NBC Sports' Playmaker Media partnered with iStreamPlanet to live stream all 18 days and nights of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, from February 8-25. NBC provided live streaming of every event - covering all 15 sports and 102 medal events - on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app across desktops, mobile devices, tablets, connected TVs and OTT services such as Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox. From halfpipes to triple axles, fans enjoyed 1800 hours of live streaming, a new record for the Winter Olympics, up from 1000 hours for Sochi 2014.
Milliseconds count in many live sports, and even more so during the Olympics where fractions of a second can make or break a world record. The stream must be up on time and available for fans on devices of their choosing. Powering a live event of this scale and importance is a robust operation. NBC Sports was committed to delivering the very best possible experience for fans, and as such, built upon on its proven partnership with iStreamPlanet to give fans gold medal video quality.
"Our successful partnership with iStreamPlanet was proven once again as we live streamed 1.87 billion minutes of the PyeongChang Olympics to more than 40 million uniques," said Eric Black, SVP & CTO Digital at NBC Sports Group and Playmaker Media. "This was our fourth time we partnered together on the Olympics, and we were pleased with our ability to handle the scale, and provide an exceptional fan experience."
The live streaming workflow began with the live games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Olympic content captured on site was sent from the International Broadcast Center (IBC) to NBC Sports' headquarters in Stamford, Conn. From there, NBC Sports ingested primary and alternate video feeds into the iStreamPlanet content aggregation service in Las Vegas, Nev., over dedicated, redundant fiber lines.
After acquiring the feeds, iStreamPlanet transcoded them, processed closed captioning, and inserted mid-roll ad markers via the Aventus Media Processing Suite. Primary and alternate feeds were pushed to the CDN and the iStreamPlanet Media Origin for distribution to fans on target devices. The multiple layers of redundancy helped to ensure that the Games and valuable ad content were continually displayed to fans across the country.
The PyeongChang Olympics proved extremely popular, with fans consuming 1.85 billion live streaming minutes, three times more than NBC Sports Digital's delivery for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.