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New Zealand Cricket Case Study | Real Commercialization Benefits

Date: March 6, 2024

How New Zealand Cricket uses Imagen and AWS to score big with fans and partners?



Cricket’s fanbase is burgeoning worldwide, especially with the sport returning to the Summer Games in 2028 for the first time since 1900. While the bat-and-ball game is popular in the UK, Australia, India and South Africa, New Zealanders have also developed a passion for it, thanks to efforts by New Zealand Cricket (NZC). It’s responsible for running the nation’s two main cricket teams – BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS, under 19’s international teams, and domestic men’s and women’s cricket. NZC has grown the sport via club and community programming, and its dedication to players, fans, broadcasters and commercial partners.


Alongside the sport’s rapid rise in popularity in recent years, pressure to enhance its entertainment value has mounted globally. Broadcasters and sponsors are keen to deepen audience engagement for live cricket match productions, while fans and sporting venues are demanding more ‘sportainment’ in-venue. With this in mind, NZC began establishing a workflow for storing, managing, editing, and redistributing live and archived video in the cloud leveraging, Imagen’s advanced feature, Live Connect, which uses AWS Elemental MediaConnect as its match capture backbone, and AWS Elemental MediaLive for transcoding.


The challenge

One of the initial project goals was to ensure that content would be readily accessible to NZC, whether for use in live match or highlights coverage, promotional materials, or in-venue needs. Ensuring secure, third-party partner access to select content for broadcasters and commercial partners was also a priority.


“We wanted an off-the-shelf solution that we get could get up and running quickly, and Imagen Live Connect had an intuitive interface and feature set that ticked all the boxes,” explained Dev Patel, NZC Commercial Project Lead. “We love that it uses MediaConnect, which provides the security, ease of use, backup links, and cost efficiency required to distribute live SRT feeds to multiple end points. We also knew MediaLive would provide the transcoding capabilities to send an RTMP feed to end points where necessary.”

The solution

The workflow at a glance

Working with Imagen and AWS, NZC established a workflow that meets present NZC needs and can scale for the future. Cameras at each game typically deliver baseband feeds to an outside broadcasting (OB) truck, where feeds are encoded to an SRT stream. AWS Elemental MediaConnect then picks up the secure reliable transport (SRT) feed from the NZC venue/broadcaster, and multiple derivatives are created to brand the feed for various needs.


Imagen runs live capture servers in the AWS Australasia region, which archive the live high-bitrate SRT feed while simultaneously transcoding a web-friendly HLS version for authorized users to watch or clip from in real time. With appropriate permissions, operators can mark in and out points on the live playback and trigger a workflow to receive the high-resolution version of their selected clip. Clips can be cut into a highlight edit using Imagen Live Connect while a match is taking place, and made available to post on social media channels. Historical match footage can also be uploaded as “.IMF” video files to NZC’s Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket, from which Imagen can pull the file into the archive.


With support for SRT built into Imagen Live Connect, NZC’s sales team can now easily sell rights overseas in areas where they might not have previously been able to. Dev Patel noted, “Taking a live SRT feed through Live Connect versus via satellite is much more cost effective for broadcasters with smaller budgets, so we’ve been able to extend our reach into territories where the cost of satellite previously prevented fan access. Imagen’s download control process also lets us set limitations on the content our partners can access and download, which gives us a sense of security.”



A noticeable upgrade

Prior to Imagen, NZC didn’t have an archive for its own footage, but stored all its content in a data warehouse, which made clipping footage time consuming. NZC and its broadcasters and DRM partners had to locate and download an entire match from an Amazon S3 bucket, then watch it to identify the moment for a desired clip. With AWS and Imagen, NZC and its partners can now quickly find and download specific footage on demand.


“Using Imagen Live Connect and AWS, our content now goes straight to our archive without delay, and we can check or clip it instantaneously, which is where the real commercialization benefits kick in. The Imagen ‘Search’ feature also makes grabbing clips much faster,” Dev Patel said. “We’ve only just begun to explore what’s possible with the technology and look forward to moving more of our older game footage to the solution.”


Innovation through evolution

As NZC continues to explore the full potential of Imagen Live Connect, it’s also experimenting with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), aiming to bring additional value to its sponsors and rights holders. Thus far, it’s been able to use the technology to identify when a player, sponsor, and specific match terminology are mentioned with near 100 percent accuracy, and this is only the beginning, says Dev Patel.

Imagen is currently working with AWS to integrate Amazon Rekognition into its solution, which will enable users like NZC to create smart clip collections through full automation so that editors can focus on the creative narrative rather than scrubbing through hours of an event to find the best moments. It’s one of many developments to come.

To find out how AWS for M&E solutions or Imagen’s media management platform can advance your next project or workflow, visit or

“Using Imagen Live Connect and AWS, our content now goes straight to our archive without delay, and we can check or clip it instantaneously, which is where the real commercialization benefits kick in.”

Dev Patel, Project Lead – Commercial, New Zealand Cricket

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