Serverless sports clip creation

Event-based cloud workflow to fully automate the editing and publishing of sports clips for an International news organisations.

Challenge

Our client approached us after they won the rights to distribute football highlights to their three key subsidiary sports websites. The existing process for file delivery required six members of staff, all of whom were editing between three to four hours each match day, which was both costly and time-consuming.

Support Partners was tasked with designing and deploying a solution to automate the creation and distribution of sports clips to three separate delivery platforms, each of which used different technology for the publishing of video and had different metadata and upload requirements. Each platform required custom branding and graphical overlays.

To maximise reader engagement and conversion, it was imperative to create a solution that was fast, scalable and cost-effective.

Solution

Support Partners designed and delivered a fully automated event-based cloud workflow to handle the publishing and re-versioning of football highlights to their three delivery platforms. To provide a scalable, cost-effective solution, a serverless infrastructure to handle the processing of all incoming content was deployed. This allowed the running of code and applications without the provisioning or managing of servers – only charging for the run-time – thus controlling and reducing operational expenditure.

The event-based architecture meant that each time a file arrived into Amazon Web Services S3 cloud storage, an automated media clipping workflow was triggered, creating a version of the sports highlight for three end-delivery platforms. This included creating a custom XML, a branded thumbnail and a branded version of the media, overlaying graphics to each clip.

In order to provide a tailored experience to their readers, our client allows their users to customise which clips are presented to them. This means that readers who are only interested in seeing the goals will only see goals and not other events such as Red Cards, Yellow Cards or Video Assistant Referee decisions. To achieve this an auto-tagging Lambda function was deployed which utilised the in-game OPTA sports data feed and cognitive services to auto-generate tags.

As each delivery platform has a different way of ingesting assets, Support Partners provided an API integration for delivery to Brightcove and generated a compliant XML feed for delivery to the Ooyala platform. Each clip is also uploaded to the storage area network and ingested into the local asset management system. Upon completion, an event notification is sent to the messaging and collaboration platform, Slack, for real-time monitoring.

This workflow has been running for several years without failure, consistently distributing clips to the delivery platforms within eight minutes of the event happening.

Technology used

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is an event-driven, serverless computing platform provided by Amazon as a part of the Amazon Web Services. It is a computing service that runs code in response to events and automatically manages the computing resources required by that code.

AWS MediaConvert

AWS Elemental MediaConvert is a file-based video transcoding service with broadcast-grade features. It allows you to easily create video-on-demand (VOD) content for broadcast and multiscreen delivery at scale.

AWS S3

Amazon S3 or Amazon Simple Storage Service is a service offered by Amazon Web Services that provides object storage through a web service interface. Amazon S3 uses the same scalable storage infrastructure

Slack
Slack is a cloud-based proprietary instant messaging platform built for collaboration and monitoring. Slack can be used to monitor events, publishing notifications to the relevant team channels

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