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.