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Microsoft Silverlight and the Olympics

02/13/2010

Winter Olympics Vancouver NBC
Remember the Beijing Olympics oh so many years ago? Pure Greatness, i watched all the events wonderfully displayed on my computer compliments of nbcolympics.com and microsoft silverlight. The use of silverlight over flash was a HUGE step in online video. They even won an emmy for best new media sports coverage!

More than 50 million visitors initiated 70 million video streams and watched 10 million hours of video—metrics that caught the attention of NBC and advertisers. Most significant for NBC Sports was the unprecedented “stickiness” of NBCOlympics.com—viewers watched for an average of 27 minutes at a time—compared to 3-minute averages reported on another major site not built on Silverlight.

I was one of those people upping the average. I didn’t care if the events weren’t LIVE because 90% of them happened in the middle of the night on the east coast and the events were put up so quickly and in such large volume it was enough to watch until the next update, minutes later. I was in love. The online coverage of the olympics definitely triumphed over the World Cup coverage in 2006. I watched more judo than has even been shown on tv before, or since.

Have you been there? It’s in a sad state compared to it’s summer onlympics glory. It feels much harder to use, crowded and hard to find what i want; plus the video is not the main focus of the site as it was before. I have no (well. a little) doubt that NBC will be diligent with their video postings.

I tried to start watching videos so i could really compare and see what kind of options i got in the silverlight window and i had to upgrade my copy of silverlight just to get it to play anything. Not a problem, i’m not plug-in hater, but i had to completely close my browser window(s). I have nearly 20 windows open doing research for future blog posts, generally being social online and perusing my daily dose of liberal agenda soaked media. I’ll wait.

Although i did discover Robel Teklemariam on the NBC site an ethiopian cross country skier and head of the Ethiopian National Skiing Federation. Check out the unlikely skier’s unlikely training facility in Addis Abba.

I hope as footage piles up on the NBC site, it transforms into a more video centric portal, but it does not look like microsoft or nbc took much cue from their online triumph two summers ago. I’m just waiting for Shaun White to rip it up. Mahalo.

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