PSALIVE.TV - A Pioneering New Webstreaming Service For Squash Fans
The launch follows a series of successful trials whereby top professional squash has been transmitted via the internet through web streaming to audiences around the world. This has now been formalised into a partnership that both organisations believe will represent a major new service to the global squash community.
PSALIVE.tv will bring direct to squash fans' homes a menu of PSA's top tournament matches throughout the year on live and delayed live (replay) broadcast via broadband internet direct from the events.
Horizon Software, recognised as one of the leaders in sports IT and media services since 1993, works with a long client list of international sports bodies, world championship organisers, and governing bodies to deliver high-tech solutions, on the ground at events. Horizon's team has a wealth of experience in squash, having worked in the sport at tournaments big and small since 1995, as well as developing the world rankings software for PSA and WISPA, the Women's International Squash Players' Association.
Horizon has trialled this ground-breaking web streaming service for squash at PSA events during 2004, developing the technology and getting feedback from squash fans around the world on what they want to see.
"The response received through the trial year to our pilot streaming has been overwhelming, and the number of viewers keen to follow the world's best players has left us in no doubt that this service will benefit squash audiences and fans around the world," said Fiona Harrison, Horizon's Sales & Marketing Director.
There has been a significant amount of investment in time, resources and technology to pilot this service and get it to this point. To meet the demand of the now proven market, a small fee will be charged on the new website for accessing the service on a pay-per-view basis, to meet the upfront costs of not only delivering the service live but also covering ongoing costs when viewers access replays.
Replay access was limited during the pilot year to keep a cap on costs (which have been met internally) during the trials.
"Feedback from users of the service has left us in no doubt that squash fans are happy to pay a small fee for a guaranteed, quality service, which we will be able to deliver via this method," explained PSA Chief Executive Gawain Briars.
Fiona Harrison added: "We are very excited about PSALIVE.tv. We have worked very hard to get to this point and hope that the squash fans that have been supporting our pilot projects over the last 12 months will be pleased with the new PSALIVE.tv services that we are offering.
"We will now be able to offer more "seats" for live matches (although spaces aren't unlimited so we recommend fans reserve their seats early!), and we will now be able to guarantee access to replays as well, which fans have been crying out for!"
There is a menu of Hi-res and Low-res options for viewers to choose from. Hi-res are matches streamed at 250 kbps and suitable for watching on a broadband connection, whereas Low-res matches are streamed at 50 kbps for viewers with slower download speeds.
"The quality of the service will also depend on the speed of local connections we have at venues around the world and how fast the upload speed is for streaming, so the PSALIVE.tv on-site teams will be working closely with PSA and promoters and the local environments to bring you a higher quality service from more and more tournaments over time," Harrison explained.
"Fans that have watched matches during the pilot year have been appreciative and enthusiastic and have helped us get to this point with their feedback. We will be continuously improving the site and welcome feedback so we can continue developing and extending the technology to meet our audience's demands."
"We will keep making PSALIVE.tv better and better with everyone's input and are really excited to be leading the way in this new area of technology with squash."
Gawain Briars concluded: "Squash has been waiting a long time for an opportunity like this. Fans from all around the world will now have direct and full match length viewing access to the top professionals in major events.
"This is a watershed moment for a great sport; and PSA in conjunction with Horizon Software Systems are privileged to be in the vanguard."
Issued on behalf of: PSA For further information: Howard Harding
Tel: (44) 1737-243333 or (mobile) (44) 7773-325130 Fax: (44) 870-706 5253
Email: HowHard@aol.com 7 March 2005