Verizon Cloud Video Unit Scores Tennis Channel Deal

On board to help network stream matches live and on-demand
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Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), Verizon’s multiscreen cloud video unit that’s part of Oath, said it has been selected by Tennis Channel to power the programmer’s app’s video delivery, including streaming support for both live and on-demand in 2018.

Financial terms were not announced, but Tennis Channel’s streaming of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier this month is linked to the new agreement, which includes VDMS’s new Live Event Operations managed service, they said.

VDMS said it’s in position to help Tennis Channel’s app deliver more than 700 live tennis matches and more than 1,500 VOD assets throughout this year. That includes the French Open from Roland Garros in May. As the primary rights holder for that Grand Slam tournament, Tennis Channel plans to offer a stream from every court, and up to 16 simultaneous live streams.

The Tennis Channel app, which includes support for Tennis Channel Plus, is supported on several platforms, including iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire.

It was not immediately clear how this new agreement between Tennis Channel and VDMS affects the programmer’s relationship with NeuLion. In 2015, NeuLion and Tennis Channel announced multi-year deal for live and VOD streaming, with NeuLion handling elements such as content ingestion, encoding, content security and monitoring.

NeuLion’s site currently lists partners that includes Poker Central, NFL, NBA, EFL, UFC, Big Ten Network, Univision and Eleven Sports. NeuLion, VDMS and Tennis Channel have been asked for further comment, though a statement from the network notes that VDMS has been integrated with its legacy systems.

“As we grow Tennis Channel’s app, Verizon Digital Media Services lets us deliver the exceptional streaming experiences our users have come to expect,” Adam Ware, senior vice president, head of digital and business development, Tennis Channel, said in a statement. “They’ve been flexible enough to integrate with our existing systems, with a 24-hour support team and Live Event Operations managed service that have helped us scale significantly.”

VDMS noted that its Uplynk Video Streaming service has been integrated with Tennis Channel's proprietary in-house scheduling and content management system, called Storyline, which enables game highlights to be published as VOD assets.

VDMS’s other known customers include Stadium Digital, Newsy, ABC/Disney, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Vice, Hearth Media Group, and go90, Verizon’s free, ad-supported OTT service.

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