AWS becomes the PGA Tour’s Official Cloud Provider with this deal and will use its vast array of computing resources to transform the way fans interact with Tour content. AWS media services will streamline video delivery for both televised coverage and streaming viewers. Video content will be simultaneously processed, properly formatted, and distributed for viewing on multiple platforms including mobile devices.
One of the challenges of televising a golf tournament is the size of the playing field and the fact that multiple players are active simultaneously. This forces the telecast’s producers to continuously make decisions regarding what action to present to viewers. Those in charge usually focus on the tournament leaders and those in contention, with an occasional glance at spectacular shots by other players. Some golfers may not appear on a telecast at all.
Fans of the world’s top golfers will be able to follow the exploits of their favorite players with more reliable and faster performance of the “Every Shot Live” offering. Currently only available for selected tournaments such as the Players’ Championship, this streaming option makes every shot from every player available live to subscribers. It essentially enables viewers to virtually walk the course with whichever player or players they wish. In doing so, “Every Shot Live” will also allow fans to get a unique perspective of courses that many of them will never play in person.
Another feature made possible by the partnership with AWS is TOURCast, which provides fans with a customizable viewing experience that includes watching a shot from multiple camera angles. Speed rounds will enable a player’s complete round to be viewed after the competition in a fraction of the time required to play the original 18 holes.
Using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), the PGA Tour will build a data lake to be used by fans, commentators, and producers. They plan on housing their catalog of video, images, and audio from the 1928 Los Angeles Open to the present and will augment the data lake with live coverage from future tournaments. This tremendous volume of data will be analyzed using Amazon’s deep learning service known as ReKognition. The content will be annotated and tagged with metadata so it can be easily searched and packaged to provide new viewing offerings during live telecasts and personalized streaming.
The PGA Tour joins other sports organizations who have realized the potential for the cloud to bring innovative alternatives to their fans. It’s just another example of how the cloud will continue to transform the world of business, sports, and entertainment in the years to come. I suspect golf fans will miss the old days as much as they miss wooden drivers, which is to say not at all.