Microsoft Teams Up With NBC Sports Group to Deliver Compelling Sports Programming Across Digital Platforms Using Windows Azure
April 09, 2013
New alliance aims to deliver live and on-demand programming of more than 5,000 hours of sporting events plus Sochi 2014 Olympic Games for NBC Sports’ digital platforms.

LAS VEGAS — April 9, 2013 — Today at the National Association of Broadcasters Show, Microsoft Corp. and NBC Sports Group announced they are partnering to use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports’ digital platforms, including NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com.

Through the agreement, which rolls out this summer, Microsoft will provide both live-streaming and on-demand viewing services for more than 5,000 hours of games and events on devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs. These services will allow sports fans to be able to relive or catch up on their favorite events and highlights that aired on NBC Sports Group platforms.

Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager of digital media at NBC Sports Group discusses how they use Windows Azure across their digital platforms.

“NBC Sports Group is thrilled to be working with Microsoft,” said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager of digital media at NBC Sports Group. “More and more of our audience is viewing our programming on Internet-enabled devices, so quality of service is important. Also, our programming reaches a national audience and needs to be available under challenging network conditions. We chose Microsoft because of its reputation for delivering an end-to-end experience that allows for seamless, high-quality video for both live and video-on-demand streaming.”

NBC Sports Group’s unique portfolio of properties includes the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, “Sunday Night Football,” Notre Dame Football, Premier League soccer, Major League Soccer, Formula One and IndyCar racing, PGA TOUR, U.S. Open golf, French Open tennis, Triple Crown horse racing, and more.

“Microsoft is constantly looking for innovative ways to utilize the power of the cloud, and we see Windows Azure Media Services as a high-demand offering,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president at Microsoft. “As consumer demand for viewing media online on any available device grows, our partnership with NBC Sports Group gives us the opportunity to provide the best of cloud technology and bring world-class sporting events to audiences when and where they want them.”

Microsoft has a broad partner ecosystem, which extends to the cloud. To bring the NBC Sports Group viewing experience to life, Microsoft is working with iStreamPlanet Co. and its live video workflow management product Aventus. Aventus will integrate with Windows Azure Media Services to provide a scalable, reliable, live video workflow solution to help bring NBC Sports Group programming to the cloud.

NBC Sports Group and iStreamPlanet join a growing list of companies, including European Tour, deltatre, Dolby Laboratories Inc. and Digital Rapids Corp., which are working with Windows Azure to bring their broadcasting audiences or technologies to the cloud.

In addition to Media Services, Windows Azure core services include Mobile Services, Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites and Big Data. Customers can go to http://www.windowsazure.com for more information and to start their free trial.

About NBC Sports Group

When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form the NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of broadcast television, cable television, radio and digital sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, 11 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and all of their respective digital properties. The NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, Churchill Downs, Premier League, MLS, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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