[SatNews] Considering that some of the tickets sold for upwards of $80,000 each, these were much more affordable seats, and in the comfort of a luxurious cruise ship as well.
MTN Communications (MTN) proved once again you don’t have to leave your connected life on the docks when taking a cruise. On Saturday, May 2, 2015, thousands of passengers and crew on 30 ships in the Pacific, Mediterranean, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic enjoyed the Floyd Mayweather Jr. - Manny Pacquiao boxing match live through high-definition MTN Worldwide TV (MTN-TV HD).
MTN was the only service provider able to deliver the fight offered exclusively to the cruise industry through Global Eagle Entertainment (“GEE”) (Nasdaq: ENT). The MTN TV and Broadcast Services Team made this possible through the company’s network, designed and managed for maritime, and the ability of the MTN-TV solution to scale at a moment’s notice.
While the fight had no official start time, Time Warner Inc.’s HBO and CBS Corp.’s Showtime, which were partners on the telecast, were hoping for the first punch to be thrown no later than 11:15 p.m. Eastern time. Instead, it kicked off about midnight. Often big boxing matches don’t start until after midnight but the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout garnered attention far beyond hard-core fans, and the promoters and networks didn’t want to frustrate TV viewers with a very late start.
“Our team brought the technological wherewithal to quickly deliver this event to ships around the world,” said Bill Witiak, general manager, TV and Broadcast Services, MTN. “Our sophisticated, proprietary tools to manage and optimize our network—literally moment-by-moment—and our ability to broadcast with land-like quality enabled our customers to surprise their passengers. This improved their onboard experience and delivered a crew perk—a major investment that paid off. There are just some events you have to watch live, and this historic fight was one of them.”
Around the world, 140 ships subscribe to MTN-TV. The service broadcasts 11 channels of sports, news, entertainment and special events. For more than five years, MTN-TV has broadcast 1,795 live special events, totaling 5,486 hours of major sporting events, award shows, operas and ship-specific gatherings. In March 2015, MTN launched live HD service (MTN-TV HD), starting with IMG’s Sport 24 Channel. The company has plans for future MTN-TV technology investments, particularly nearing the roll-out of high-throughput satellite services next year.