How the BBC Insured Live Streaming Resilience During the Olympics

Article Featured Image

With London the host for last summer's Olympic games, the BBC increased its online coverage to ensure viewers didn't miss a minute of the action. It also increased its streaming resiliency to ensure a TV-like experience. At the recent Streaming Forum conference in London, attendees heard from Kiran Patel, the man in charge of backend systems for the BBC, on how it came together.

"The ambition for what the Olympic digital proposition was was bigger than anything we'd ever done before," Patel explained. "The digital proposition was just as important as broadcast. It wasn't an optional extra or just something that we were going to do to add some value. It was one of the key things that we were doing. That meant that we had to reach the same levels as broadcast in our levels of resilience and making sure that the service didn't fail. If you're watching BBC1, it's just unacceptable for it to go black or for it to go silent, and we had to try to reach those levels."

For Patel and his team, becoming as resilient as broadcast TV meant taking the same extreme precautions.

"The broadcast world has backups, backups for backups, it has lots of disaster recovery plans all in place, and everything's tested to make sure that when something goes wrong it's not the first time they've seen that; they know exactly what to do," Patel said. "We had to get to that level."

To hear more on how the BBC prepared for streaming the games, watch the full presentation below.

Video Platform Video Management Video Solutions Video Player

Case Study: How The BBC Ensured Live Streaming Resilience For The Olympics

Kiran Patel, Senior Product Manager, BBC — UK

Live video streams were key to the ambitious online user proposition for the London 2012 Olympics, and coverage had to mirror high quality broadcast standards. Hear the challenges the BBC faced when designing a resilient HTTP streaming infrastructure designed to cope with huge volumes. Learn about the solution used and what methodology changes were required to build resilience into a cloud-based infrastructure.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

BBC Offers 15-Second News Breaks With Instagram

In a month long experiment, BBC News is offering three brief news videos per day on the popular social photo and video network.

London Olympics Could Reach One Billion Digital Viewers

Deltatre, the company supplying data services to the BBC and for the London games, says online viewership will almost certainly pass a half billion, and may approach one billion.