The synergy between Level 3's Vyvx business and its content delivery business really seems to be bearing fruit at last, at least if measured by the PR count for major live sporting events. Today, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced its selection by VERSUS to handle online and mobile content delivery for the 2010 edition of the Tour de France in the US. They will downlink the signal to a US teleport, backhaul it to several drop points around the country, simultaneously encode it into various formats, and then delivered in real time to subscribers of VERSUS's Tour Tracker service.
The Tour de France begins on Saturday, July 3 and continues for some three weeks. That is, if they can find enough cyclists who haven't failed a drug test lately - it's been an ugly stretch for a sport I've never personally enjoyed watching. Nevertheless, it does have its fans, to which Level 3 will be feeding live HD coverage. I'll bet a fair fraction of those fans have iPhones - time to bend AT&T's network again. As for me, I'll be watching the World Cup and then perhaps I'll work up to admitting to being a Mets fan in public once again.
Level 3 also picked up a contract with Chickasaw yesterday. The Oklahoma wholesale carrier will be leveraging Level 3's high speed IP services over a GigE connection in order to meet rising demand for IP services in the state. Haven't heard much good coming out of Oklahoma for Level 3 in a while, hopefully this will start a new trend.
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