Microsoft has announced that NBC Sports Group will be using
Windows Azure Media Services on NBC Sports' digital platforms, including
NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com.
As a result of the agreement, which rolls out this summer,
Microsoft will provide both live-streaming and on-demand viewing services for
more than 5,000 hours of games and events on devices, such as smartphones,
tablets and PCs. The agreement includes the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
In a statement, Rick Cordella, senior VP and general manager
of digital media at NBC Sports Group, explained that "more and more of our
audience is viewing our programming on Internet-enabled devices, so quality of
service is important. Also, our programming reaches a national audience and
needs to be available under challenging network conditions. We chose Microsoft
because of its reputation for delivering an end-to-end experience that allows
for seamless, high-quality video for both live and video-on-demand streaming."
Microsoft has a number of partners in its cloud-based
digital content platform. For the NBC Sports effort, Microsoft is working with
iStreamPlanet Co. and its live video workflow management product Aventus.
Aventus will integrate with Windows Azure Media
Services to provide a live video workflow solution to help bring NBC Sports
Group programming into the cloud.