News Ltd scores with cloud-based AFL app

SuperFooty Live HQ Web app offers video and images to fans in real time

News Ltd is using a cloud-based platform to support up to 80,000 Australian Football League (AFL) fans accessing its SuperFooty Live HQ Web app at the same time.

The app runs on Windows Azure and provides subscribers with video, images and data visualisation to fans in real time via a Web browser on their smartphone, tablet, PC or TV.

News Ltd and FoxSports national digital sports editor Finn Bradshaw said it worked with Microsoft partner Object Consulting to consider various cloud platforms in the market.

According to Bradshaw, it chose Azure because of its reliability, scalability and automated management features.

“Automatic scaling ensures costs remain low during off-peak times which giving complete flexibility to scale up quickly before and during a match,” he said in a statement.

Bradshaw added that using a cloud platform to host the app supports personalisation, user interaction and near real-time data feeds which has boosted fan engagement and increased Herald Sun subscriber numbers.

Subscribers pay $2.75 a week to access the app. According to News Ltd data, there were 160 million page impressions during the 2012 AFL season, up 400 per cent from the previous year.

“We’ve never shut areas off to non-subscribers before so we’re delighted at how many people are willing to pay for quality content,” he said.

The app was launched in 2011 for Herald Sun sports fans.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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