AWS for M&E Blog

Accedo and AWS deliver collegiate sports for Midco Sports Network

Authored by Fredrik Andersson, SVP Products at Accedo. The content and opinions in this post are those of the third-party author and AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.

High school and collegiate sports have a huge following in the US as fans from across the country regularly watch their favorite teams battle it out in a range of sports including football, soccer, and basketball. Every day, thousands of fans tune in to Midco Sports Network® (MidcoSN) to watch its extensive local and regional collegiate sports coverage across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

With a strong following and proven appetite for the sports coverage it was providing, the sports network decided to launch an OTT video service to extend its reach and increase fan engagement. Midco Sports Plus launched in December 2020, and is available on Android, iOS, and web devices, with plans to extend to connected TV devices in the near future. The service gives sports fans access to a great mix of live and on-demand content, presented in an engaging user experience that will keep them happy and engaged.

Accedo, an AWS Partner, was approached by MidcoSN to manage the entire project, including developing the video service and managing technical integrations with several partner vendors, including a number of AWS Media Services. It was developed leveraging its powerful SaaS solution, Accedo One. Accedo One provided MidcoSN with the flexibility to build, launch, and customize its video streaming applications in one convenient place. With ready-built, native app templates, MidcoSN could customize and deliver an engaging video service to the market in short order. Accedo One also includes a visual, easy-to-use editor that offers MidcoSN the flexibility to change the user interface and organize content differently depending on seasons, trends, or end user preferences.

Craig DeWit, General Manager, Midco Sports Network, commented: “Midco Sports Plus gives our existing fans more flexibility in how they consume our content, as well as attracting subscribers from across the United States. For us, one of the most important factors was to create a simple and engaging user experience that would delight fans and attract subscribers.”

Adapting for scale

As with any sport, some high school and collegiate events are more popular than others. This leads to large variations in viewing numbers, so MidcoSN needed the flexibility and scalability provided by cloud video services. Accedo One is a multi-tenant platform hosted on AWS, granting MidcoSN the flexibility to quickly scale up and down as needs and market dynamics change.

Accedo One eliminates inefficiencies through an extensive marketplace of expert vendors that can be easily integrated as a service evolves. This significantly reduced time to market and development efforts. For Midco Sports Plus, we leveraged integrations for the following:

1. Subscription management

Midco Sports Plus is a subscription service, giving fans access to all the coverage for a monthly fee. Creating a subscription-based service adds another layer of complexity for video service providers. It means you need to be able to identify each user, determine status of subscription and in some cases, different levels, which impact which content can be viewed. Midco Sports Plus is integrated with InPlayer, an all-in-one video monetization platform to manage user identity, video entitlement, packaging, and pricing.

2. Seamless video delivery

For MidcoSN, it was important that fans could view the video at the highest quality possible across multiple platforms. Midco Sports Plus leverages Brightcove Video Cloud to deliver the sports coverage with professional quality, giving each viewer the best possible experience. The Accedo One platform is fully cloud-native and makes use of the AWS Cloud to ensure scalability, performance, and availability around the globe. By utilizing a variety of AWS Media services. Accedo has been able to provide a robust service that ensures Midco’s footage is securely delivered with high transfer speeds and quality. This included integration with Amazon CloudFront, a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that ensures Midco’s footage can be securely delivered with low latency and high transfer speeds.

Midco Sports Plus is already giving fans access to all the network’s coverage of collegiate sports, including live matches as well as on-demand content. In the coming months, MidcoSN will bring the same great experience to connected TVs.

“Accedo One has enabled us to launch a compelling and engaging user experience for fans across the country. The ease of integration to other solutions within the media ecosystem coupled with Accedo’s expertise has been extremely beneficial to this entire process. Thanks to integration with Amazon Web Services, we can easily scale up and down as required.”- Amy DesLauriers, Product Manager, Midco Sports Network

About Accedo

Accedo offers a combination of the products and services needed to support our customers at every stage of the video business journey, from strategy, design, and conception through to delivery and post-launch optimization. We help clients stay at the forefront of innovation by leveraging new technologies and business insights to gain and maintain a competitive edge. Learn more about Accedo.