The Sochi Olympic Games this winter will be streamed on NBC Sports' website, but not through Youtube. NBC announced that they're going to be going in a different direction after Youtube provided the streaming player to for last summer's Olympics in London. In Beijing in 2008 and Vancouver in 2010, NBC used the Microsoft Silverlight player. They recently partnered once again with Microsoft and their Azure division for streaming to devices, but there's no video player included with Azure.

The 2012 Olympics were the most popular in terms of live streaming, with 20.4 million hours of video streamed, more than twice the 9.9 million hours streamed during Beijing. NBC also streamed 64.4 million total live video streams, up 353% from Beijing, despite complaints from some users about frozen videos and other glitches.

It'll be interesing to see which direction NBC ends up going with streaming from Sochi. For the live streaming currently enabled on, they're using Azure and streaming media to the Adobe Flash Player, and the service seems to be working preetty well. But streaming PFT Live or Stanley Cup Playoffs games is a completely different animal from the Olympics. It's almost good that NBC is going with a new platform heading into a Winter Olympics as opposed to a Summer Olympics, which are generally more viewed and much more popular. 

I'll be interested in seeing how the platform ends up working with a more substantial load on it, and if there are numerous crashes, the backlash towards NBC will likely be enormous and more vociferous than last year.

[Sports Business Daily]

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.