Inter Miami kicks off OTT service
September 2, 2020
By Colin Mann
MLS football club Inter Miami has claimed two historic firsts, initially by hosting its first match at Inter Miami CF Stadium. That same night, it also made history on the technology front as it became the first MLS club to live stream a match via its own App.
Inter Miami, which has football icon David Beckham as President and co-owner, took a different path to engage its passionate global fanbase, who were not permitted into the new stadium in the City of Fort Lauderdale, by providing the first live, in-app streaming solution in Major League Soccer.
The Club’s Digital team worked with Pumpjack Dataworks to develop the app, and with Mangosoft to implement the low-latency livestream and geofencing technology directly within the Inter Miami app.
With fans stuck at home, the in-app stream provided a fan friendly and free way to follow the Club’s match. For fans located within authorised zip codes, the full CBS match feed was available. For fans who live outside the regional viewing radius, the livestream showed a view into the broadcast booth, where the Club’s broadcast talent called the match and provided colour commentary.
The initiative began a few months back in early app planning sessions with Inter Miami leadership seeking to create the best possible fan experience during the pandemic, particularly since it was the Club’s inaugural match in its new stadium. Working as a group, the teams at Pumpjack Dataworks, Mangosoft and Inter Miami ran multiple trials to ensure everything ran smoothly on a historic night.
“The primary goal behind the stream was to provide fans the best in-match experience despite the pandemic effects that barred them from experiencing the return of MLS in their hometown of South Florida after nearly 20 years,” explained Jean Jimenez, the VP of Content, Digital and Broadcast for Inter Miami. “This also gave us the additional benefit of getting creative to provide sponsorship partners with opportunities that yielded tangible value during these difficult times.”
While fans in the tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach were able to view the match, Inter Miami is a global brand with a significant live audience abroad. For these fans, the app determined their location and provided the perfect second stream showcasing the broadcast announcers actively calling out the match. For the match against Orlando City, fans living in 30 countries and over 42 nationalities tuned in to watch, with Argentina, the UK, Colombia and Mexico among the top four countries following the US. But fans as far as Brazil, Australia and France joined in as the Club secured its first win.
“This was a great fan experience for our global fanbase, and we look forward to expanding on this opportunity throughout the season,” added Jimenez.