Accelerating Non-Stop Broadcast Security for Global Events

Equinix and AWS help Friend MTS ramp up its resilient, global broadcast security platform for a major sporting event in record time

Klaas Mertens
Accelerating Non-Stop Broadcast Security for Global Events

With video piracy on the rise, protecting broadcast media content has become a priority among content producers and delivery network providers. Live broadcasts of sports and other streaming events are subject to piracy and vulnerable to bad actors illegally selling access to the content. For example:[1]

  • Global pirated video material gets over 230 billion views a year.
  • More than 80% of global online piracy can be attributed to illegal streaming services.
  • Annual global revenue losses from digital piracy are between $40 and $97.1 billion in the movie industry.

Protecting live media content from local and global broadcasts typically includes setting up and tearing down systems, networks and security safeguards quickly. This requires the agility to replicate secure digital infrastructure anywhere in the world.

This was the challenge for Friend MTS, a leading global provider of platform, channel and content protection services for companies such as BBC Studios, DirectTV, Discovery Channel, Sky and Viacom CBS/Showtime. The company needed to quickly gain direct and secure connectivity—bypassing the public internet—between a sporting event broadcaster’s content feed and its own cloud-based content security and video privacy platform for a short-term event with a worldwide audience, and then do it all over again months later.

Friend MTS speeds non-stop broadcast security on Platform Equinix®

Friend MTS needed fast access to a virtual cloud routing device near the broadcaster. It also required high-bandwidth, low-latency interconnection to deliver a non-stop security service to its customers. Friend MTS found both with Platform Equinix.

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Fast access to broadcast security without disruption

Friend MTS provides highly automated content security and anti-piracy solutions—global content monitoring, watermarking and fingerprinting—for media and entertainment and sports platforms around the world. To meet the requirements of a global broadcaster’s upcoming multiday event, the company needed to quickly spin up an interconnection solution to effectively and securely receive the broadcaster’s original content feed, and then just as quickly, take it down once the event was over.

The company needed to deliver the broadcaster’s content media feeds to its security platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the video fingerprinting that would identify piracy and other illegal activity, without wasting precious time or CAPEX investing in new networking hardware. The testing and deployment of the Friend MTS security platform had to happen very quickly and cost-effectively, and scale with no content transmission failures. This required fast access to redundant virtual cloud routing devices and high-bandwidth, low-latency interconnection—proximate to the broadcaster and AWS—for Friend MTS to deliver high-performance, non-stop security to its customer.

Proximate virtual networks deliver high-performance, continuous access to content security services

Fortunately, both Friend MTS and its broadcast client were colocated in the Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Frankfurt, Germany, where the broadcaster delivered its content feeds around the world. In addition, the broadcaster, Friend MTS’ network service provider (NSP) and AWS were directly accessible via Equinix Fabric™ software-defined interconnection. This gave Friend MTS the ability to join a powerful interconnected broadcast media ecosystem on Platform Equinix®. The proximity of Friend MTS to its NSP partner and AWS ensured ultra-low latency when exchanging the broadcast content across its security and anti-piracy platform.

Equinix Global Solutions Architects (GSA) worked with Friend MTS to help them understand the available interconnection options between its NSP and security platform on AWS, giving the company a fast, easy and repeatable solution for future customer deployments from start to finish. With access to AWS Direct Connect in 37+ business-rich markets on Platform Equinix and a choice of 1, 2, 5 or 10 Gbps Hosted Connections, Friend MTS can expand its content security and anti-piracy platform with Equinix and AWS worldwide.

Friend MTS also deployed a pair of Cisco CSR1000v virtual router devices running on Network Edge from Equinix for greater performance and resiliency without incurring additional CAPEX. Network Edge services enable the on-demand deployment of virtual network functions devices from leading providers without adding new hardware. The redundant, high-speed, low-latency connections via Network Edge and Equinix Fabric ensured the Friend MTS solution ran continuously during the entire event.

Friend MTS deployed a resilient, automated content security and anti-piracy solution with Equinix and AWS in a matter of months

This solution enabled Friend MTS to encapsulate the broadcaster’s multicast traffic feed as unicast traffic and then decapsulate it on AWS. This meant its broadcast customer was not required to make any bespoke customizations to directly stream the feeds to Friend MTS.

In today’s digital world, video broadcasters are constantly combating global piracy threats, which can be extremely costly and damaging to their business. Network Edge enabled us to deliver an agile, cost- effective and resilient solution for safe-guarding our global broadcast customer’s valuable media assets...before they were even threatened." James Caselton, Head of Product, Friend MTS

Bare Metal as a Service ensured a successful and speedy launch

Prior to production, Friend MTS harnessed Equinix Metal™, our automated, interconnected Bare Metal as a Service (BMaaS) offering, to generate broadcast-quality multicast traffic as a proof of concept (POC). Simulating all possible scenarios—normal and failure—running approximately 1 Gbps of monitoring traffic gave Friend MTS the confidence it needed to go into full production with its security solution in just a matter of months. The company was able to set up and tear down the POC and final production solution in hours and run it using a more cost-effective OPEX model, without adding additional hardware.

With Equinix Fabric, Network Edge and AWS, Friend MTS quickly ramped up an agile, on-demand digital infrastructure that delivered outstanding reliability, security and network performance for its broadcast customer, while reducing overall costs. The company also gained a resilient turnkey solution that it could quickly deploy on demand and scale for larger engagements in the future, all running on Platform Equinix.

Learn more about the Friend MTS automated content security and anti-piracy solution for broadcast media on Platform Equinix.



[1] DataProt, “Piracy Is Back: Piracy Statistics for 2022,” authored by, Damjan Jugovic Spajic, Updated: May 17,2022

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Klaas Mertens Global Solutions Architect
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