Channel 4: The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

How Simplestream powered the Tokyo 2020 edition of the Paralympic Games on Channel 4, with out-of-the-box OTT services on a fully accessible, responsive website




Editorial Staff


February 11, 2022

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Accessible OTT experiences

Channel 4  chose Simplestream to build an over-the-top (OTT) video platform to support the online coverage of the Paralympic Games for the Tokyo 2020 edition, from the opening ceremony to the closing moments, and across all the sporting events. The solution needed to easily integrate with existing services, accommodate the company’s brand guidelines, and support a number of accessibility features.

Most importantly, the 12-day event required seamless support, coordinating an on-site event engineering team, as well as a support based in the London hub.


Cloud-based, flexible infrastructure

Simplestream took on the challenge of simplifying what was conceived to be a complex and challenging project. The solution of choice was powered by App Platform — the out-of-the-box product designed to streamline the launch of premium video services, built upon cloud-based, flexible modules, interchangeable and customisable.

The workflow covered both live and on-demand environments. Through the Live2VOD module, the footage was made available for on-demand viewing within 60 seconds of broadcast. Channel 4 had the ability to scale without any limits, simplifying the live infrastructure, enabling editorial teams to focus on seamless curation of content.

A responsive website was designed and developed to support optimisation of content for each device type, and it was built to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 standards, integrated with Channel 4’s Freewheel and Adobe Analytics platforms.


Unprecedented parasports coverage in the UK

The multi-layered approach to the project granted Channel 4 the possibility to distribute more hours of coverage than ever before. The broadcaster was able to complement linear TV coverage by leveraging a digital service that offered more choice, and more content to all viewers.

Over 300 sporting events were covered during the 12-day Games, for a total of 1,300+ hours of streamed content, and with up to 16 concurrent streams available.Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympic Games was viewed – overall – by a third of the UK population, counting a fifth of young people aged 16-34 (22%). The broadcasted recorded over 2.6 million streams on All 4, via the OTT platform deployed.