Cloud Sets New Broadcasting Record at Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Image credit: iStockphoto/RomoloTavani

We always knew technology played a crucial role in sports. But now, Cloud is helping to broaden the reach of the games without losing details, fidelity, or critical moments.

The latest effort involves the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), which broadcasts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, OBS is collaborating with Alibaba Cloud to use its cloud solutions to support service delivery for Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) for the first time.

"The partnership with Alibaba Cloud is transforming how we broadcast the Olympic Games to the widest possible audience — this is perhaps the biggest technological change in the broadcasting industry for more than half a century since the introduction of satellite transmission, which was introduced to Olympic broadcast coverage for the first time at Tokyo 1964," said Yiannis Exarchos, chief executive officer at OBS.

According to the OBS, the new OBS Cloud that runs on Alibaba Cloud will offer new models for content delivery. In addition, the new cloud platform is designed to drive operational efficiency and greater agility.

OBS Cloud will take advantage of Alibaba technologies, Content+ to deliver short-form content, content asset management, and content production. During Tokyo 2020, between 7,000 and 9,000 short-form content clips are expected to be produced by the OBS Content+ crew to help enhance RHB coverage.

"We are confident that OBS Cloud will deliver tremendous benefits to media organizations in terms of cost-efficiency and worldwide manageability and help digitally transform the way RHBs broadcast the Olympic Games. The agility that comes with cloud infrastructure allows faster deployment time with fewer onsite resources, while the flexibility of a cloud platform enables remote post-production and production to be done faster – and from any location with an internet connection. We look forward to seeing the future of Olympic Games broadcasting begin at Tokyo 2020," said Selina Yuan, general manager of international business at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

RHBs' digital and social media teams can access thousands of clips from any location in the world to supplement their own games coverage. Seventeen RHB organizations and four news agencies have already subscribed to the full service of receiving those clips through a user-friendly web-based interface.

31 RHBs have also signed up to access all Olympic content produced by the OBS, including live content as it is being made. They can easily browse through the low-resolution files in near real-time and retrieve any content in any of their global facilities. The access to live coverage allows RHBs to mark part of the live content and download it for their own post-production needs, simultaneously when the games are still happening.

OBS will use the Content+ platform for remote editing and standards conversion as part of the post-production workflow. This will become a feature that will be extended as a service to the RHBs for future Olympics.

In addition, two RHBs will receive live distribution of Ultra High Definition (UHD), High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Internet Protocol Video and Audio package during Tokyo 2020, allowing them to deliver 4K content to their viewers.

Image credit: iStockphoto/RomoloTavani