NAB 2013 News

NAB 2013: Microsoft teams with NBC on sports programming

Editor | 10-04-2013
It may have sold its Mediaroom middleware division to Ericsson, but Microsoft is very much still in the broadcast business and has inked a deal with the NBC Sports to deliver programming over Windows Azure.
The new alliance will see NBC use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC, and to deliver live and on-demand programming of over 5,000 hours of sporting events plus Sochi 2014 Olympic Games for NBC Sports' digital platforms.
For its part, Microsoft will also provide support for live-streaming and on-demand viewing services on devices such as smartphones, tablets and PCs.
"NBC Sports Group is thrilled to be working with Microsoft," commented Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager of digital media at NBC Sports Group. "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."
As part of the project, Microsoft will exploit its partner ecosystem and will, for example, work with iStreamPlanet Co and its live video workflow management product Aventus. Aventus will integrate with Windows Azure Media Services to provide what it says will be a scalable, reliable, live video workflow solution to help bring NBC Sports Group programming to the cloud.
"Microsoft is constantly looking for innovative ways to utilise the power of the cloud, and we see Windows Azure Media Services as a high-demand offering," added Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president at Microsoft. "As consumer demand for viewing media online on any available device grows, our partnership with NBC Sports Group gives us the opportunity to provide the best of cloud technology and bring world-class sporting events to audiences when and where they want them."