Tennis Channel Serves Up Aussie Open Streaming Via RayV

Tennis fans are getting their full share of Australian Open action courtesy of Tennis Channel, thanks to a deal with RayV that will power streaming of the Aussie Open and other events in 2010. This is the first time Tennis Channel has offered broadband coverage of the Australian Open.

Also in effect this week but continuing past the conclusion of the Australian Open, Tennis Channel is using Unicorn Media’s “Media-as-a-Service” software for all online-video-player needs. This includes on-demand match highlights, interview footage, and clips from networks series and specials.

“As tennis fans continue to gravitate toward broadband enjoyment of their favorite players and events, it’s vital for Tennis Channel to make these platforms available,” says Robyn Miller, SVP, Tennis Channel. “With RayV’s and Unicorn Media’s live and on-demand video services, we’re not only able to offer this additional access to our Web visitors but also to ensure that it’s the highest level of quality in the marketplace today.”

Both partnerships are being activated during a typically high-traffic two-week period for www.tennischannel.com. As with tennis’s other major championship events, the Australian Open attracts heightened interest from die-hard tennis aficionados and casual sports fans alike.

RayV is facilitating three live courts per day during the first week of the tournament, and an additional daily match the second, by way of a multiple bit-rate, encoded stream that offers a higher quality picture than has been available to www.tennischannel.com visitors in the past.

In addition to selecting from matches that are not being carried on the network’s television air, users can chat with other online viewers or connect with their Facebook friends at the same time.  They can also access interviews, highlights and sweepstakes information.

“RayV is delighted to be working with Tennis Channel on this exciting project,” adds Doug Billman, RayV Head of Sport.  “Our multichannel offering is clearly attracting tennis fans online with a wider choice of high quality viewing and, given RayV’s efficient delivery platform, that means successful live streaming is good business – not a liability – for a partner.”

Unicorn Media is managing all aspects of www.tennischannel.com’s on-demand video services, both during and after the Australian Open.  Like RayV’s live-match streams, Unicorn Media has developed a high-quality picture via multiple bit-rate encoding, and higher bandwidth and storage for the network.  Web visitors are treated to a streamlined, cleaner path to the site’s on-demand video offerings, with new features that include video thumbnails and a designated space for user comments.

“With live online viewing on the rise, it’s exciting to see companies like Tennis Channel utilize our Media-as-a-Service solution, providing them with the ability to increase video quality while decreasing cost of delivery and storage,” explains Bill Rinehart, CEO and Founder, Unicorn Media. “Our solution also gives Tennis Channel the technology to syndicate that high-quality content to any screen and then analyze its performance in real-time.”