LONDON, 16th January 2024 – URC TV – an award-winning, global OTT sports streaming service created as a partnership initiative between the United Rugby Championship and RTÉ – chose Simplestream as a technology partner to power its new offering on the back of a reliable, flexible architecture, and new applications for Android and iOS, distributed globally. The OTT service provides fans with live and on-demand viewing access to the United Rugby Championship games through a paid subscription model.
Founded in 2021, URC TV was conceived to enhance the launch of the United Rugby Championship, a global club rugby league comprising of 16 teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, and Wales.
The scope of the URC TV project included the creation of a flexible infrastructure to migrate multiple components into a single service, namely authentication workflows, and distribution of content both live and on-demand. Simplestream deployed its proprietary Media Manager – the modular backend to manage content for distribution – and App Platform, a powerful framework for app development and distribution of premium content across multiple devices.
The integration of a variety of sources for the authentication of subscribers was key to URC TV to combine users’ data coming from multiple touch points. A seamless workflow was built to consolidate the authentication process for users from both the official website and the URC TV service, granting a frictionless experience for the end-user. This was achieved by integrating with the URC’s existing backends, including Fanscore, accounting for users logging into both services simultaneously.
Simplestream also integrated with URC TV’s existing content providers. From migration of incumbent CMS providers, and development of new ingest workflows, to content intake from existing APIs, the architecture also includes continuous communication between third parties and App Platform. The integration of multiple systems became integral to successful delivery of the new applications, which allow URC TV to keep innovating and bringing international rugby fans closer to the unscripted drama of the tournament.
Simplestream’s Technical Director, Ashley Reynolds-Horne, stated: “The successful delivery of the URC TV project is another testament to the solid foundation of our architecture, which builds on both proprietary technology and the flexibility of integrating multiple entities as part of a unique architecture. The launch also involved new enhancements in terms of branding and frontend customisation, to allow the client to bring to their fans a best-in-class experience and to enhance the visual identity of the brand itself”.
Tom Lister, United Rugby Championship’s Chief Marketing Officer, highlighted: “Reliability is the key deliverable when it comes to streaming live sport as fans expect a seamless, uninterrupted experience from sign-up right through to the final whistle. The Simplestream platform has provided an ideal foundation for URC TV to continue to innovate and deliver a top-quality product to our fans.”
This work with URC TV builds on the successful revamp of Simplestream’s Sports Video Platform, part of the company’s value proposition for sports organisations. The announcement follows similar projects Simplestream has recently undertaken across multiple verticals with the likes of GAAGO, TELUS, Crafter’s Companion, TalkTV, PBS America, and TVSN.
Simplestream is an award-winning and best-in-class provider of next-generation TV solutions to some of the biggest players in the broadcast, publishing, sport, and media industry. Founded in 2010 with headquarters in London, Simplestream supports over 30 customers worldwide in designing, developing, and delivering innovative and design-led solutions that simplify complexity. Simplestream’s suite of products includes Media Manager, the powerful, modular backend to manage content for distribution; App Platform, the out-of-the-box product to launch premium video services with flexible monetisation models; Channel Studio, to create linear live streams from a combination of VOD assets and live events, via an easy-to-use scheduler. Simplestream also provides a range of services and products covering insights and analytics, self-service live events, authentication, and much more. Simplestream provides simplified workflows and cloud-based solutions to industry leaders, including Channel 4, UKTV, A+E Networks, TN Marketing, AMC Networks International, CBS, GB News, News Corp, News UK, Sony, SIS, and QVC.
About URC TV
URC TV is an award-winning global OTT sports streaming service. It offers customers live and on-demand viewing access to the United Rugby Championship games via a paid subscription model which can be accessed www.urc.tv . The service is available in select markets; details of markets can be found here.
URC TV is a partnership initiative between URC and RTÉ CEL; founded in September 2021 it coincided with the launch of the newly structured and branded United Rugby Championship. The United Rugby Championship is a global club rugby league where 16 teams from five nations (Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales) compete across two hemispheres to become the URC champion each season.
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