Tennis Australia relies on Ably to deliver live experiences for millions of tennis fans worldwide

Tennis Australia owns and manages the Australian Open, one of the four major tennis tournaments in the global sports calendar. Reliably delivering live scores to fans worldwide is central to its global sponsor proposition.

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Size:

Scale-up

Industry:

Sports & Media

Use case:

Live scores

The problem
Reliable live tournament updates to millions of tennis fans worldwide

Tennis Australia’s ability to provide fans with outstanding live experiences – from live scores and commentary to video, profiles and schedules – sits at the heart of the sponsor proposition that drives the tournament’s commercial success.

However, delivering those live experiences at scale puts exacting demands on realtime infrastructure. It must consistently broadcast messages to millions of users within 500ms, for the 95th percentile of all users. 

A consistent experience across different devices and territories is vital too, and that means ensuring support for lowest common denominator devices – those without WebSocket support.

Finally, while it’s very difficult to accurately predict the minute-to-minute demand that a multiple-round tournament like the Australian Open generates, losing users through poor data delivery is simply not an option. 

Tennis Australia’s advertising revenue depends on continuous data delivery for its sponsors, so it needed a realtime partner that could guarantee uninterrupted performance as demand spiked wildly and unpredictably.

9+ billion messages

Sent during the 2022 tournament

1.2 million users

Subscribe to live tennis updates

Our formal evaluation process and double load testing proved that Ably was the only platform that could meet our very challenging performance targets. Ably delivered without a hitch in 2018 and has effortlessly supported huge growth in demand, right up to our most recent tournament.

Jeremy KeechPMO Manager
The solution
The only solution able to meet exacting global performance targets

Prior to the 2018 Australian Open, Tennis Australia set out to find a realtime partner able to meet the challenge of providing live scores, updates and commentary to a global fan base.

Following proof of concept and independent load testing with several providers - Ably, PubNub, Pusher and AWS IoT - Ably was selected as the only provider able to meet Tennis Australia’s 500ms global broadcast targets at scale.

Similarly, only Ably could ensure redundancy across multiple regions, with client devices intelligently routed to alternative data centres without relying on engineers or domain name systems to route around faults.

Ably also enabled Tennis Australia to deliver a seamless experience for fans. Its history API ensures that the latest match scores are made available to new website visitors the moment they connect to the page. 

Meanwhile, Ably’s client library SDKs provide cross-platform support for all visitor devices and browsers, regardless of whether they had WebSocket support – enabling graceful fall-back to lowest common denominator transports like HTTP streaming, XHR and JSONP where necessary.

9+ billion messages

Sent during the 2022 tournament

1.2 million users

Subscribe to live tennis updates

The result
A long-term realtime partner supporting 66% year-on-year growth in messages delivered

Ably has effortlessly delivered on its promises over the course of five years – during which demand for live experiences has grown significantly. 

Realtime messages have consistently been broadcast to a growing user base within 500ms globally, for the 95th percentile of all users, while Ably’s client library SDKs’ graceful fall-back has effortlessly ensured that all visitors get true live experiences regardless of device or browser.

What’s more, Ably’s ability to deliver at scale – despite unpredictable traffic spikes – is beyond question. By 2021, live experiences were generating 5,701,967,343 realtime messages across 97,458 peak connections and 442 channels. Just a year later, during the 2022 tournament those numbers had risen significantly:

  • Message volumes grew by 66% to 9,498,188,348.

  • Peak connections grew by 21%, reaching 118,354 across 766 channels.

To provide added peace of mind, Ably provides live 24/7 support throughout each tournament, to actively monitor performance and take pre-emptive action when necessary. 

Over five years, that support has never been called upon to deal with realtime infrastructure issues – Tennis Australia knows it has found a partner it can trust to deliver at scale, for the long term.

9+ billion messages

Sent during the 2022 tournament

1.2 million users

Subscribe to live tennis updates