi leads all El Clasico scorers with 21 goals while Ronaldo is in third place with 15 overall tallies. The smart money is on Barca to win at home because Neymar and Surarez are at the top of their game.

Live 4K streaming technology makes you feel like you are at the match watching these two rival franchises play for El Clasico pride.

See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.

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Tags: Sports Techie, sports technology, sports tech