Experiencing the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics with Streaming Technology

2016 Rio Summer Olympics
This Friday, August 5, the Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will occur, and the Games will be ongoing until the evening of August 21.

There are many ways to view and engage with the various competitions, as audiences will be utilizing more than just their televisions to tune in.

A study released today by Phunware found that 77% of consumers say they’re likely to access this year’s Olympic events and content on a mobile device.

“Today’s consumers want more control over their media experiences. They expect access to the content and information they want, when they want it, and traditional television and even web viewing just doesn’t align with those expectations,” said Alan S. Knitowski, Chairman and CEO of Phunware, in a press release. “Mobile gives them that level of customization and on-demand accessibility, so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing consumers turn off the TV and turn to mobile to stay connected, especially when it comes to some of the biggest media events of the year like the Summer Olympics.”

NBCUniversal is the official network for the Olympics in the U.S., and it plans to air approximately 6,755 hours of sports programming.

If you’re a pay-TV subscriber, the action can be viewed on the NBC Sports Live Extra App, which itself will stream 4,500 hours of content.

U.S. military members will be able to stream the Olympics for free by selecting the “Exchange” as their provider.

“With 4,500 hours of streaming—1,000 more than London—including nine TV networks and connected TVs for the first time, we certainly anticipate record-setting consumption for Rio,” said Rick Cordella, SVP and General Manager of Digital Media at NBC Sports Group.

NBC is also launching a new app: NBC Olympics: Rio News & Results, which will feature medal tables, video clips, athlete biographies and more.

Microsoft Azure is assisting NBC with the live streaming aspect.

“We always strive to deliver more content in real time to more channels and devices around the world,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft. “During the Sochi Olympic Games, NBC Olympics had more than 1 million concurrent live viewers watching a collective average of 600,000 hours of coverage per day. We are planning for even greater viewing numbers for Rio, and are excited to power the experience again using Microsoft Azure.”

For the first time ever, NBC will make virtual reality a part of the Olympics via the Samsung Gear. Eighty-five hours of VR content will be available.

“The world’s greatest sporting event is always a showcase for cutting edge technology, and we’re thrilled to partner with Samsung and OBS to bring our viewers even closer to compelling Olympic action with virtual reality,” said Gary Zenkel, president, NBC Olympics. “Olympic fans can be transported to iconic venues such as Maracana Stadium for an unprecedented view of the Opening Ceremony, and Copacabana Beach for an immersive beach volleyball experience in the sport’s ultimate setting.”

In Canada, CBC/Radio-Canada is handling the streaming coverage with its CBC Rio 2016 app for iOS and Android.

According to the CBC website, “there will be up to 23 online channels with over 4,000 live streaming hours.”

And in the UK, the BBC will be offering comprehensive access to the Games, with more than 3,000 hours of sports.

“The BBC’s coverage of London 2012 was the most watched TV event in UK broadcasting history and we are committed to bringing the same high quality, in-depth coverage to Rio 2016. The incredible offering across all our platforms will deliver every moment of the Games through a truly interactive, personalised experience, while at the same time fully immersing audiences in this iconic sporting event just as we were so proud to do four years ago,” said Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport.

 As is the case every four years, champions will rise, and records will fall. We can’t wait to see the medal count in the end.

Author: Brian Cameron

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