NBCU Picks Web-Video Partners For Vancouver Games


NBC Universal has selected content-distribution network operator Akamai Technologies and iStreamPlanet, a provider of digital media services and software applications, to work with Microsoft to deliver live and on-demand video on the Internet for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games next February.

Las Vegas-based iStreamPlanet will provide satellite downlink encoding and production services. The company will encode 23 video feeds -- including nine venue feeds, four broadcast feeds, one Olympic News Channel, six "beauty cams," two victory ceremonies and one press conference -- originating from Vancouver, British Columbia, and transported to iStreamPlanet's Las Vegas operations center over an OC-12 (622 Mbps) connection.

Akamai will then distribute the video online over its "HD" network service using Microsoft's IIS Smooth Streaming adaptive-rate video streaming platform. NBCU earlier this year renewed its deal with Microsoft to use Silverlight streaming-media technology for its online Olympics service.

"NBC has chosen the best combination of partners in iStreamPlanet and Akamai to enable its online coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics," NBC Olympics senior vice president of digital media Perkins Miller said in a statement. "iStreamPlanet's automated architecture for downlink and encoding combined with Akamai's HD Network ensure our coverage will be the best possible quality available for our viewers during the Vancouver Winter Games."

NBCU on Wednesday launched "Countdown to Vancouver" with 100 days left before it bows coverage of the next Winter Games, which run Feb. 12-28.