Customer Success Story | Lax Sports Network

Lax Sports Network hits its stride with Journey

LSN successfully implements Journey for at-home production and contribution feeds for Major League Lacrosse, CAA lacrosse, special events, and more

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> The Challenge

When Lax Sports Network launched in 2016 as an OTT network dedicated to the game of lacrosse, it had an ambitious broadcast schedule of live games from Major League Lacrosse, collegiate ball, and more. The network’s platform provider and engineering team had a successful track record in delivering video on demand, but were new to such a large volume of live contribution video delivery. Poor video quality, extreme latency, and loss of audio-video sync were everyday problems. “The demand by the investors, and our audience, and our partners was: you need to be better than that,” says Rob Wallace, LSN’s Chief Operating Officer. A cost-effective answer for live video transmission was urgently needed.

> The Solution

Overnight, I now don’t have sleepless nights about our stream. Those days are gone.
— Rob Wallace, COO, LSN

LSN chose to employ Journey extensively due to its high-quality, reliable transmission capabilities. LSN uses Journey not only for contribution feeds, but also for at-home production, since Journey’s synchronized, low-latency transport makes it ideal for that application as well. They upgraded their existing control room with more advanced graphics and replay capabilities to meet the requirements of live game production.

The ease with which Journey hardware is deployed and connected to the internet was important to LSN. Chris Day, LSN’s Vice President of Production, says, “People are used to other encoders where there's a list of instructions — you need to open this port, and so forth. So whenever I tell new vendors we’re sending an appliance, they say, ‘What do I need to know?’ and I say, ‘You plug the internet into it, and you plug an SDI cable into it. And it works.’”

In a live transmission environment, the unexpected sometimes happens, and you have to be ready to handle it. Journey’s highly responsive customer service provides LSN with incredible peace of mind. “If there's something happening, we can pick up the phone and somebody's going to answer and somebody's going to take care of it,” says Day.

Journey’s affiliation with D2 Productions, the MLL and LSN’s longtime video production partner, was a key advantage. “We're now working with people that understand live production, and you are now transferring that knowledge into the streaming space. That became a level of comfort that we didn't have before,” Wallace says. “I would say that the most impressive thing about Journey is the latency — it might as well be real-time to the naked eye. And that gives us such flexibility in how we do productions that we can now look at REMIs, and we can now look at doing other things as the production technology evolves and the methods change. We feel like with Journey we can adapt to anything overnight.”

> The Results

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LSN immediately began seeing tangible benefits after implementing Journey. Because Journey was so reliable, the LSN staff was freed from the extensive troubleshooting they had been plagued with. “I'm using my resources for what they were meant to be for. And it's not a fire drill like during every single live event that we had,” says Wallace. “And that also leads to a happier workplace. If you have technology that just keeps breaking, you don't keep your people very long.” The introduction of an at-home production workflow also led to significant cost savings.

Journey has truly enabled LSN to take their operations to the next level. Says Wallace: “There is an expectation from our partners that we have to deliver the highest quality products possible. It's things like Journey that help us do that.”

In the competitive space of the OTT world, I would put up Journey against any other product that’s out there.
— Rob Wallace, COO, LSN
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Lax Sports Network is a digital video network dedicated to covering the game of lacrosse, delivering thousands of hours of original programming, including live Major League Lacrosse, collegiate and high school games; news and information; developmental videos; and customized content. Lax Sports Network can be streamed across all interactive platforms associated with mobile, tablet, web and OTT applications.