FIFA Debacle: Jio can Learn how to Score a Mean Goal from Hotstar and SonyLiv – Analytics India Magazine

In September 2021, the Jio-Viacom bid (approx ₹450 crore) for the streaming rights of the FIFA World Cup in India got them a seat at the helm. This, in addition to acquiring the IPL 2023 digital rights for a staggering amount of ₹23,758 crore for 2023-2027, led many to believe that the telecommunications company is now set to steer sports viewership, and get a sizeable advantage in the OTT market in India. 
Subsequently, JioCinema, the application on which the content will be streamed, also topped the rankings in free mobile app downloads on Google Play, according to data from 42matters. Between September and October, there was a 46.6% increase in traffic on desktop and mobile. And, with the FIFA World Cup taking place this month, it was further expected to grow exponentially. 
However, during the first match of this prestigious event, the platform experienced several glitches, with viewers coming down heavily on Jio for the poor streaming experience it offered. The viewers reported long and repeated buffering, unexpected errors, lags in stream—in short, the servers were just unable to handle the load.  
JioCinema was quick to address the issue, apologising for the inconvenience caused, and asked users to update the app to enjoy a seamless viewing experience. But, this was to no avail since many reported that the problem persists despite installing the updates in the application.  
Following the abysmal show by Jio, many viewers were quick to commend Hotstar for having the technical expertise to pull off a concurrent watching of over 1.5 crore people during the Indian Premier League, and most recently, at the ICC T20 World Cup, while also insisting, albeit humorously, that Hotstar should snag the streaming rights from Jio.
I watched FIFA on an illegal stream which had about 700k people watching in 4K UHD. Didn't even buffer once. This guy's server might be in his mom's basement and yet faster than a billion dollar company #Jiodown #JioCinema
One of the experts that AIM spoke to, cited various physical and virtual limitations to JioCinema’s poor stint in hosting the live stream of the FIFA World Cup. He said that maybe the servers were not sufficient to take the load, or the mechanism of scaling in the cloud may have crashed, or alternatively, the internet bandwidth may have been an issue. Only Reliance will be able to provide exact information on what went wrong. 
Hotstar vs SonyLiv vs JioCinemas
However, Hotstar is not the only streaming service in the area of sports content streaming. Another player that needs to be given due recognition is SonyLiv. SonyLiv was not only able to manage the broadcast of the previous edition of the FIFA World Cup, but also the Euros 2020, which reportedly surpassed the viewership of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, recording a total of 14 million hours of streaming.   
Like Hotstar and SonyLiv, JioCinemas also utilises the cloud service offered by AWS, and content delivery network provided by Akamai Technologies—both forming the two important aspects of its infrastructure. According to Stackshare, JioCinema uses core technologies such as Javascript, Node.JS, Kafka and others, alongside cloud infrastructure tools like Kubernetes, Jenkins, Kibana and others. 
However, there is a crucial difference separating the operations of JioCinemas from Hotstar.  
Samriddha Choudhuri, AWS DevSecOps associate manager at Accenture, writes a few pointers on how Jio’s poor performance is an indication to what streaming service platforms need to be able to manage large loads during high profile sporting events. He begins by saying that companies need to spend enough time and budget to deliver an effective system design. Having a cloud provider is not enough—the real skill lies in how the services offered by cloud are effectively integrated into the business outcomes of the platform. 
Further, Choudhuri lists some important details that streaming companies need to follow for effective system designs of modern applications:

The above information shows the importance of system and technical engineers that bring the supported architecture to life. 
What’s Next?
Viacom18 was looking at a projected ₹300 crore in ad revenue from the ongoing FIFA World Cup live coverage. However, with the recent debacle, there is no clarity over what the future will look like for JioCinemas, especially with the IPL just around the corner. If the problem persists, the brands that were wishing to catch the eyes of the billion sports fanatics in the country might pull out, which will in turn adversely affect the revenues of Jio. 
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