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Streaming is causing headaches for networks

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Feb 16, 2016
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Singer Taylor Swift accepts the award for the Album of the Year onstage during the 58th Annual Grammy music Awards. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Streaming is causing headaches for networks

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Feb 16, 2016
Singer Taylor Swift accepts the award for the Album of the Year onstage during the 58th Annual Grammy music Awards. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
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Picture a busy super highway.

Now imagine that highway is the Internet. It can get clogged.  Especially during rush hour – say, when everyone’s trying to live stream a live event at the same time.

“Too many cars on the road,” said Greg Ireland, an analyst covering multi-screen video at IDC. 

He said problems can start immediately as the content provider evaluates you.

“A jam at the tool booth,” he said. “It’s making sure you’ve collected your ticket – that you’re authorized to be on the system.”

There could be legal roadblocks. For example, CBS apparently didn’t have live stream revenue sharing agreements with all of its affiliates.

Then there’s the issue of which exit your live stream takes. 

“You might want to view the stream,” said Adam Preset, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Your neighbor might want to view the stream.  And it makes a lot more sense to have a local copy of that stream very close to you.”

Then finally, when the live stream gets to your house, it may not be able to get in. Because everybody in the neighborhood is online.

“You have the bandwidth just heading into the home,”  said Jeff Baumgartner, technology editor at Multichannel News. “It’s been a little bit of a challenge to scale everything together.”

Baumgartner said these huge public spectacles can overtax the Internet’s infrastructure from the source, all the way to the device you hold in your hand.

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