Harmonic has been selected to provide its MediaGrid shared storage and MediaDeck integrated media playout server systems to NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, during its production of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, from Feb. 6-23. The announcement was made today by David Mazza, senior vice president, NBC Olympics, and Peter Alexander, chief marketing officer at Harmonic.
NBC Olympics will use the Harmonic solution to support a “highlights factory” in which staff based at the broadcaster’s Stamford, Conn., facility will very quickly access event footage captured in Russia, create highlights clips, and make them available to mobile devices and computers. This wide-area production model facilitates cost-effective content creation by allowing NBC Olympics to maintain a significant portion of its operation in the United States.
“Over the past three Olympic Games, Harmonic infrastructure has been at the center of the NBC Olympics production workflow,” says Alexander. “In 2014 Harmonic media server and storage systems will once again play a critical role in NBC Olympics’ content creation workflow, providing the performance and reliability essential to timely multiplatform delivery of compelling content – an increasingly important element of high-profile sports coverage.”
“It’s a game changer for us,” said Mazza, referring to the innovative NBC production facility in Stamford, Conn., that has been built on technologies, including the Harmonic systems, proven in past Olympics. “Everything we built for the 2012 London Olympics is being used here in Stamford every day by NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. Throughout the 2014 Sochi Olympics, we will be able to leverage both new and existing infrastructure to establish a highly efficient and very cost-effective fast-turnaround highlights-creation workflow for multiplatform content.”
During the two-week London event, NBC Olympics served up more than two billion page views, setting new records, and the “NBC Olympics Live Extra” app became one of the most downloaded in Apple app store history. During the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Harmonic infrastructure and other production solutions already well-established at the Stamford facility, will operate along with systems installed at the broadcaster’s Sochi headquarters to enable NBC Olympics to bring high volumes of timely content to nonlinear distribution platforms.