Prague Baseball Week has a tradition that goes back to 1980, when the first tournament was held in order to promote a sport that was mostly unknown in former Czechoslovakia. The event became a success and grew into an annual tournament with international competitors. Following the achievements of its sporting sibling, Prague Softball Week was established in 1998. Today, both tournaments are held together as one big sporting event and attract players and viewers from all over the world. To increase the comfort of their fans and bring in more spectators, organizers decided to live stream the event and chose the CamStreamer and CamOverlay apps as the optimal solution.
The event was held at the Eagles Park sporting complex. The venue offers five fields for both baseball and softball games, with two fields lighted for night games. Two AXIS Q3505-VE MkII cameras were used for streaming due to their high image quality in footage of fast-moving objects. This feature was necessary to capture the dynamic and swift games that both sports (baseball and softball) represent. The cameras were installed to capture two central fields and set for 24/7 streaming. External microphones complemented the cameras to offer quality sound and an authentic feeling for viewers online, while the CamOverlay application made it possible to add logos with a transparent background. The organizers also took advantage of the opportunity to stream 24/7, with parallel streaming of each match to a separate channel, thus the games could be recorded and viewed later on the Eagles Praha YouTube playlist. At one moment, five live streams were broadcast online in FullHD 1920×1080 with 3700kbps of maximum bitrate.
During Prague Baseball Week and Prague Softball Week, viewers had the opportunity to watch as many as 30 live streams in total with two continuous 24/7 live streams from the central fields. To date, the streams have attracted more than 6,700 viewers. Moreover, online fans got to see Axis durability in action when a softball player hit a foul ball, which then struck one of the live streaming cameras. After a quick check and re-focus, the camera was ready to continue streaming, and the viewers couldn’t be more engaged in the game. To sum up, the live streams provided considerable benefits to the organizers’ promotional goals as well as the comfort and engagement of the fans.