The Stratos Skydive on the net

Felix Baumgartner jump
14-10-2012

Felix Baumgartner broke the speed of sound on 14 October 2012 with his 39-kilometre jump to Earth within the Red Bull Stratos project. Baumgartner broke several records that day, not only the speed of the sound one. The live broadcast broke the record for the most watched online video and television event. In Spain about 4.3 million people watched the jump (27.8% of the share) through Teledeporte channel.

The live broadcast through YouTube portal had peaks of more than 8 million people, number that has made the Stratos Skydive the most watched live broadcast of the portal, according to the Google video website in its official blog.

The European Internet Exchange Association -Euro-IX- and the RIPE Network Coodination Centre (RIPE NCC) have analyzed the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) traffic, the Catalan CATNIX, managed by CSUC, among them, during Baumgartner jump, like they previously did with the Olympic Games in London or the European Championship 2012.

They looked for different patterns in the IXP traffic from what is normally seen on a Sunday afternoon. The balloon launch took place at 15:30 UTC, at 18:07 UTC the jump started and it ended at 18:17 UTC.

Some exchange points, such as DECIX Hamburg (Germany), GigaPIX (Portugal), LONAP (UK) and VIX (Austria), show dramatic increases of traffic correlated to the Stratos event. The VIX and LONAP stats are shown below. The period between the launch of the balloon and the landing of Felix Baumgartner is marked by a grey background in all figures in this article. Both at VIX and LONAP, the traffic levels on 14 October start off normal, but they pick up after the balloon launch and, like Felix himself, stay abnormally high until about the time of the landing.

VIX Traffic during Felix Baumgartner jump LONAP Traffic during Felix Baumgartner jump
Traffic volume at VIX (Vienna, Austria) during Stratos jump Traffic volume at LONAP (London, UK) during the Stratos jump

Some IXPs show a narrow peak right after the landing. This could be caused by people watching a non-live version of the event, for instance because their live stream didn't work as expected.

In the stats below it can be seen the traffic volume at CATNIX during the day of the event. At the end of the broadcast there was a clear drop, probably related to the live broadcast of the event, aforementioned, through Teledeporte channel. Thus, many people decided to watch the live broadcast of the jump on TV and logged off the internet.

CATNIX Traffic during Felix Baumgartner jump
Traffic volume at CATNIX during Stratos jump

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