NBC enlists Windows Azure for its 2014 Winter Olympics video streaming

The 2014 Winter Olympics began today in Sochi, Russia, even though the opening ceremonies won't be held until Friday. From now until the end of the 2014 Olympics on February 23nd, NBC will stream all 98 events to anyone in the US with an Internet connection, with over 1,000 hours of coverage.

Helping NBC with that rather massive task is Microsoft, which announced today that the streaming video from the network's Olympic event coverage will be handled by Windows Azure Media Services. Scott Guthrie, who was named as the new head of Microsoft's enterprise and cloud division this week, is quoted as saying Windows Azure will offer "end-to-end live streaming of the Winter Olympics entirely in the cloud, including encoding, transcoding and streaming, for the first time in history."

Microsoft's statement said:

Olympic coverage from Sochi will first go through the NBC Sports Group International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., then to two Microsoft datacenters, one in the eastern U.S. and another in the western U.S., for on demand and live streaming of more than 50 high-definition streams using Windows Azure.

Online coverage of the 2014 Olympic Games can be viewed on a PC via NBCOlympics.com. The video can also be seen on the free NBC Sports Live Extra app, which is available on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows RT devices, in addition to the iOS and Android platforms.

Source: Microsoft

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11 Comments

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This is actually the second consecutive Winter Olympics (and the fourth consecutive Olympics overall) where Azure has handled the streaming services in whole or part for NBC; however, this one is by far the most ambitious, as no event will go unstreamed. (And have we forgotten that Azure is also the back-end for iTunes?)

Team Azure strikes again.

Azure is the platform for all broadcasters to stream over the web.

They all have re-skinned apps for devices as well.
Being Canadian, I have the CBC version.

I should have specified that I'm looking for the Android app, but I managed to find it, so thank you for taking the time!

Seems you have to have some kind of subscription to watch all of it, I just got a 30 minute pass. I only have cable internet and not TV so NBC say i cannot watch online.

Actually, NBC *is* a cable network in part; CNBC, MSNBC, the Weather Channel, and the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) are all owned and/or operated by the NBC Cable Networks division of Comcast. (CNBC is a joint venture of NBC and Dow Jones, but is operated as a separate unit, MSNBC is the former joint venture with Microsoft, which was unwound a few years back PRIOR to the acquisition of NBCUniversal by Comcast, while the Weather Channel was acquired in a completely separate deal by NBCU prior to the Comcast deal - NBCSN is the former Versus, and was owned by Comcast prior to the NBCU deal.)