Universal Sports' Live Streaming Soars with Boston Marathon

Universal Sports Network and the Boston Athletic Association scored an almost fourfold increase in live video streams of the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Powered by UniversalSports.com, the digital coverage of the April 21 raced generated more 604,017 live video starts, up 390% from the 2013, according to officials at the network, which aired the competition exclusively in the U.S. The streams averaged 32 minutes amounting to nearly 19.5 million minutes of live streaming. Traffic came from more than 484,026 unique visitors.

In addition to the live race streams, UniversalSports.com also hosted a live “Finish Line Web Cam” throughout the April 21 race that allowed supporters, friends and family to watch runners cross the finish line. All told, there was 87,008 live video starts and 2.7 million streaming minutes.

With free previews across Universal Sports Network’s distribution partners,  viewers were able  to see American Meb Keflezighi’s emotional victory in the 118th running of the marathon, a year after a  bombing resulted in death and injury at the finish line.

Heightened interest in this year’s Boston Marathon along with early start time and dramatic men’s and women’s races led to record numbers for live streaming and the highest single traffic day in UniversalSports.com history,” said Universal Sports Network president Scott Brown. “We wish to thank the Boston Athletic Association and all of our partners for helping to bring this year’s event to as many viewers as possible.”

“We were inspired to see the personal triumphs of the thousands of runners who crossed the finish line and created lasting memories,” said Edward Derse, Universal Sports’ SVP of digital media and strategic partnerships. “Runners and their families and friends all embraced the Finish Line Web Cam, and we were especially thrilled to see its additional use across social media.”