Looking back at 2021, it was a totally insane year for us at WSC Sports. While 2020 was a year where we had to deal, like the whole world of sports, with COVID and its implications, thankfully during 2021 everything got back on track, and at full force.
Our company experienced dramatic growth – customer base, headcount, processes, global presence and office space. As the new year begins, we’re proud to be serving over 200 of the world’s leading rights holders – leagues, teams, federations, broadcasters and OTT players.
Daniel Shichman, Co-Founder and CEO WSC Sports
For me personally, as an entrepreneur, a technologist and an avid sports fan since childhood, this year was truly amazing.
Many companies are growing fast, many are dealing with challenges in scaling the business, this is all part of the game. Each company is paving it’s unique path – in R&D, product, sales, support, marketing, operations, finance and HR. Each of these departments has its own interesting story to tell and unique growth challenges to face, same goes for our company.
But at WSC we are facing an additional challenge, which is unique – handling the insane quantity of content that is being analyzed and created by our system. In 2021 alone, we ingested and analyzed close to 100,000 live streams, identified and rated over 32 million actions, and created over 3.4 million highlights!
Just so you get the scale of it: we’re talking about an average of 3,700 actions and 400 highlights created by our platform every hour (!) – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Our customers trust us to provide them with exceptional service around the clock. They expect the content to be flawless and the platform to support all their unique use-cases. In order for us to handle such vast quantities in real-time, we’re required to provide solutions to many issues surrounding this complex technological & operational challenge:
Scalable infrastructure that can handle vast amounts of video content – from ingesting a high number of streams, through analyzing them, encoding and building the right logic to integrations to dozens of external systems. Each software component is a world of its own and has dedicated R&D and product teams that develop and maintain them to make sure they can handle the scale, variety of formats and the many use cases our customers present us with.
State of the art AI platform that keeps learning and getting better all the time, to enable us to process sports videos, audio and data in real-time and at scale. Very few cloud-based companies possess such real-time video processing capabilities, as there are many algorithmic, engineering, DevOps and product challenges to be addressed.
Highlights that are 100% accurate – like any other AI-based system, there is no such thing as full automation with perfect accuracy, hence our system is programmed to continuously mark the confidence level it has in identifying the various events. To complement our state-of-the-art technology, we built a global, diverse Operations department. This department, which is always “live”, makes sure we maintain 24/7 availability for our customers and that the system outputs are 100% accurate. The team handles various issues with the live streams, inspects events that were flagged by our system and verifies that the highlights are made to the highest standards.
At a scale of 3,700 actions and 400 highlights every hour for over 200 customers, we need to guarantee that no errors slip through the cracks and that our customers’ fans enjoy the sports highlights they love to watch.
Every year, when we run our annual summaries, I get truly amazed by everything we achieved: product enhancements, technology breakthroughs, operational excellence, unique company culture and atmosphere… Each year, the challenges become more complex, yet more interesting to address.
I wish for WSC to continue to handle scalability issues, as we have aggressive growth plans in place for 2022 as well – it’s going to be fun!