Just when you think they can't find another live niche sporting event with which to demonstrate their CDN prowess, they pull the surfing card. Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced today that it is working with MSI Live, Hurley, and IMG Action Sports to provide streaming for the Hurley Pro this week (Sept. 12-18) at California's San Onofre State Beach - Lower Trestles. This apparently follows a similar effort in August for the US Open of Surfing in which Level 3 delivered 85 hours of content using adaptive bit rate streaming technology.
As sports go, surfing seems to me to be one of those things that has to be a whole lot more fun to do than to watch, and I can't actually imagine sitting on a sofa somewhere watching a surfing competition on my iPad. Perhaps that's because I don't have an iPad yet, but that's another matter. Yet, the whole point of this sort of streaming application is that it addresses a niche audience effectively, and therefore fans of the sport can have their fun regardless of whether the rest of us would choose to or not.
One thing I don't really get though is why everyone (not just LVLT in this PR) is making the distinction of being "available in real time to Web, iPhone and iPad viewers". The whole point of an iPhone and iPad is that they're part of the web, not separate from it... right? Oh well, I guess these day's streaming isn't cool unless we visualize an Apple groupie on the other end of it.
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