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May 9, 2023

Live Video Use Case: Harnessing Real-Time Sports Data to Automatically Insert Ad Markers Based on Predefined Rules

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By Micah Willy, VP of Solutions Engineering

The proliferation of live video content has led to a significant increase in the availability of live streams and their popularity among viewers. According to eMarketer, 48% of people in the U.S. are now live-streaming viewers.1 It presents an exciting opportunity for monetizing live feeds or driving incremental ad revenue to already monetized content. However, solutions like OBS, encoders, and laptops make scaling monetization efforts cost-prohibitive and harder to scale. In this use case, we'll explore how you can capitalize on this trend, reduce workflow complexity, lower operational expenses, and enable scale by automating ad marker insertion using the Videon's LiveEdge®.

Table of Contents

  1. What are the challenges of monetizing live video using a traditional workflow?
  2. What is LiveEdge®?
  3. What’s different in the enhanced workflow?
  4. How does it work?

What are the challenges of monetizing live video using a traditional workflow?

traditional SCTE-35 ad marker insertion live video workflow
Figure 1: Traditional SCTE-35 ad marker insertion workflow

1. Expensive multi-vendor equipment and highly complex workflows

The challenges associated with today’s monetization workflows are far-reaching and can dramatically hinder the successful implementation of on-premises equipment at multiple venues. The costly hardware, complex interdependent processes, and the lack of remote management add to a significant risk of failure and downtime leading to  viewer and advertiser dissatisfaction.

2. Technical staff need to be onsite to manually control on-premises equipment

Having technical staff onsite to manage on-premises equipment and manually insert SCTE-35 ad markers through a big red button or web UI can be costly, especially if you need to scale the number of events, as the costs associated with sourcing and acquiring teams of skilled personnel can quickly add up. Additionally, the time spent training and managing these teams is often overlooked when considering the cost of hosting a live stream.

3. Not quick and easy to deploy and scale

Recently, a Videon customer hosted 692 games over 6 days from 17 venues and 44 fields of play--all set up on a small timeline. Imagine if that customer needed to scale up and manage 100 venues using a traditional monetization workflow; the task would be daunting. Considering how traditional broadcasts have people in production trucks, media booths, and statistician's booths to orchestrate an appropriate ad insertion would be costly and antiquated. Not only does it require skilled personnel to handle the technical details, but also managers and coordinators who could ensure the ad markers insertion and the operations behind it ran smoothly and that all equipment was configured correctly and ready for use x100.

The good news is that there is a solution, and it's done by automating the insertion of SCTE-35 ad markers using the LiveEdge. LiveEdge also has other capabilities with nearly limitless use cases, such as burning advertising graphics at the video source and marrying SMPTE ST 336 / KLV metadata, which we will discuss in more detail in a later use case. For now, we'll focus solely on how to automate SCTE-35 ad marker insertion.

What is the LiveEdge®?


  1. is a hybrid:cloud live video architecture.
  2. encompasses LiveEdge® and the EdgeCaster family.
  3. enables more intelligent, automated, scalable, and efficient live workflows while reducing operational expenses and latency.

What’s different in the enhanced workflow?

Enhanced automated SCTE-35 live video workflow enabled by the Videon Compute Platofmr (VCP). Showcases what has changed between  this workflow and traditional workflow. The laptop has been replaced by the VCP and the onsite technical staff can remotely manage monitor and configure their fleets of EdgeCasters.
Figure 2: automated SCTE-35 ad marker insertion workflow using LiveEdge®

1. Eliminates single function encoders and laptops 

It replaces them with a solid-state, energy-efficient, portable, and flexible appliance that can be remotely monitored, managed, and configured called EdgeCaster. The EdgeCaster can sit in a production truck, in a data center, inside a venue, or anywhere compute power is needed. It even comes in different form factors such as EdgeCaster 2Go, a portable and rugged solution with 1, 2, 3 or 4 inputs, designed for the most grueling on-the-go workflows. 

2. Remotely do more with less technical onsite staff

Since the LiveEdge is a purpose-built point-and-click solution for live video, it requires less technical knowledge than traditional solutions, meaning there is less need for onsite technical staff.  It also enables remote monitoring, management, and configuration of large fleets of EdgeCasters, across multiple venues, each with concurrent live events using LiveEdge® Cloud Control, reducing the need for travel and enables smaller live video operations teams to quickly scale and be more effective.

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How does it work?

1. Automate the insertion of ad markers using VCPs onboard compute

The EdgeCaster appliance may be compact, power efficient, and quiet, but don’t let it fool you; it has special abilities that make it unique—the compute module powered by Qualcomm, highlighted in Figure 3.

The enhanced automated SCTE-35 ad marker insertion, but the onboard compute module is highlighted showing the data parser and rules engine edge app.
Figure 3: VCP’s internal architecture highlighting the compute module highlighted by the number 1.

The compute module is perfect for running container-based (Docker), cloud-friendly Docker containers can normalize sports data, parse it, and trigger the insertion of SCTE-35 ad markers when certain conditions are met based on predefined rules. For example, an ad marker can be inserted at the end of a quarter, inning, or match when the game clock reaches zero. Similarly, contextual ads can be enabled whenever either team’s score increases to indicate a goal, but if a foul is called, any previous SCTE marker can be canceled.

Here are a few sports data examples one may use:

Example Sports Data

  1. Game clock
  2. Score data
  3. Game identifier

Example Rules

  1. Insert marker when timer reads 00:00:00
  2. Insert marker when score of either team increases
  3. If a marker has been inserted and a foul is called, cancel marker

Edge apps can provide any compute function a workflow needs. They can be migrated from existing Docker containers, developed in-house with help from the Videon Labs services team, or developed in-house using the LiveEdge® Developer Toolkit - a powerful development environment optimized for edge computing. VCP can run one or more edge apps and can be reconfigured as workflows need to evolve.

2. Optimize the first mile - remotely manage, monitor and configure fleets of EdgeCaster VCPs

LiveEdge® Cloud Pro is the perfect solution for teams who need to manage, monitor and configure fleets of EdgeCaster appliances in the first mile, regardless of location. Teams can manage directly from their browser or use the REST API to programmatically interface with LiveEdge® Cloud Pro.. This enables the need for fewer people to manage, monitor, and configure more fleets across multiple locations more cost-effectively. Watch this video to learn more about what LiveEdge® Cloud Pro can do for you. 

Automating SCTE-35 ad markers using sports data is an efficient and cost-effective way to monetize live video content more efficiently than traditional methods. 

LiveEdge is incredibly powerful and can be adapted to countless use cases. It supports a wide range of popular protocols, like WebRTC, RTMP, SRT, MPEG-TS and adaptive bitrate protocols like HLS and DASH, and is extensible by design to support new ones, like WHIP and chunked CMAF, with the help of some development work. With VCP, live workflows become more scalable, automated, intelligent, and cost-effective compared to traditional methods.

To learn more about the LiveEdge, visit our website, or if you would like to connect with an expert to review and and look for ways to optimize your current workflows, based on your business goals, request to connect with us here

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1 eMarketer, Feb 2021 - Internet users of any age who watch real-time live video content through the Internet via any device at least once per month. This is based on U.S. Census data of population estimates of 333M.

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