The Next Level of Sports Streaming on 5G

On the 25th-28th February 2019, over 100,000 people attended the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the mobile industry’s premier event. On the ground for DAZN was Muj Ali, Head of Product for Mobile where he spoke to us about what he thought stood out:

Every year Mobile World Congress highlights how new technologies improve our daily lives. The event showcased new folding devices such as the Samsung Fold and the Huawei Mate X; how 5G enables the intersection of ‘hyper-connectivity’ across different devices, Internet of Things (IoT), ‘intelligence’ delivered by artificial intelligence (AI) and big data improvements.

However, the next big thing people have been waiting for is 5G. 5G has been a part of MWC for several years and this is the first time it felt like a tangible product. It’s being rolled out by carriers and device manufacturers over 2019 and 2020, which will take internet streaming to the next level!

Everyone I talked to about 5G is extremely excited about the potential unlocked by this next generation wireless technology. Smart home security, self-driving cars, lightning speed communication over the internet, and consuming live video at much lower latency, especially with sports where it matters most. Crucially, the demand from consumers to watch live sport over mobile gives a compelling business case for all players to invest in 5G, which puts DAZN right at the heart of the content mix.

Over the last year, it’s been an exciting time for live streaming sports, with events such as the World Cup and the Winter Olympics seeing sports fans watch sport across a variety of OTT services.

A recent study by Limelight showed:

  • 60% of consumers would watch sports online if it arrived at the same time as the live broadcast feed
  • Sports is the 4th most watched type of content
  • Live video content can buffer depending on a variety of factors and users hate this
  • If a stream buffers more than 2 times, two-thirds of users will abandon a stream.

Streaming has definitely improved but linear broadcasting is still ahead when it comes to quality and latency. However, with the introduction of better network and wireless technologies, broadcast quality and latency can be matched and even improved upon.

A key benefit to DAZN would be the reduction in latency when delivering live streams to our customers. 5G is capable of reaching speeds twenty times faster than 4G. This means anyone who is watching a live football match on DAZN could watch on many different camera angles with almost no delay. 5G would also unlock the potential for experiencing live games with virtual and augmented reality in near enough real time in addition to enhancing the ability to send higher definition streams via 5G to multiple devices without buffering – all wirelessly!

EE have predicted that by 2030, 76% of data traffic will be apportioned to streaming video predominantly across 4k and even 8k resolutions.

Consumers want a better-quality service with more available content they are interested in and without a heavy price tag. The on-demand nature to consume sports over the internet will continue to grow and DAZN is excited to be at the forefront of utilising lightning fast internet with our service!