Viacom, MLB, others join Streaming Video Alliance open caching trials

Viacom_CREDIT_André-Pierre du Plessis-Flickr
Viacom is among the companies trialing the new routing specification, built for better QoE.

Viacom and Major League Baseball Advanced Media are among a handful of companies trialing the new open caching request routing specification from the Streaming Video Alliance.

That new architecture—along with the HTTPS delegation technical specification, both approved by the Alliance in November last year—is designed to improve quality of experience for live and on-demand video streaming.

In particular, the request routing specification for open caching is built for better QoE by moving the most popular content to distributed open cache servers that are positioned deeper within ISP networks, meaning the content is closer to and more easily accessed by end users.

"In addition to demonstrating our ability to create, endorse and publish the technical specification that will improve streaming experiences across the value chain, we are now bringing our work to market through proof-of-concept trials. This is the strongest possible signal to the industry that our members are determined to put the Alliance's work into practice and improve the future of streaming profoundly," said Jason Thibeault, executive director of the Streaming Video Alliance, in a statement.

In addition to Viacom and MLBAM, companies participating in the open caching trials include Charter, Limelight Networks, Qwilt, Verizon, ViaSat and Yahoo. For Viacom though, the trial comes at a point when the programmer is actively taking steps to advance its portfolio of OTT and direct-to-consumer streaming products.

"As we move forward with our plans to expand streaming services at Viacom, reliable delivery and scalability are critical," said Julian Sitkevich, VP Technology at Viacom, in a statement. "The Alliance's Open Cache trials will allow us to be among the first to prove the value of this next-generation architecture that can deliver streaming services at scale."

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Tapper said last month that he’s been working to revise internal process and workflows as it relates to digital streaming but that “there’s an institutional resistance to change. It’s not easy to get new ideas through.”

For MLB’s BAMTech, which recently received a $1 billion investment from Disney in exchange for one-third of the company, livestreaming optimization is top of mind as Disney reportedly considers launching an ESPN direct-to-consumer live sports bundle.

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"We support the Alliance's new Open Caching trials as it will enable MLBAM to optimize our architecture by utilizing these new cache resources deep in the ISP network," said Joe Inzerillo, CTO of MLBAM and president of the Alliance, in a statement. "The Open Cache architecture will ensure QoE for MLBAM live streams is optimal."