The Summer of sport: The tech behind your favourite live sporting moments

As we gear up for a highly anticipated summer of sports – with epic tournaments like the Euro 2024 championship and the Olympics in Paris – we focus on what makes live sports streaming a seamless and enjoyable experience for the masses.

The fast-paced world of sports is no longer confined to the seats of a stadium. Thanks to technological advancement and the rise of innovative ways to ‘consume’ sports content, fans from all over the globe can now experience the excitement of live sporting events from anywhere, on any device of their choice, and even via virtually augmented environments.

This article pinpoints the key aspects of what creates winning live sports streaming experiences, from HD playback quality to low latency streaming and more.

High-Quality Playback: a must-have

Let’s start from the basics: a high-standard playback quality is key. With a multitude of streaming options available to die-hard fans and casual watchers, a streaming platforms ability to provide crystal-clear playback could be a deal breaker for many viewers. If your content looks like it was shot on a 2005 phone with a camera, you could lose subscribers.

Therefore, encoding live feeds into an array of formats tailored to accommodate various devices and internet connections has become paramount to attract new users and retain existing ones.

Watch the action unfold, with minimal delay

In live sport, every second is crucial. Just as NPAW’s Till Sudworth explained in episode 6 of our Beyond the Stream podcast, you wouldn’t want to overhear your neighbours celebrating goals even just a few seconds before you. Let’s be honest: it ruins the experience. For this reason, streaming platforms must prioritise low-latency technologies to ensure viewers receive real-time updates across the sea of data that gets processed as the action unfolds by minimising the delay between the live event and its transmission delivery, platforms can avoid a sub-par viewing experience that ruins key sporting moments that viewers won’t be able to recreate.

Scalability should never be an oversight

With millions of viewers tuning in simultaneously, scalability is also integral to the success of live sports streaming platforms. To date, the industry standards enabling this are cloud-based solutions which allow platforms to scale their infrastructure dynamically, based on demand. It’s easy to look at historical data and prep your streaming platform based on expected traffic such as viewer numbers. However, it's also important to consider the possibility of a surge in viewer numbers that could potentially ’break‘ your live stream, costing you money and – perhaps – the trust of your lifelong subscribers.

CDNs will help deliver optimal live streaming experiences

Again on the topic of scalability, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) effectively deliver live content with reliability and efficiency by caching content closer to viewers, thereby reducing latency and ensuring seamless playback. Even during peak traffic periods. As a CDN's performance can vary across different territories, relying on a ‘multi CDN’ solution can mitigate this risk as it balances the delivery of live streaming content across different networks.

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Multi-Platform Support

In today's digital landscape, sports enthusiasts expect to enjoy live events across various devices, from smartphones to smart TVs. Therefore, streaming platforms must prioritise compatibility across different platforms and operating systems to engage and appeal to a wider audience and avoid alienating potential viewers.


The future of live sports streaming is brighter than ever. With the Euro 2024 campaign and the summer Olympics around the corner, the demand for seamless, high-quality experiences is paramount.

In this post, we focused on those boxes every sports content distributor must tick, to ensure that millions of fans will be able to enjoy a seamless experience on their screen of choice. Simplestream’s Head of Sales, Josh Harington, recently wrote for Broadcast Sport: “When people are trying to watch sport, it’s crucial content and service providers consider the fundamentals of enjoyment: watching the footage on the biggest screen and in the best quality possible. And don’t forget the core things fans want, which is to watch our team/individual live without any technological distraction or interruption.”

As technology continues to drive innovation in this space, we anticipate the thrill of upcoming events, sport (more than any other vertical), celebrates the power of technology in bringing audiences of fans closer together to the action. More than ever before.  

Read about how Simplestream plays a pivotal role in powering the GAA’s live and on-demand delivery of Gaelic football around the clock to thousands of fans, anytime, anywhere via the GAAGO app.