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Sports Streaming Now Available Live!

Sports Streaming Now Available Live!

Sports fans will soon be able to stream their favourite sports events live, thanks to Vodafone’s new 3G live streaming technology which allows users to view the action as it happens, from anywhere.

The first live sports stream will feature New Zealand’s premier snowboarding competition – Burton NZ Open. The Burton NZ Open takes place on 3-5 August at Snow Park, Wanaka and features halfpipe, quarterpipe and slopestyle competitions.

Vodafone will stream all three days of the event which attracts Olympic gold medallists and world champions, who are all competing for a NZ$50,000 cash prize pool.

Vodafone 3G users in 3G coverage areas will be able to stream the competition anywhere, without the fixed boundaries of TV or the web.

Tim Nichols, Head of Vodafone live!, says “This is a New Zealand first and a unique new development from Vodafone live! .We are excited about providing a new medium for sports fans to enjoy the best of New Zealand’s sporting events.

“The live streaming format thrives on mobile because the nature of live events means if you are not physically there or in front of your TV, you miss out. With live streaming to your mobile there is no reason not to see your favourite sports event. Most people carry their mobile everywhere and from now on major sporting events can be accessible anywhere too. The mobile streaming concept will change the rules about broadcast media and the viewing choices people have.

“Vodafone is an active supporter of snow sports and we are delighted to be streaming the Burton NZ Open because it is the pinnacle of snowboarding in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere. The live streaming is an example of how we work with our sponsors and use our expertise to provide consumers with innovative technologies which add real value to their lives.

Reuben Yeoman, Burton NZ Open event organiser, says “The Burton New Zealand Open is the first stop of Burton’s Open series before it moves on to Australia, Japan, Europe and the USA. We’re able to bring new ideas to the table and try new things because of our size, energy and the receptivity of the local scene.”

Live streaming is similar to live TV with multiple cameras shooting the action. The feeds are either encoded on a PC on location, or if filming is conducted in remote areas, the feeds will be sent by radio to a 'production facility’. Then they are mixed and encoded into .3gp format and sent to Vodafone via an available internet connection – satellite, ADSL or Cable. Once the feed arrives at Vodafone it is passed through the streaming servers and made available to 3G customers via the live! portal.

Tim Nichols adds “This will be the first of many live streams. We are planning on streaming more sport, including surf competitions in the summer and other great events.

“Vodafone 3G users will be able to watch as much coverage of the Burton Open as they want, for a very small cost, and do not pay for data once they are inside Vodafone live!”

Live streaming will be easy to access with links to the streams appearing on the Vodafone live! homepage. To access live! users simply need to press the live key on their handset or FreeTXT ‘burton’ to 5483 and follow the links.


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