OpenVault Measures the Increase in Data Consumption during Yahoo’s Streaming of Sunday’s NFL Game in London
 Yahoo’s $20 million gamble to globally stream the Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game Sunday morning from London was a risk worth taking as reports show that the webcast attracted nearly 34 million views. Even with only a percentage of Yahoo’s billion users viewing the historic digital event, the impact on data consumption was significant and very telling of what’s to come for live sports streaming. OpenVault, the leading provider of broadband management and industry analytics, is reporting game time statistics that reflect an average increase of nearly 20% in data consumption across its global customer base as compared to normal Sunday usage.
“By monitoring the data consumption levels of subscribers across numerous geographies we were able to observe the direct impacts that live sports streaming has on high speed data networks and subscriber usage habits.” said Mark Trudeau, CEO of OpenVault. He continued, “Sunday mornings have traditionally been considered “off-peak” when it comes to traffic on the broadband networks we track. The results of this past Sunday were eye opening. This is certainly going to impact the network planning and the budgeting process for broadband providers to keep up with the increased demand as more sports events are delivered via live streaming, which is a trend we can now anticipate.”
As could be expected given the time of day of the event and the geography of both East Coast teams, the high speed data providers on the West Coast experienced far less of a data usage increase (1-2%) than their East Coast counterparts (19%).
Interestingly, the bandwidth speeds at which the game was delivered to subscribers had little impact on the increase in data usage levels during the game.
The chart below shows the percentage increase in data consumed during the event across multiple speed tiers.
NFL Streaming Chart
“Surprisingly, we found that data usage grew by about the same percentages regardless of the provisioned bandwidth speeds,” states Trudeau. He continues, “Of course we expect more events to be streamed live and more and more devices capable of streaming will be used simultaneously within each household. This will ultimately require subscribers to upgrade their speeds to support the bandwidth requirements.”