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NFL.com to Offer Fans Higher Quality Video Experience This Season

Wed, 09/22/2010 - 7:25am
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., /PRNewswire/ -- NFL.com and Akamai Technologies announced that NFL.com has implemented Akamai's HD Network to enable broader availability of high-quality online video. NFL.com will be utilizing the Akamai HD Network to assist in providing the best possible online video player experience for its fans.

This season, the majority of video content on NFL.com will be offered in higher quality and delivered across the Akamai HD Network, including NFL.com Live: Thursday Night Football offering live look-ins to NFL Network's eight-game package, video highlights of every NFL game and coverage of other NFL events.

In addition, exclusive video contained within the new NFL Fantasy Football game will be offered in higher quality through Akamai's HD Network. The enhanced content will be made available in multiple bitrates up to 3.2 mbps.

The incorporation of Akamai's HD Network into the NFL.com video player includes several benefits:

* Akamai HD for the Adobe Flash Platform - NFL.com is currently leveraging HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming for smooth playback. NFL.com will offer video content in multiple bitrates ranging from 500 kbps to 3.2 mbps to maximize the video experience for each user based on their bandwidth availability.

* HD Client Technologies – NFL is using a range of HD Client technologies from Akamai including Akamai's Open Video Player and the Akamai NetSession Client. The Open Video Player is being used on select areas of the site to provide the benefit of a built in integration with Akamai's HD Network. NFL.com users are currently able to access higher quality content on NFL.com by downloading the Akamai NetSession Client. Moving forward, NetSession will help NFL further optimize the end-user's experience by feeding information about device capabilities into the algorithms used by the player to choose the best stream for individual users.

* Media Analytics – Through Akamai's robust Media Analytics product, the NFL will have access to QOS information that will allow for better insight into the viewing experience on NFL.com, as well as aggregated performance data to measure the impact that higher quality video delivery is having on its viewership.

  "We think HD quality video will have the same impact online as it has on television," said Hans Schroeder, NFL vice president of media strategy and development.  "Our multi-year partnership with Akamai will help us deliver the highest quality NFL video experience to our fans."

"NFL is pushing the envelope this season with their digital media strategy by offering so much of their content in high-quality. The Akamai HD Network offers the NFL a single platform for delivery of content along with unique intelligence and the ability to simplify complex processes in the network," said Robert Hughes, Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Services and Marketing at Akamai. "We are thrilled to be working closely with them to help raise the bar on the video experience for their fans."

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