The final day of last season's English Premier League was a low-point for sports streaming in NZ.
The last day of the league always sees all 10 games kicking off at once.
Then-local rights holder beIN Sports crashed under the load last year - with fans' anger stoked by the fact the streaming service seemed to have no one on deck to monitor the early morning action (or lack of).
Spark Sport took over the EPL this season. And this morning, as the final day finally rolled around after an extended Covid layover, this reporter had a few nerves about the stream.
But going by own experience and Spark Sport's social feeds, it seems to have been a rock-solid performance with the 10 simultaneous streams.
Arsenal v Watford was perfect in Palmerston North.— Jono Galuszka (@jonogaluszka) July 26, 2020
There was nary a glitch as Tottenham Hotspur was confirmed as the best-performing team since Covid restart; Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Chelsea took the Champions' League spots and Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich were relegated.
"The final day of Premier League went great from our side," Spark Sport head Jeff Latch said.
"Around 3am, we had 12 concurrent live events running on the platform and we had no problems delivering those to our customers. Those streams included the 10 Premier League matches, Goal Rush and the England vs West Indies test match.
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"We're really happy that we could deliver a great experience for our customers and that our platform performed well - as we would expect, with so many live events playing out at the same time."
Spurs stream was rock solid, Spurs defence not so much.— Gavin Huet (@GavinHuet) July 26, 2020
It will still take some people a lot of time to finally put their anger to bed over earlier streaming disasters, by various services.
But more savvy viewers, better and better broadband, and a more serious focus on service by today's providers continue to push the technology toward the mainstream.
Spark Sport's next major test will be its domestic coverage - the first time it has had to produce coverage of an A-list local sport.
Read about Latch's plan's for that effort here.
At least BeIN blocked Liverpool.— Grunta (@chellew_grant) July 26, 2020
worked fine. i kept an eye on Villa and Watford games. but the one day i would have liked Goal Rush or something similar... or did i miss it?— Jon Barker (@barkerj) July 27, 2020