NBC Takes Over The SNL Studios To Bring You Your Olympic Coverage

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Even though I'm staunchly against the process of keeping announcers in New York (and no I still don't have a real good reason for it), the lengths at to which NBC is going to bring you and I the Games has to be commended. The latest update on the process is that NBC Sports is taking over Saturday Night Live's studio for the month. The network also has people who's sole job is to watch and pull potential highlights to immediately add to NBC's website. Sounds fun....

Stage 8H is best known as the place where Saturday Night Live is filmed. This week, though, it's been turned into an ad-hoc data center as part of NBC's efforts to stream thousands of hours of live Olympic coverage over the Internet.

Instead of the usual crop of comedians, NBC will have dozens of people watching every hour of the games, looking for highlights that it can chop up and make available on-demand. It's just one piece of an elaborate arrangement that shuttles the events in Beijing back to the U.S.

From each of the dozens of Olympic venues, a high-definition video feed is delivered over fiber-optic cables to the International Broadcast Center that has been set up in Beijing. A bunch of encoders and Windows Media servers get the video into an Internet-ready format. From there, it travels via satellite to NBC's headquarters in New York.

There, NBC actually adds a one-minute delay, allowing its cadre of live bloggers in Stamford, Conn., and elsewhere to write their text and have the video and commentary synchronized. Once ready, it goes from NBC to Limelight Networks, a content delivery network, which has 1,000 servers just for the live events sending the content to various Internet service providers, who then shuttle the content directly to their customers.
That's just nuts. The Limelight CEO is saying that he expects upwards of 1 million users at anytime, and while I think that's a little bit of wishful thinking, the numbers are certainly going to break all sorts of online records. It also might be a good option for you people who are constantly bored at work.

What it takes to bring the Olympics to the PC (CNET: Beyond Binary)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 3:18 PM

4 Comments:

That is intense. But I guess the Olympics has always called for things to be done on a grand scale, and reporting is no exception. BooksOnBoard has discounts on all its Olympic-related titles (2008 Beijing Summer Olympics ebooks here), which include books about the role the Olympics have played in modern world politics, which is pretty fascinating.

plutonica said...
Aug 6, 2008, 3:23:00 PM  

:::internet buffering::: in 3, 2, 1...

-dan

-dan said...
Aug 6, 2008, 5:12:00 PM  

I can't really stand Saturday Night Live. If you want hilarious sketch comedy, check out Whitest Kids U'Know on IFC (or Youtube).

Eric said...
Aug 6, 2008, 7:01:00 PM  

I read where NBC Universal would be broadcasting 10 to 13 sports where its announcers would be watching them on a monitor in New York. I guess JP Dellacamera doesn't mind, since he called soccer in Athens four years ago, but if I were a newcomer like Adrian Healey, I'd be secretly pissed about not being able to go to the games. I'm sure Adrian is used to this, calling games on ESPN this way, but these are the Olympics, and a very controversial Olympics at that. I'd want to be in Beijing. Then again, Adrian didn't get to go to Germany for the World Cup two years ago, and he probably wasn't happy about that either. Oh well, it's a job and it pays money. Still sucks, though.

Michael said...
Aug 6, 2008, 9:35:00 PM  

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