Dalet Flex’s cloud-based workflow facilitates AFL’s archival digitisation project to preserve their visual history, sell and share content, and create deeper fan engagement opportunities.

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Australian Football League (AFL) has a huge archive of game content stored on 22,000 physical tapes. They believe that, as custodians of the history of the game, it is important to operate a simple way for future generations to access and experience their game’s history. The organisation is now using Dalet Flex to manage a large-scale cloud-based digitisation project of its video archives. Consequently, they have been able to modernise their workflows and update the way they share and resell their game content.

The tapes were degrading and the machinery required to play them was becoming more difficult to use and maintain. Once the content is digitised, however, the assets are easier to find and re-use within a secure archive system, based on metadata. All teams are connected and the projects held in a central repository on AWS. This arrangement has given them the opportunity to organise and share editing projects, manage project life cycles and save on storage.

Dalet Flex architecture

Dalet Flex

The archive team can also connect their existing systems to the Dalet Flex content library and tools, allowing them to use a centralised dashboard that gives insights into their operations, including costs.

Operations and Broadcast Manager for the AFL Spencer Wilson said, “Dalet Flex gives us a single source of truth for the whole system. You can use Dalet Flex to search the archives, pull content and package it for monetization for any type of sales channel. The core design of the system tracks not only media assets but manages commercial agreements, compliance requirements and transactions tied to those assets. This allows us to set up an on-demand service that completely changes how we can share with our broadcast customers and fans.”

As the governing body of the professional Australian rules football, AFL is the guardian of the league's video archives, preserving historical game content for its club members since the very first game captured on film in 1909. Concerned with degradation and loss of valuable assets, and the growing storage requirements for each of the 400-plus games shot in progressive formats, the organization sought to preserve its entire archive digitally.

Dalet flex AFL

The AFL used Telstra Purple, which delivers digital transformation services for businesses, to configure the Amazon Web Services data servers and data centres that stored the digitised game content and Dalet Flex to facilitate key media logistics functions including archival searches, retrievals, and packaging of content for on-demand and multi-platform distribution. The new on-demand media request workflow enables AFL to expand the use of historical game content and deepen fan engagement from discovery of favourite club heroes of the past to the history of the game.

The AFL archive project follows several other sports transformations of this type, including Lega Serie A, the National Rugby League of Australia, Arsenal Football Club and the Ligue de Football Professionnel, all of which implemented Dalet software and services to support their new video strategies. Their primary, common goal has been to extend to reach of their fan engagement into multiple generations, across digital channels. www.dalet.com

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