I have been wondering what NBC’s plans were for the Internet, and now we have some details:
Olympics fans will have a bevy of opportunities to get content from NBC Universal next month—2,200 hours of live online coverage, live events on their mobile phone and even a way to download coverage to computers with Microsoft Vista.
The network announced plans that will encompass many of the digital platforms in use today. It also will include fantasy and casual gaming, VOD and interactive TV. Major partners include Microsoft, Amazon Unbox, Schematic and many others.
NBC’s digital Olympics coverage has evolved quickly, beginning with one hockey game streamed on the Web in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Now there’s not one Summer Olympics sport that won’t get the full treatment, not only blanket video coverage but also audio play-by-play and commentary and live blogging by NBC Sports experts. That’s quite a change for fans of fencing or kayaking, for example, where the sports got comparatively short shrift compared to other disciplines.
NBCOlympics.com’s player was built by Schematic on the foundation of Microsoft’s Silverlight 2 platform, an alternative to Adobe Flash. The Schematic player will be used for viewers who want to choose from coverage of four live events totaling 2,200 hours or the 3,600 hours of on-demand coverage, including what was on TV sometime after it was aired. Schematic has vast experience with video players, designing ABC.com’s as well as CNN Pipeline, among others.
What the article doesn’t address is how NBC is going to handle advertising. Will there be ads on the site and around the video player, embedded in the video itself, or some type of combination. Regardless of how they handle ads, even if they are everywhere, I give NBC a ton of credit here. This is a huge step forward, and a welcome step to say the least for sports fans that want to watch events that won’t be carried on on NBC, MSNBC, or CNBC.