Last week’s Cheltenham Festival recorded a huge uptake in the number of viewers streaming the event, with the Racecourse Media Group (RMG) reporting the highest figure in British and Irish horse racing history.
Utilising the services of real-time streaming technology platform Phenix, RMG secured up to 500,000 streams on individual races, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 60% across the four-day jump racing event.
Multiple WebRTC streaming records were broken each day of the festival as Phenix leveraged Oracle and Google Cloud technology, including a peak of 478,000, breaking RMG’s highest ever race volume record ninefold.
“For the past 10 months, we have seen how Phenix’s real-time streaming technology has helped drive our relaunched streaming product,” stated Ben Dowding, Director of Betting for Racecourse Media Group.
“It has handled significantly higher volumes than normal, given retail betting shops have been closed for long periods due to coronavirus.
“There is no question that Phenix’s real-time streaming has been a resounding success for RMG and is the foundation from which RMG will work on for in-play racing with our sportsbook partners.”
The collaboration with Phenix means RMG, the UK and Ireland’s largest manager of horse racing rights, now delivers real-time live streaming experiences from its 61 racetracks to sportsbooks. It was previously at circa eight seconds latency on bookmakers’ platforms when viewed on mobile devices.
RMG and Phenix have maintained a long-term partnership delivering real-time live streaming services from its 61 racetracks, distributed directly to sportsbooks.
Prior to the latest edition of the festival – one of the most highly anticipated events in the British and Irish horse racing calendar – the partners provided streaming at circa eight seconds latency to bookmakers platforms on mobile devices.
Roy Reichbach, CEO of Phenix, added: “Our work alongside Stats Perform and Racecourse Media Group up to and including this year’s Cheltenham Festival exceeded our expectations. As an early adopter for real-time streaming, RMG is showing the rest of the sports industry that there is significant demand for real-time video.”
Sports technology provider Stats Perform, which specialises in data and artificial intelligence, collaborated with RMG to integrate Phenix’s proprietary and patented technology into the horse racing broadcaster’s operations.
“We are proud to support RMG in their delivery of UK and Irish horse racing,” said Alex Rice, Chief Rights Officer at Stats Perform.
“Cheltenham race week provides an exceptional challenge in delivery, and we are delighted our platform, integrated with Phenix technology, delivered record breaking audiences for RMG and their betting operator clients. Phenix has been an excellent partner. The Phenix platform coped extremely well with the challenges the Cheltenham Festival brings.”
Outside of streaming, this year’s Cheltenham Festival broke records in terms of television viewership as well as regarding the number of bets wagered.
The first day attracted a record average audience of 1.1 million, with over 1.5 million watching Rachael Blackmore’s victory in the Champions Hurdle. The viewing figures were the highest since records began in 2003, largely attributed to the number of people working from home and on furlough due to COVID-19 limitations.
Additionally, Scientific Games processed a ‘record number of bets’ throughout the event, reporting a 53% uplift on its OpenSports solution, utilised by William Hill, Entain’s Ladbrokes and Coral and Flutter Entertainment’s Paddy Power and Betfair brands, with over 70 million bets placed across the different operators.