Sky TV deploys Citrix to manage network demands during Olympic broadcasts


news New Zealand pay television provider Sky TV has deployed a Citrix networking solution to manage “unpredictable” network connectivity and high bandwidth demands during Rio 2016 Olympics broadcasts.

Citrix said that its NetScaler SD-WAN software solution would ensure production teams on the ground in Rio have access to the critical applications, data and tools needed to report during the games.

With hundreds of thousands of tourists, athletes and media, along with local businesses and communities, all using the same network, Sky TV needed to ensure it could maintain network performance and accuracy.

Sky TV’s Rio 2016 Olympics ICT strategy required network resiliency to reduce potential risks associated with the quality of local infrastructure and circuits.

Maintaining high performance of workflow applications in the event of a network outage is critical to the television provider in its aim to produce high-quality content for New Zealand audiences watching Olympics events.

According to Citrix, NetScaler SD-WAN will enable the International Broadcast Centre team to cover the Olympics without interruption, providing “seamless failover” in the event of disruption to any of the network services.

“We want to deliver on our promise for New Zealanders to get the very best in Olympics coverage, and to achieve this we need to make sure our Rio production team have secure and reliable access to the tools needed for the job,” said Julian Wheeler, Director of Technology at Sky. “NetScaler SD-WAN was the most mature offering allowing us to achieve this.”

After investigating the options available, Sky found the SD-WAN solution from Citrix was “easiest to deploy” since it could be rolled out over the company’s existing architecture without having to change the underlying network or modify the site layout in Rio, Wheeler said.

With little room for error reporting the biggest of sporting events, Sky has spent several months trialling its systems and processes in a simulated environment to address any issues, he added.

“We’re already looking beyond the games to see how SD-WAN can support big sporting events in the future,” Wheeler added.

Anandh Maistry, Senior Director, Citrix ANZ, commented: “We understand the Sky TV team will be under enormous pressure during the Olympics, which is why we will provide them with ongoing support from our global customer support centre in Brazil.”

Such support gives Sky TV “an additional security layer”, Maistry said.


  1. Good to see some back room tech like this make the news. Application controllers like Netscalers are the abstraction that makes seamless redirection of site traffic across the internet possible.

    And with hybrid cloud usage increasing, they’re only going to get more important to control traffic as device end points diversify across OS platforms.

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