A pioneering sports technology deal between Cisco and NBC Olympics was announced at the CES 2014 event in Las Vegas where NBC Olympics’ production of the XXII Winter Games in Sochi, Russia will utilize the new Videoscape Cloud Solution. It is the privilege of the Sports Techie community blog to share the news that Cisco has been selected to provide video hardware and cloud software components from its Videoscape TV services delivery platform to NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, to support transcoding and content management during its production of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, from February 6-February 23. The announcement was made by Craig Lau, Vice President, Information Technology, NBC Olympics, and Joe Cozzolino, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Cisco Service Provider Video Infrastructure.
Cisco and NBC Olympics Sochi 2014
To be able to provide content anywhere, anyplace, anytime across any device today or invented and deployed tomorrow, is NBC Olympics top priority. The amount of Olympic fans online who will be connecting with smartphones and tablets around the world is staggering. For the NBC Sports Network to be on the cusp of a 4K worldwide delivery next month is truly awe inspiring. Consider the follow Big Data.
- NBCUniversal to Set Winter Olympics Record with 1,539+ Hours of Coverage
- 539 Televised Hours on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network
- 1,000+ Hours of Live Streaming Coverage of All Winter Games Competition on NBCOlympics.com via NBC Sports Live Extra
- NBC Begins 185 Hours of Coverage with Primetime Show on Thursday, Feb. 6
Adding Cisco’s new Videoscape cloud software components will provide NBC Olympics with a simple, agile, and elastic cloud architecture that supports the streaming of live and cloud-enabled on-demand Olympics sports content for on-site production in Sochi. No additional infrastructure will be needed inside the NBC Sports production facility, rather data will be hosted in the clouds. Videoscape provides NBC Sports with more options to deliver content to viewers.
Lau said: “Cisco is a trusted partner who we have marked many milestones with, collaborating on IP video contribution and multiscreen delivery, and now cloud-based infrastructure. We are excited about the benefits and options cloud-powered video services bring us, including added agility, portability, flexibility and scalability of our networks, to meet the demands, with much less engineering and prep time. As we approach our eighth consecutive Olympic Games together, we know we can rely on Cisco to bring it all together, and help us exceed our goals to deliver a seamless production on location in Sochi.”
NBC Olympics’ Production of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi to Utilize New Cisco Videoscape
Cisco and NBC Olympics Tech History
Cisco has been a partner with NBC Sports since the 2000 Sydney Games. It is a fact that all NBC Olympics content travels across Cisco hardware. Sochi 2014 will feature Cisco IP contribution, multi-screen delivery and cloud based infrastructure. Below is some highlighted history of their long-term sport business partnership.
- 2008: IP contribution – low res proxy available across data network for all production staff to create content across web.
- 2010: Multi-screen delivery increased ability to deliver various portable mobile platforms.
- 2012 London Low res proxy content for ease of use and content distribution scalability.
- 2014: Cloud based infrastructure. NBCSN has partnered with Cisco on a new method to deliver VOD content back to client program back in Sochi. They send original VOD material to cloud using Cisco resources and infrastructure who transcodes the material and sends it back at a lower bit rate which NBCSN then uses and redeploys across their limited bandwidth in Sochi for delivery directly to clients on sight.
Key Cisco hardware and software components include: Videoscape Acquisition Suite, Videoscape Media Suite, Videoscape Distribution Suite (VDS), and Videoscape clients, including set-top boxes and HTML5-based soft clients.
Benefits of Cloud
Cozzolino said: “Cisco is proud to support NBC Olympics with an all-IP cloud video solution for its in-studio production of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. We value our long-standing relationship with NBC Olympics and look forward to yet another exciting Winter Games where NBC Olympics will undoubtedly outdo itself in providing the most compelling content to its viewers.”
Digital-Only Original Programming
In addition to delivering more than 1,000 hours of live streaming coverage of the upcoming Sochi Games, NBCOlympics.com, America’s preeminent digital destination for Olympic content and exclusive online home of Olympic video coverage, will deliver unprecedented digital-only original programming, the vast majority for verified cable, satellite & telco customers.
The video offering, new to Winter Games coverage, will include whip-around competition coverage from Gold Zone; a daily figure skating news and highlights show, Olympic Ice; and regular news updates throughout each day of competition via NBCOlympics.com’s Olympic News Desk updates.
With more Winter Olympic events than ever before, competition for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, will begin one day prior to the Opening Ceremony. As a result, NBC will begin its primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thursday, February 6, one night before the broadcast network provides its traditional coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday February 7. This marks the first time NBC will air Olympic primetime coverage before the Opening Ceremony. The primetime broadcast on Thursday, February 6, 2014, is scheduled to include competition in snowboard slopestyle (men’s and women’s), in which two-time gold medalist Shaun White is expected to compete in the slopestyle’s Olympic debut; team figure skating, which is also in the Olympics for the first time; and women’s freestyle moguls
About NBC Olympics
A division of the NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s Olympic coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history.
NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com, the premier website dedicated to serving the needs of the media covering NBC Sports Group, launches its 2014 Sochi Olympics edition and media guide today, one month prior to the first day of competition at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com.
Sports Techie, The Olympics begin Feb 6, 2014. NBC Olympics‘ will surround the 2014 Olympic Winter Games with social media including Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter. In addition to NBCOlympics.com, up-to-date information, videos, photo, athlete interviews and news about the Games can be found on Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram or by Twitter by following NBC Olympics‘ commentators, social media team, researchers and OlympicsTalk (listed here).
Videoscape is significant Cisco technology and to use it at the world’s largest sporting event for NBC Olympics digital production needs should be a seamless operation. Their proprietary video hardware and the cloud software components of the Videoscape TV services delivery platform will allow NBC Olympics the opportunity to support transcoding and content management during its production of the XXII Winter Olympics Games enabling video to stream to laptops, televisions and connected mobile devices of fans here in Seattle and around the United States.
I will see ya when I see ya, THE Sports Techie @THESportsTechie – http://twitter.com/THESportsTechie
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