M+E Daily

NBC Olympics Selects Microsoft Azure to Provide Live and On-demand Streaming for its Production of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio

Microsoft Azure has been selected by NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, to provide cloud encoding and hosting with video workflows for NBC Olympics’ production of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, which take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5–21.

Microsoft Azure will provide streaming service for NBCUniversal and NBCOlympics.com’s record 4,500 hours of online content, making it easier for viewers to find relevant content and recommendations on any device.

This is the second Games for which NBC Olympics has chosen Microsoft Azure to assist with live and on-demand multiplatform streaming coverage. With the proliferation of connected devices, viewers this year will tune into NBC Olympics’ programming from connected TVs, tablets, smartphones, PCs and more. NBC Olympics is making it easy for viewers to access news, highlights and programming wherever they are via the NBC Sports app available free on Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon, Windows 10 tablets, Xbox, Windows Phone, PC and Mac.

“We always strive to deliver more content in real time to more channels and devices around the world,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft. “During the Sochi Olympic Games, NBC Olympics had more than 1 million concurrent live viewers watching a collective average of 600,000 hours of coverage per day. We are planning for even greater viewing numbers for Rio, and are excited to power the experience again using Microsoft Azure.”

“The Rio Olympics have nearly three times as many events per day as the Sochi Games,” said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “With the Azure cloud platform, Microsoft is partnering with us to deliver the secure, scalable cloud we depend on to bring the Games to millions of viewers on whichever device they prefer, via end-to-end live streaming entirely in the cloud.”

Microsoft is also making it easy for viewers to be immersed in the Games. Bing will provide a schedule that offers daily updated Events to Watch. Outlook today debuted the new Interesting Outlook calendar functionality in Outlook.com and Outlook on the web for events starting with the Summer Games, enabling viewers to add their favorite events from the Olympics calendar to their schedule.

Microsoft has a broad partner ecosystem that extends its capabilities in the cloud. To deliver authenticated streaming coverage live and on-demand, Microsoft is working with Adobe Primetime, Adobe’s multiscreen TV delivery and monetization platform, which is integrated as part of Azure so programmers can seamlessly deliver online video and ads to millions of viewers at scale.