MultiChoice’s streaming video platform DStv Now served a peak of more than 500Gbit/s to sports fans during the Rugby World Cup final between South Africa and England on Saturday — the equivalent of 4TB of data a minute.
Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division at MultiChoice, said the demand was a “major test of our systems and the capacity of distribution networks and Internet service providers”.
“I’m pleased we came out on top and look forward to working with our partners to beef up streaming ability ready for 10 times and even 100 times the traffic we’re seeing now, because the one thing we know for sure is that streaming video is going to keep growing,” said Ekdahl in a statement on Monday.
Though the company said it had no technical issues streaming the final to rugby fans, it had a “rocky road” to the final.
“Live events are the single biggest challenge a streaming service like DStv Now can face, as the huge number of concurrent users not only puts our systems under unprecedented load, it also strains the systems of the companies downstream from our servers who deliver the stream to customers,” Ekdahl said.
“It’s fair to assume that the load during the final was the largest ever seen in Africa, with three times more peak concurrent viewers than in the first game and double the number who watched the 2018 football World Cup final. Over the course of the day we served more than half a million unique users.”
Four times higher
He said the number of active DStv Now users is four times higher than two years ago. The number of hours streamed in a single day on the service now regularly tops one million.
The company was “disappointed at the problems we experienced early in the tournament. We’d of course done load testing and provisioned plenty of capacity, but we didn’t anticipate how congestion in one specific system could cascade into others”.
Ekdahl said MultiChoice’s engineering team reworked its system architecture and worked with partners who deliver the stream to customers to sort of bottlenecks affecting image quality. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media