NBC Olympics Coverage Triumphs with Avid
NBC Olympics Coverage Triumphs with Avid
During the Beijing Olympics in 2008, NBC (America's Olympic Network), generated more than 5,000 hours of broadcast, cable and broadband content, distributing unprecedented volumes of media to a broad number of outlets, each with its own specific requirements. Scheduled to broadcast upcoming Olympic events in Vancouver and London, NBC currently owns exclusive U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games through 2012.
For the Beijing event, NBC built broadcast systems based on those previously deployed at Athens and Torino. The plan was to broadcast 2,200 hours of competition coverage live on the internet, and to offer even more on-demand video highlights, as-live rewind coverage, interviews, and specialty production videos. With integrated media asset management and digital production solutions from Avid, the network was able to create and distribute content over a plethora of platforms, from traditional broadcast to online, on-demand, and mobile.
Going Global with the "Highlights Factory"
Serving as the core layer for the cross-departmental digital workflows, Avid Interplay Media Asset Manager (formerly known as Media Archive from Blue Order) integrated and controlled the various systems, helping NBC Olympics to achieve seamless metadata and essence workflows across the distributed locations. Using this technology to create a "Highlights Factory," the network developed an around-the-world material re-packaging and distribution workflow to provide continuous coverage through multiple outlets.
The Interplay MAM "Highlights Factory" recorded up to 40 streams in SD and 4 in HD in China, while in the U.S., an additional 2 SD and 5 HD channels were available for ingest. All streams were recorded in hi and low-res, based on ingest schedule requests. Both were transferred in real-time to MediaGrid for storage and access. Proxies, key frames and metadata were fully replicated between Beijing and New York. File replication of proxies, key frames and metadata were managed by the Avid archiving solution, using Omneon ProCast.
Expanding Logging and Distribution Efficiencies
Employing NBC's OPIS system in conjunction with Interplay MAM's browsing client, Beijing-based assistants logged the events. All logs were then replicated to the Avid archive's stratified documentation with an integration of OPIS using its SOAP API, and sports statistics streams provided by IDS were imported into the archive.
Shot pickers in New York used the Interplay MAM archiving module to view proxies, add logging notes, select shots, and create edit decision lists (EDLs). The EDLs then triggered requests back to Beijing for the high-resolution material that matched the specific EDL. Based on the EDLs, MXF-wrapped flattened files were created and transferred from Beijing to New York. The content was subsequently forwarded to craft edit stations to create the final content packages dedicated for distribution.
Enabling close-to-real-time simultaneous logging and highlight package creation in New York and Beijing, packages were created once for improved efficiency, then distributed automatically in tailored versions to multiple outlets.
Using an efficient, proxy-based workflow in conjunction with optimized file transfers, Interplay MAM was instrumental in enabling NBC Olympics to provide complete coverage while minimizing the number of production personnel in China.
Most-Viewed Event in U.S. TV History
Widely acknowledged by top media executives as the most-viewed event in United States television history, 214 million viewers tuned into the Beijing Olympics, shattering the previous mark set by the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (209 million) by five million viewers. Facilitating this unprecedented level of coverage, Avid Interplay MAM was seamlessly integrated with a variety of systems, including:
- ScheduAll— ingest scheduling for Highlights Factory channel in New York and Beijing.
- OPIS—NBC Olympics video logging system.
- Cyradis—ingest schedule import, ingest triggering, other system actions
- IDS—import and conversion of real-time competition information and statistics
- Omneon MediaDeck—HD and SD video ingest.
- MOG Solutions Toboggan—automatic digital media conforming
Comments Dave Mazza, SVP engineering NBC Olympics, "(Interplay MAM) technology was instrumental in rapidly selecting, editing, and preparing packages for distribution to our new media outlets. (Interplay MAM) showed fantastic performance in our project."
Boosting Engagement, Viewership, and Revenue
Critical to NBC, the Beijing Olympics not only boosted both coverage and revenues by delivering Olympic content to the full complement of new media and traditional broadcast outlets, but enabled the network to generate extraordinary rates of viewership and engagement, including:
- 1.3 billion page views
- 50 million unique visitors
- 70 million videos watched
- 27 minutes of viewing per session
- 600 million minutes of video delivery
- 5,000 unique clips viewed per day during the final week
- 35 million mobile views
- 130,000 peak streams
- 3.4 petabytes of video delivered
Major media outlets were quick to take notice. "Overall," USA Today reports, "the 17-day Beijing Games were a triumph for NBC."
Generate over 5,000 hours of broadcast, cable and broadband content. Distribute unprecedented volumes of media to a broad number of outlets for one of the world’s largest and most prestigious sports events.
Use integrated media asset management and digital production solutions from Avid to build the "Highlights Factory"- a global content re-packaging and distribution workflow providing continuous worldwide coverage through multiple media outlets.