Tennis Australia has partnered with Ooyala to stream live matches, highlights and interviews from the 2012 Australian Open to worldwide audiences. This is the first time the event will be delivered online for free.

Footage from all seven of the tournament’s courts is included along with the special features and other content viewable on the event’s official website and via tablets, smartphones and other devices.

There are restrictions on the global distribution placed by existing broadcast partners, however. Ooyala’s technology enforces those, in addition to handling syndication to YouTube and other news and sports websites as approved by Tennis Australia.

Ooyala also enables monetization of the online video by integrating its video advertising tools as well as by providing behavioral analytics tools.

“This is an important first for tennis and the world of sports, delivering the excitement and action of the Australian Open to people around the world who otherwise may never experience the tournament,” said Steve Wood, chief executive officer of Tennis Australia. “Ooyala’s combination of technology and services are the perfect solution to the myriad of challenges involved in sophisticated delivery of a live video project of this scale. We are thrilled to be working with their team to take the Australian Open to the web for free for the first time.”

Jay Fulcher, chief executive officer of Ooyala, said streaming “this landmark live sporting event for a world-class partner like Tennis Australia really sets the tone for what people should expect in digital video entertainment this year.”

Tennis Australia continues to have a technology partnership with IBM, which powers the event’s website. IBM also developed and maintains SlamTracker, the real-time display of scores, statistics and match analysis.

In 2011, the Australian Open site attracted over 10 million unique users.

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Image courtesy of IBM