AWS Media Blog
French national volleyball league transforms its streaming service using solution from AWS Partner Kinow
France’s professional volleyball league, the Ligue Nationale de Volley (LNV), recognized that it needed to respond to changes in how its fans consume media. The internet provides access to an increasing number of delivery channels beyond traditional broadcast television and cable subscriptions, giving more options to viewers. To improve engagement with fans and other stakeholders, the LNV decided to transform its over-the-top (OTT) media service. OTT services deliver content directly to viewers over the internet.
Previously, the terrestrial broadcaster L’Équipe had held the media rights to the LNV. In 2018, the LNV took control of its own content and launched an OTT service called LNVtv. LNVtv is a way for the league to reach its fans directly, delivering exclusive content to subscribers. Viewers can watch the linear channel 24/7 or enjoy volleyball matches live or on demand.
By 2022, LNV realized that LNVtv needed an upgrade. The league turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Kinow, a French company that offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution called Bee propelled by Kinow (Bee). This turnkey video streaming solution manages the infrastructure, storage, data backup, and maintenance for Kinow’s clients. Bee also facilitates monetization and global distribution of content on any device, other important considerations for the LNV. “For sports organizations and especially for sports leagues, streaming has become a real opportunity,” says Pierre Antoine, Kinow’s business unit director. “It is an incredible asset to federate a community, build audience loyalty, and benefit from a new source of revenue.”
Building a fully managed infrastructure for streaming
The LNV used Bee to take over the management of the LNVtv infrastructure so that the league could focus on content development and the fan experience. Plus, the solution worked well alongside the sports data management solutions it already was using as well as its video capture, a process that media companies use to convert analog signals from video cameras to digital video streams.
Bee is built on a number of AWS services. To help companies optimize live streaming capabilities, the solution uses AWS Elemental MediaLive, a cloud-based, broadcast-grade video processing service with the power to deploy live channels within minutes. The LNVtv cameras at volleyball matches send their output to MediaLive. The solution then compresses the live video into high-quality digital streams, supporting a broad range of video industry compression standards.
In addition to simplifying the backend for the LNV, the solution also helps the league personalize its content for the fans who watch LNVtv. For example, the revamped LNVtv has a search bar that helps volleyball fans access content. A fan interested in a particular player searches the player’s name and gets redirected to a dedicated page that displays all related videos from throughout the player’s career. The LNV even redesigned the solution’s aesthetic, using a particular team’s colors and imagery to appeal to the fans on the site.
Because fans watch content on different devices, the LNV also has been able to create native applications for all screens using Bee. The service makes it simple to output a mix of live video streams at different resolutions and bitrates. Users can cast video to their television screens, watch on the web, or use the LNV app. “The redesign of the LNV platform is a great example of success,” Antoine says.
Addressing the security of broadcast content
Video piracy is the unauthorized download and distribution of copyrighted content, and it’s an increasing challenge for content providers. To prepare, protect, and distribute streaming video content to a broad range of connected devices, Bee uses AWS Elemental MediaPackage, which reliably prepares and protects video for delivery over the internet. Using the digital rights management features of MediaPackage, the LNV can control which users have access to its content and what they can do with it. In fact, the LNV plans to give access to different volleyball clubs so that they can manage their content autonomously.
MediaPackage takes a single input from an encoder like MediaLive and packages it in multiple streaming formats for whatever device a user chooses. And because MediaPackage scales automatically in response to load, the LNV can provide reliable service regardless of the number of fans watching.
Users enjoy popular DVR features that MediaPackage provides as well. For example, viewers can restart a program, pause, and rewind video, just as they would on a television’s digital recording device.
Modernizing and monetizing content delivery
OTT is a subset of video on demand (VOD), which is a catch-all term referring to programs that viewers can watch whenever they want—hence the term “on demand.” While VOD can include television programming, OTT is more narrowly focused on internet delivery.
Just as OTT services free companies from traditional ways to deliver content, OTT also lends itself to different monetization models based on the idea of VOD. Bee supports different fee structures, such as the following:
- SVOD, subscription VOD that charges users a flat fee per month
- AVOD, advertising-based VOD, which is free to consumers but requires viewers to watch ads as they consume content
- TVOD, transactional VOD in which viewers purchase content on a pay-per-view basis
Using Bee, LNV also can adjust its fee structure to reflect the quality of the video stream the viewer desires.
Expanding content offerings for fans
The LNV hopes to further attract and engage volleyball fans as it expands its LNVtv offerings. The league is developing volleyball-related programming to run between matches. In the future, the LNV hopes to broadcast other competitions, such as the Champions League and the French Volleyball Cup. “The LNV is working every day to rebuild its digital offering,” says Yves Bouget, president of the LNV. “The OTT platform modernization project was one of our priorities in order to offer a new experience to volleyball fans.”
Kinow offers a turnkey solution to manage and broadcast a video catalog in secure streaming for TVOD, SVOD, and AVOD.