The signs of spring are everywhere—warmer days, college finals, and, of course, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) opening day. For fans, the next six months is full of amazing possibilities. Will the Royals repeat as champs? Will we see a moment as contested as Bautista’s bat flip? Will the Cubs finally break a losing streak that dates back to the Ottoman Empire?
While there’s little doubt that the 2016 season will have its share of superb performances and jaw-dropping plays, this year will also be the most connected and digitally immersive fans have seen yet. To make this a reality, the teams at MLB Network and FOX Sports will be capturing, managing, and storing more data than ever before.
To put it into perspective, for FOX Sports, a single, roughly three-hour game equates to 135 gigabytes in video and data. By the halfway point of the season, each team will have already played 81 regular season games, translating to about roughly 12 terabytes of data per team.
Think about what that means each day of the season. On an average day, about 15 games are played across the American and National Leagues. For FOX Sports, that means some 650 gigabytes of video and images are captured, transferred, and stored within the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles on a daily basis. Add to that feeds from post-game press conference, additional camera angles, and highlight reels, and that’s more than a staggering 325 terabytes a season.
To deliver consistently for the entire season, players have trainers, coaches, and support staff to lean on to help manage the pressure. Similarly, to manage the sheer volume of video and metadata, MLB Network has to lean on its data infrastructure to manage, store, and ultimately deliver it to fans anytime, anywhere, on any device.
MLB Network records multiple camera angles per game, not only for broadcast, but also for video-on-demand and training purposes. In terms of stats, MLB manages 4,200 hours of recorded video a week, driving in about 105 terabytes a week from all 30 parks across North America. To move, manage, and store this amount of data efficiently, the system applies more than 36 million metadata tags, detailing every play and pitch.
To manage this, the MLB leverages data infrastructure built on Cisco, VMware, and NetApp technology to store, manage, and ultimately deliver content to its fans, anytime, anywhere.
At the end of the day, the road to the World Series is about delivering an amazing performance day-in, day-out. To provide fans with the most digital immersive experience yet, the same can be said for the champions managing the data far, far behind home plate.