MSN 2008 Summer Olympics Coverage

On the eve of 08.08.08 and the excitement around the XXIX Olympiad, Microsoft and NBC Sports have teamed to deliver event coverage on a scale never seen before on the Internet, let alone on TV.  NBC and Microsoft will be streaming more than 3,500 hours of Olympics video to millions of online viewers in the United States, including LIVE coverage of every minute of competition from 25 sports. This is the largest media event ever done on the web, an unprecedented moment in the history of the Internet

MSN is providing distribution of NBC Olympics video content --  which lives exclusively on the MSN network -- to all of our US visitors. The site itself is designed to handle more than 2.3 terabytes/second of traffic and will provide a flawless viewing experience for customers.  Silverlight 2 is the core technology behind the Olympics video player and provides the high-quality, interactive experience. The combination of this unprecedented amount of video coverage from NBC and Microsoft technology will change the way people experience live sports.

Here are all the ways you can experience the 2008 Summer Olympics from Microsoft and NBC:

· Click to jump right in and experience high-quality, interactive video using Silverlight.  This could even be better than being in Beijing! Get amazing, crisp HD video quality on the web that’s always optimized for your connection using Silverlight’s new adaptive streaming capability, watch up to four live streams simultaneously in the same player, and get expert commentary (hot-linked so you can go back right to the exact moment that Michael Phelps touches the wall for gold) all within a rich Silverlight application running within the browser.


· Beginning tomorrow and throughout the Games, the MSN homepage will prominently feature a dynamic Olympics module which will enable people to see results (or hide them if you don’t want any spoilers), get the latest news and see exclusive video coverage. Our partnership with NBC and the world-class editorial team in MSN will make MSN the best portal for up-to-the-minute Olympics coverage.


· Get the latest medal counts by sport or by country, or find out about all 10,000 of the athletes competing in the 2008 Summer Games using the Live Search Olympics Instant Answer


· Install the new MSN Toolbar that gives you one click access to the medal tally and many other highlights.


· For us Zune babies, Zune Marketplace will kick off a series of daily 2008 Olympic Games videos from NBC Sports, giving viewers special on-the-go access to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. For approximately 99 cents–$1.99 per episode (with post-Games content TBD), footage will include memorable highlights from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, “best of” compilations, “best match” replays and a post-Games wrap-up feature. Users will be able to download each episode onto their Zune device for viewing whenever and wherever they go.  Additionally, XBOX users will be able to purchase and download a daily wrap-up of the day’s events from NBC Sports, with a complete wrap-up at the end of the Games. And as you saw earlier today, from Windows Media Center, head for NBC Olympics On the Go service in the Online Media strip.

This was a strong cross-company effort, with many people and teams working together to make Microsoft’s and NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games a reality.  For a behind-the-scenes look at what was involved, check out the Olympics channel on onTen and CNET’s take here, along with press coverage of Microsoft’s participation in the Games, including yesterday’s Seattle Times and today’s Seattle P-I.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

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