The Switch, the platform for the production and global transmission of live video, was pivotal in delivering uninterrupted live linear TV broadcasts and online streaming of the ninth Hengshui Lake International Marathon in September, leveraging its extensive network in China to bring the event to audiences around the globe. Working in partnership with Chinese media production and content packaging company New Force Media, The Switch utilized its established experience and the global reach of its transmission network to deliver flawless coverage to international broadcasters – as well reaching marathon fans worldwide via live streaming websites.
The long-distance race was the second event in China that The Switch has brought to audiences around the world in recent months, after supporting the global broadcast and streaming of the Lanzhou International Marathon in June. The popularity of long distance and marathon running in China is exploding, with the number of races increasing more than tenfold since 2015; it is expected to drive growth in the sports gear market to $18 billion by 2020 – doubling its value in five years.
Set in one of China’s national nature reserves, the 2019 Hengshui Lake International Marathon attracted some 20,000 professional athletes and running enthusiasts across the full 26-mile marathon, the half marathon and the 3.1-mile fun run on September 22. The Switch coordinated with the event’s broadcast rights holders to deliver content to audiences in China and abroad. In addition, the dedicated over-the-top (OTT) channel for the event was managed by The Switch, which handled everything from set-up to inserts from its Los Angeles control room.
“The Hengshui Lake International Marathon shows how The Switch can simplify the production and delivery of broadcast and over-the-top content, taking one live stream and seamlessly building out traditional linear and OTT deliverables,” said Nicholas Castaneda, Senior Vice President of Sales at The Switch. “This is the second marathon in China that we have collaborated with New Force Media on and we are looking forward to working with them again on more live events. Both projects demonstrate the value of The Switch’s 30 years of experience in bringing connectivity to places others can’t. We have nodes in every major city in China and can help broadcasters and event organizers reach the widest possible audience, anywhere in the world.”
Mike Mu, Media Manager at New Force Media, commented: “Sports fans – whether they are following a soccer match or a marathon, watching on a TV or mobile phone – demand first class video images and uninterrupted coverage. Working with The Switch allows us to benefit from their live production experience and robust network performance – regardless of location – to ensure a flawless feed and smooth delivery to broadcasters and online platforms. This is a partnership we value and look forward to continuing as the popularity of international sporting events such as marathons continues to grow in China.”
The project follows a recent expansion of The Switch’s engineering support team in the Asia Pacific region to meet growing demand for live content. The Switch continues to build its presence in China – where it has fiber connectivity in every major city – and throughout APAC by growing its presence on the ground and forging partnerships with key players.