Virtual Grand National streamed live to top sportsbooks over the weekend thanks to StreamAMG and Inspired Entertainment. In a busy weekend that saw eNASCAR streaming on the Fox Sports App, and ESPN claiming eSports Day on Sunday when they programmed 12 hours of F1 racing, the NBA2K Tournament featuring NBA players, and Rocket League, all here in United States, the United Kingdom was busy with the simulated Aintree Racecourse steeplechase sim. The 2020 Grand National event was cancelled because of coronavirus yet that did not stop track operators and Inspired as they pulled it off it virtually taking in a reported £2.6 million of which the entirety was donated to NHS Charities Together. COVID-19 has caused grief, havoc and business slow down across the globe and throughout London yet it seems one of the major benefactors besides the environment cleaning itself up has been eSports video gaming and sims.
Virtual Grand National Results
The 2020 edition featured bookmakers Bet365, William Hill and PaddyPower Betfair. This live video stream reached a peak of more than 60,000 simultaneous users. Considering Grand National delivers 600 million television viewers around the world, this modest turn out by online bettors did not affect these gracious punters from getting in on the action in the name of charity. The TV audience topped off at 4.8 million with ITV claiming 30% of viewers. The 30-minute broadcast came in with a viewing average of 4.3 million.
The 40 jockeys and horses most likely to have raced were at the starting line (there is no gate, instead a rope is used) and 18-1 longshot Potters Corner, won the thrilling, computer-simulated horse race.
BBC Sport interviewed Potters Corner trainer, Christian Williams, who mentioned his family cheered on in real-time as the racing action unfurled. Williams said, “There was great excitement in the house.” He added, “The children were on their toy horses and it was great watching the race and seeing our horse come through to win.”
Top 5 Finishers:
- 1st – Potters Corner 18-1
- 2nd – Walk In The Mill 16-1
- 3rd – Any Second Now 10-1
- 4th – Tiger Roll 5-1
- 5th – Burrows Saint 12-1
Inspired designed the simulation for charity and was spot on recreating the historic venue and race with the use of algorithms generated from performance data plus other relevant factors, along with amazing a life-like CGI. Considered a worldwide leader in virtual sports products, Inspired uses a combination of cutting edge motion capture graphics technology, together with deep player and market research.
Virtual Sports at Inspired Entertainment, Chief Commercial Officer, Steve Rogers, said, “We’ve worked with StreamAMG to deliver virtual sports for almost 10 years, their reliability and track record as a trusted partner made them the natural choice to stream the Virtual Grand National.”
StreamAMG handled the production, playout and live stream delivery to bookmakers in the UK. The web-based operation handled production inside the company’s MediaCityUK MCR location in Salford. Infrastructure requirements included lots of files and integrating end-user devices with Manchester-based Inspired’s delivery of raceday for both broadcaster ITV and the all-important betting market for charity-purposes.
Matt McKiernan, Chief Operating Officer at StreamAMG, said, “We’re proud to have supported the Virtual Grand National, which has proved to be a real highlight of the year so far, and we’re delighted to be trusted to deliver such an event.”
PA Media Group owns StreamAMG and they provided the multi-channel streaming for the betting industry. More than 20 million hours of live streams are delivered per year to the world’s top bookmakers by StreamAMG. Proprietary LOLA encoders are implemented to deliver low latency streams through a network of CDNs, arranged by the MediaPlatform OVP.
Sports Techie, eSports is en fuego when is comes to an increase in viewers because of COVID-19 stay at home fans. Of course, that means sponsors are excited about the prospects because there is simply is not much live sports being played, anywhere, and rightfully so in the name of health and safety.
The wonderful thing about the internet is it allows each fan to watch sporting events of their choosing because of OTT and other direct-to-consumer platforms.
One of the best in the business of sports streaming is StreamAMG.
The success of virtual Grand National is proof.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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