Big Data

In the news: IBM, FOX Sports and the FIFA World Cup

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IBM FOX Sports FIFA World CupCovering the FIFA World Cup has been a massive undertaking for FOX Sports. Between the first match on 14 June and the finals this past Sunday, 15 July, the network has broadcast all 64 matches on its FOX and FOX Sports 1 channels.

To accomplish that feat, FOX Sports used IBM Aspera technology to move content quickly.

FOX Sports also worked with IBM Watson to build the Ultimate World Cup Highlight Machine, which offers up clips from tournaments dating back to 1958.

FOX Sports’ work with IBM to broadcast the games and capture the highlights of FIFA World Cup history has caught the attention of numerous media publications. Here are just a few quick excerpts of what they had to say:


“FOX Sports says there are 300 archived matches that Watson is capable of analyzing, which you can filter out by World Cup year, team, player, game, play type or any combination of these. So, for instance, you can tell it to make you a highlight reel of any Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi shots on goal, from every World Cup they’ve played in.”

SVG Europe

“The team sought to utilise FOX Sports’ existing, state-of-the art production facilities in LA with the help of Telestream and Aspera, using IP-based transfer technology. With the cost savings associated with not having to move staff to Russia for the event, as well as building facilities in Russia for them to work from, Fox Sports has been able to instead invest more in the LA facility and production staff, with the goal of creating more content for customers over the duration of the tournament.”

The Hollywood Reporter

“More typically, gathering this sort of data would be a task done manually by employees, but considering the scope of the World Cup, that would be impractical, and arguably impossible… the 2014 World Cup tournament alone represents roughly 98,000 hours of video content, including the matches, press conferences and other material.”


“For FOX Sports’ World Cup operations, 22 Telestream Lightspeed Light Systems will support camera ISOs and other feeds not dedicated to the match, allowing the team to capture all event-related content into the content management system. Four feeds will route high-res content directly to the Los Angeles production facility via Aspera FASPStream for editing in near-real time.”

The Drum

“In short, the collaboration will see IBM Watson Media and IBM iX technology sift through decades of FIFA highlights to learn to clip together fan-requested highlights packages. The Highlight Machine accepts requests for content from different tournaments, teams, players and plays – like goals, fouls and more.”

USA Today

“Fans can sort through highlights involving a given player or team to create a reel of plays, which can then be shared on social media. Want to watch a 10-minute supercut of goals scored by Italians, or see a mix of classic moments involving Pele and, say, Neymar? You can do that.”

Learn more about IBM Aspera and IBM Watson.

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