AWS becomes official cloud infrastructure provider for NHL

Fans of the National Hockey League can expect their broadcasts to sport a bit of extra pizazz in the near future.

This week, Amazon Web Services confirmed that the NHL has tapped into its services to become the league’s official cloud provider.

“Hockey is a fast-moving game and fans miss a lot,” Matt Garman, vice-president of sales and marketing for AWS told before the partnership was announced. “This is an awesome medium to show, in a visceral way, how machine learning can be brought to life.”

AWS is no stranger to the sporting world, boasting partnerships with the NFL and F1 circuit. But the latest partnership with the NHL comes at a time when the pandemic has completely changed how sporting leagues interact with fans.

Improving the end-user experience is a major focus point for the two organizations, and since many fans, according to Garman, watch games with some kind of second-screen tracking statistics or fantasy leagues, injecting some real-time analytics, adding new camera angles for broadcasts across multiple viewing platforms only make sense.

“It also gives analysts and media folks to look at real-time data and call out interesting insights,” he added, pointing out how data helps broadcasters tell a better story during games.

The NHL will also build an enterprise video platform on AWS to aggregate video, data, and related applications into one central repository. This means it will be easier to search for archived footage and broadcasters can instantly access NHL content for syndication and licensing. In general, the creation and delivery of new in-game analyses, predictions, and video highlights to enhance mobile, online, and broadcast experiences gets sped up significantly.

Garman wasn’t able to specify what capabilities are likely to make it into the TV broadcasts versus online streams.

“We’ll learn with them and we’re happy to drive their business however it makes sense to them,” he said.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will take advantage of the tech giant’s entire tech portfolio.

“AWS’s state-of-the-art technology and services will provide us with capabilities to deliver analytics and insights that highlight the speed and skill of our game to drive deeper fan engagement,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a Feb. 10 news release. “AWS is unmatched in the portfolio of cloud services that it delivers, including computer vision and machine learning, and we intend to leverage them across the board to provide advanced analytics to our teams, officials, and media partners faster than ever before.”

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Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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