Sports News

NBC Universal, Microsoft keep Olympics pact in play

NEW YORK (Mediaweek) - NBC Universal will once again partner with Microsoft to support its online delivery of the Winter Olympics in 2010.

As it did during NBC Universal’s much-ballyhooed Web coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Microsoft will provide the video-streaming technology for the Games as well as prominent distribution on its MSN portal. From February 12-28, fans will be able to access live and on-demand footage from various events via on MSN.

A similar arrangement last year resulted in a traffic windfall for NBC, which streamed more than 2,000 hours of live events during the Beijing Games. NBC Universal executives claim that online coverage reached more than 52 million unique users -- the kind of numbers rarely, if ever, seen in online video.

Besides tapping into MSN’s high reach as a promotional platform, NBC’s online coverage of the Vancouver Games also will once again employ Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, which promises to deliver high-definition-quality video within a standard Web browser.