The role of watermarking in live sports streaming

The role of watermarking in live sports streaming
2 min read

Content piracy in the live sports streaming world is a direct threat to sports teams’ sponsorship deals. Because sports organisations are unable to include pirated audiences in their audience estimates, the numbers of viewers are grossly under-reported. These groups stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars – more – for every game or match, since audience size is a key basis for sponsorship deals.  

Taking up where DRM leaves off, video watermarking can confirm the outermost point of legitimate use. With that information, an organisation can isolate pirated content and identify the “bad actors” – the content pirates. Information can be embedded in the video itself, at the point of origin, in the Content Distribution Network (CDN) during distribution, or within the player device. Information can include the device IP address, session details, and subscriber identifier.

The video watermark information is converted into a pattern, similar in concept to a QR code, that is “composited” with the video via an overlay. At Friend MTS, we have deployed this technology at scale successfully, day in and day out, for major operators and platforms. We offer two client-composited services ideal for live sports programming: ASiD Embedded for set-top boxes and ASiD OTT Client-composited for over-the-top media.

Extraction times for the A/B variant style video watermarks need to be longer to cope with the temporal nature of this watermarking technique. Since ‘live’ content often needs to be protected in short turn around, delay here is not desired.

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Saahil Khan 277
Joined: 3 years ago
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