Every Olympic Games marks a step forward in television technology. For many viewers this year it will be high-definition but it will also be defined by delivery over broadband and mobile networks. NBC is opening up its coverage to AT&T and Verizon for their multiplatform services. Meanwhile a peer-to-peer operator is aiming to reach up to 100 million users over broadband.
NBC Universal, which holds the rights to the Olympics coverage in the United States, is making it available to telecommunications operators AT&T and Verizon for multiplatform coverage on mobile, broadband and internet protocol television services.
“NBCU’s coverage of the Beijing Games is providing our customers with a unique multiscreen opportunity,” said Bridget Baker, president of television networks distribution at NBC Universal.
AT&T will offer live and on-demand coverage on its U-verse service, as well as an NBC Olympics Interactive channel. There will also be an NBC Olympics 2 Go live channels on its broadcast mobile television channel service, powered by MediaFlo USA.
“Consumers today expect to be able to access great content when and where they want it, and no content is more compelling than the Olympic Games,” said Dan York, head of content and programming for AT&T.
Verizon will offer live and on-demand NBC coverage in high-definition on its FiOS TV service as well as on its broadband internet and V Cast mobile platforms.
“From TV to broadband to wireless, Verizon is delivering the very best content and programming, and that includes NBC Universal’s unprecedented Olympics coverage,” said Terry Denson, vice president of content and programming for FiOS TV.
Around the world, broadcasters and television providers will be using the Olympics to showcase their services. In China the Olympics will provide a real test of peer-to-peer distribution to its massive market of broadband connected users.
Having secured internet rights to the Olympic Games as well as an online broadcasting licence from SARFT, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, UUSee is planning to provide what it calls one of the world’s largest real-time interactive TV events.
In partnership with CCTV.com, the largest television network in China, which has the rights to the Olympics in that market, UUSee will broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies and all the main sports action of the 2008 Olympic Games live via the internet in China.
“Since 2005 we have successfully collaborated with UUSee to broadcast TV content and distribute breaking news over the Internet,” said Wenbin Wang, the general manager of CCTV.com. “Expanding this partnership to include live broadcasting of the 2008 Olympic Games will be a major digital media milestone in the history of the Olympics.”
“Broadcasting the 2008 Olympic Games is expected to give a huge boost to UUSee and internet TV in China,” added Zhu Li, the chief executive of UUSee. He co-founded the company in late 2004, together with Harold Liu, who serves as chief technology officer.
“With nearly 100 million users, UUSee is one of the largest web-based media companies in the world,” said Dan Nova, general partner at Highland Capital Partners and a board member of UUSee.
“In many ways, China is more advanced in their adoption of technology than the United States and UUSee continues to revolutionise content delivery and online broadcasting in bringing the next generation of television to mainstream markets.”