Fox, Amazon Team On Cloud-Based Video Distribution Platform

Fox Corporation has inked a multi-year deal with Amazon Web Services to build an integrated, cloud-based video platform to distribute Fox news, sports and entertainment programming, including live and on-demand content, to MVPD pay-TV customers, 200-plus Fox affiliate stations, and streaming video services.

The deal, whose terms were not disclosed, marks the first time that a single platform is being used to deliver both traditional broadcast and D2C streaming content, according to the companies.

In addition to video delivery, AWS technology will be used to enhance Fox’s video workflows, editing, graphics and storage.

It will also underpin Fox’s production facilities in Tempe, Arizona; Los Angeles; New York; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

To minimize latency and maximize video delivery quality, Fox will be among the first users of AWS Local Zone and AWS Outposts.

Local Zone is a new type of AWS infrastructure deployment that locates compute, storage, database, and other select services closer to customers.

Notably, Netflix will also be among the first customers for the first AWS Local Zone, based in Los Angeles, according to Amazon.

AWS Outposts, which were released this week for general availability, are fully managed, configurable compute-and-storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware. They will enable Fox to run those operations on-premises in the company’s production facilities for video processing, including linear video editing and picture graphics workflows.

“We’re using them to move video from studios and football stadiums and news-gathering locations straight into the cloud to be both managed and produced,” Paul Cheesbrough, chief technology officer and president of Digital, Fox Corporation, told SiliconAngle. “It stays natively in the cloud to be published out to distribution partners, whether it’s Comcast for cable or Hulu for live TV.”

“We’re predominantly a live company now; it’s the heart of our business,” he added. “We’ll be able to do both 4K and 8K natively through this infrastructure with AWS. Latency will be reduced heavily.”

The deal marks an extension of Fox’s 2018 agreement to use Amazon for most of its cloud operations.

“Our extended partnership with AWS will strategically underpin our video and data workflows with a world class, adaptable, reliable, and scalable set of platforms that will extend and evolve to power our business well into the future,” Cheesbrough summed up in the deal announcement. “Across our facilities, we’re enabling our organization to create a platform that will respond to real-time data that enables us to deliver the best programming.”

Fox will use Amazon to replace a video infrastructure built mostly in the 1990s, before the emergence of online streaming or cloud computing, Cheesbrough told Bloomberg.

“At a technical level, we’ll have a more agile infrastructure that can grow and adapt with our business,” he said, which will enable faster launches of new products and channels.

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