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Portugal-France Sets Live Sports Streaming Record on Akamai

Akamai set a new peak-traffic record for a live sports event delivered on our platform during last weekend's Portugal-France championship match of the quadrennial European football (soccer) tournament. The 7.3 Tbps peak, which was hit during the match's overtime period, eclipsed the former live sports record of 7.0 Tbps generated by the Argentina-Netherlands semifinal in the 2014 World Cup. The championship match also drove a peak of more than 3.3 million concurrent streams.

Akamai worked with more than 35 rights-holding broadcasters worldwide to help live stream their coverage over the course of the month-long tournament. This has provided us with unique visibility into the overall traffic that was delivered across the Akamai Intelligent Platform. The top five highest-traffic matches Akamai observed were:

  1. Portugal-France (7.3 Tbps; 3.3 million concurrent streams)
  2. Germany-Italy (6 Tbps; 2.7 million concurrent streams)
  3. Germany-France (5.9 Tbps; 2.6 million concurrent streams)
  4. England-Iceland (5.3 Tbps; 2.4 million concurrent streams)
  5. Italy-Spain (5.3 Tbps; 2.3 million concurrent streams)

While linear television still remains the number one preference for large live events such as the European football cup, the data shows that people are watching more and more online; and their expectations are rising, too. Streaming online events of this magnitude with the expected viewing quality requires broadcasters to start preparations months in advance.

That's certainly the case with next month's games in Brazil, for which Akamai is supporting more than 50 broadcasters globally. In some cases, planning started more than a year ago. We're looking forward to sharing similar observations in August during what is likely to be one of the most-watched live online events ever. 

Check out our tournament microsite to see more match highlights and trends.

Chris Nicholson is a senior public relations manager at Akamai.