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22/07/2010

The Open Championship Selects Akamai HD Network

The 150th Anniversary Open Championship at St Andrews, Scotland, will for the first time be viewable in HD online. Thanks to Akamai Technologies, a provider of cloud optimisation services, it will be delivered over Akamai's HD Network at www.opengolf.com, in partnership with Akamai’s HD Network partner and reseller Endava.
The Akamai HD Network and Akamai HD for iPhone solutions will support the streaming of two aspects of The Open Championship, between 14th and 18th July 2010. The first is The Open Champions' Challenge, which is a special event on 14th June to celebrate 150 years of The Open Championship. All living Past Champions have been invited to play four holes of the Old Course, with the winning team receiving prize money to be donated a charity of their choice. In addition, www.opengolf.com's three-hole channel, which has been previously streamed by broadcasters, will be available online in selected territories in HD, giving fans an experience that they cannot get anywhere else.
"We want to give viewers around the world the best possible access to this very special anniversary Open Championship," said Adam Lynch, The R&A's Head of Digital Media. "It was essential to ensure that users not only got the best quality picture we could deliver, but the most reliable, irrespective of whether they were using a PC or the Open Championship iPhone application. We were confident that Akamai could meet those requirements."
This is the first time HD streaming has been made directly available by The R&A. One of the key advantages of choosing the Akamai HD Network, was not only that it delivers content as close to the viewer as possible through Akamai's global platform of servers, but that it is able to instantly react to changes in demand and viewer bandwidth availability through adaptive bitrate streaming.
The R&A will also be using Akamai's Media Analytics solution to gain valuable real-time insights into how online viewers are interacting with their content and brand to inform decision making and uncover opportunities for future events.
"The Open Championship is a globally-recognised sporting event that attracts millions of viewers through traditional broadcast networks," added Suzanne Johnson, Director of Industry Marketing at Akamai. "The Akamai HD Network is designed to handle the quality and scale required to meet the demands of such an event, and offers the necessary business tools, including analytics and security features, to help customers run their online businesses effectively and efficiently."
(BMcN)
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