London Olympics Could Reach One Billion Digital Viewers

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Streaming media coverage of the London Olympics is expected to at least touch half a billion viewers worldwide. No event has hit one billion viewers before – but it may happen this summer.

“Digital is going to be massive. I expect there will be at least half a billion digital-only viewers, maybe more,” said Ciaran Quinn, director, Deltatre, a sports media company headquartered in Turin, Italy and with an office in London.

The number of viewers watching online on PCs, tablets or mobile devices in South America alone is expected to top 200 million, with another 200 million in the U.S.

“Mobile may surpass web when it comes to connectivity in certain territories," says Quinn. "During the Rugby World Cup (last November) mobile video views substantially surpassed web. There were fifty times the number of viewers on the web yet three times the number of videos watched on mobile. There is no doubt that the London Games will be a watershed in digital media.”

Akamai is the CDN with responsibility to deliver this massive potential demand inconjunction with the Microsoft's cloud-based Windows Azure Media Services platform.

Deltatre’s media services are being used by a number of rightsholding broadcasters to deliver official Olympics-supplied live video feeds to consumers.

The BBC, for example, is to use a data-driven service from Delatre to power all of its TV graphics, online statistics and analysis, and online video during the event.

Deltatre will adapt an Olympic Data Feed (ODF) supplied by host broadcaster Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) which contains all statistics related to events at the Olympic venues and is collected on behalf of OBS by ATOS Origin and Omega.

A version of the ODF for broadcasters will also be created and includes transmission schedule and video logging metadata.

Deltratre will re-engineer the ODF into a single data set called the Olympics Results Pipeline that will power all the BBC’s TV graphics and online video.

“Data has had a value for a number of years, but now that data is being used to power video it is a real game changer, opening up whole new applications, business models, ways in which fans can interact with a sport or means by which rights holders can extend the reach of their brand,” said Jim Irving, Deltatre’s Head of Video and Commercial. “The Olympics will be a catalyst for change in the use of data in the industry.”

The company, has also been selected by NBCUniversal Media to build and support one of the most sophisticated event-based websites in the world:

“We’ve had the pleasure of working with the NBC Olympics team since before the Beijing Games, with the goal of giving their online viewers a terrific Olympic experience,” said Quinn. “Watching sports via digital devices is not about just streaming video; it’s about giving the fans a complete experience bringing together photos, articles, interactive schedules, and detailed, interactive results, as well as social aspects and a feeling of community.”

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