One of the biggest events of 2008 was the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The most significant development in online video distribution has been the entrance of Microsoft Silverlight, the new competitor to Adobe’s ubiquitous Flash.
The new rich media Web plug-in had its big debut as the online video platform for NBC Sports coverage of the Beijing Games.
Beet.TV has gotten the internal numbers from Microsoft of videos streamed. Microsoft Silverlight delivered some 3.4 petabytes
(quadrillion bytes) of video content, with 70 million videos watched
and 27 minutes of viewing per session. Microsoft managed the
implementation of the Olympics for NBC Sports, and the big CDN’s Limelight and Level3 actually served the video content.
At the Beet.TV Online Video Roundtable in October at the MSNBC
headquarters in New York, I interviewed Microsoft’s Eric Schmidt, the
executive who oversaw the collaboration of NBC Sports and Microsoft.
He gives an overview on the future of Silverlight.
Oh, and if you haven’t watched the Summer Olympics online, the videos will be up just until the end of this month.
—Andy Plesser, Executive Producer