The Iditarod is a 1,000-mile dog sled race that has been deeply rooted in Alaskan history for more than four decades. Every year in early March, mushers (racers) begin their journey in Anchorage, Alaska, with 21 dogs. The race can take anywhere from nine to 15 days, during which time the teams race through blizzards and sub-zero temperatures to reach the finish line in Nome, Alaska.
After many years of using Telestream Wirecast to live stream the start and end of the race, Iditarod.com decided to step up their game by adding multiple live streamed daily shows with race coverage and highlights. They also set up the infrastructure to bring live coverage to all 24 remote race checkpoints.
Most of the coverage and commentary was streamed from the race’s headquarters studio, located at the Lakefront Hotel in Anchorage. Former mushers Joe Runyan and Danny Seavey served as hosts for the daily shows. The entire setup was designed to be operated by a couple of people, but most of the time was able to be run by just one person thanks to Wirecast’s ease of use.
More than one million unique viewers tuned in to Iditarod.com this year to cheer on their favorite mushers. With Wirecast, live streams of all the race checkpoints and daily shows gave viewers a much more in-depth perspective of the “last great race.”
“The flexibility of Wirecast made the entire operation run smoothly. Anything less would have been the end of the show,” says Iditarod.com’s Art Aldrich.