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Alex Conners
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Alex Conners on
February 7, 2022

How FOX Built a Resilient, Modern Tech Stack For Livestreaming

FOX livestreams some of the most widely watched events in the world, including the Super Bowl. Here’s how they ensure a high-quality viewing experience for their viewers.

Streaming of all kinds puts an enormous amount of pressure on infrastructures, networks, and the teams that build and support them. After the intensity of the NFL playoffs–so many overtime games–the upcoming men’s world cup, and the Olympic games, it’s the perfect time to recap my interview last summer with FOX’s Steve Thorpe and Mike Cagnazzi.

We talked about how streaming infrastructure has changed, the reality of content on-demand, and the requirements for successfully delivering the best experience for consumers during live events. In talking we had three major takeaways:

  • Test, test, and test again

  • Resilience is key

  • The importance of modernizing your technology stack

Test, Test, and Test Again

In preparation for any live streaming event, testing is critical. To prepare for what Thorpe calls, “a can’t fail event,” the team had months of rehearsals bringing together a team of nearly 300 people. The goal of these dress rehearsals was to operate as if it was the day of the big game and tested for a variety of circumstances including: load testing, scale testing, and regression testing, injecting chaos engineering principles throughout the process.

Improving Network Resilience is Key

Cagnazzi says what keeps him up at night are, “outages, unforeseen circumstances that happen to essentially take us off the air… you never know when a boring Tuesday night baseball game is going to turn into a no-hitter. It keeps us on our toes. And with all of that chaos, comes a lot of good training and good rehearsal.” Building resilience so your system can handle unexpected issues is the most important. Thorpe says, “It's really thinking about, how do we take this platform that we've built and really just continue to crank it up and be ready for that next round of scale, that next round of resiliency testing.”

Both Cagnazzi and Thorpe highlighted the importance of eliminating single points of failure and ensuring resilience across all of their different platforms.

Watch the Full Interview with FOX’s Steve Thorpe and Mike Cagnazzi

Check out the full discussion to get a closer look at how FOX improved infrastructure resilience and modernized their tech stack to deliver the best experience for customers streaming live events

The Importance of a Modern Technology Stack

As providers started growing their teams and expanding their offerings (i.e., including livestreaming and other capabilities), they have had to add more tools to their tech stack. Different teams, mergers and acquisitions, and overall changes in strategies make for a mix of technologies that don’t always work to support overall goals like automating processes. Cagnazzi says, “[Traffic routing and DNS] is not something that we wanted to be doing manually or through classic tools… We wanted to leverage a full sort of API based solution to automate as much of this as possible.” Thorpe also noted, “it’s first and foremost having great partners like NS1 who are really able to dive into opportunities.”

To learn more about how NS1 helps other business ensure excellent end-user experiences, check out the following resources:

Further Reading