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Akamai Supports European Broadcasting Union with Streaming of 2006 Olympic Winter Games
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online, announced that its global streaming network was utilized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for the delivery of live and archived footage of the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy. Leading EBU broadcasters have leveraged Akamai to stream video content of the Games on their respective Web sites to audiences within the EBU's Eurovision area. Akamai was chosen because its solution allowed the EBU to ensure the geographic control on its new media rights acquired from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and also because of its ability to scale to meet high Web traffic demands.
As an example, during the first five days of the Games, Akamai handled a total of over five million live and on-demand streams, which amounted to over 78 terabytes of delivered moving image data. At peak, over 40,000 concurrent streams were being viewed live during those opening days by Internet users within the territory of Eurovision.
The agreement with Akamai and the EBU marks the second time these groups have partnered for live and on-demand Internet streaming of the Games to European end users.
"Akamai's geo-location technologies and global delivery platform were among the components of our strategy to create a new consumption paradigm by which Internet coverage can complement comprehensive television broadcasting," said Marc Joerg, Controller of Sport, EBU. "Developments with broadband and mobile technologies are driving more innovative and customized ways in which an event such as the Olympics can be enjoyed by fans."
To adhere to syndication guidelines set forth by the IOC for the online streaming of the Olympic Games, the EBU worked with Akamai to ensure content was directed to authorized subscribers in each country or region. Akamai's geo-location technologies helped enable EBU broadcasters to avoid violation of these acquired rights.
"As Internet usage and broadband adoption become more pervasive for the purposes of enjoying media and entertainment events such as sports and news, we are finding that thoughtful debate, and the implementation of rights management technologies, are creating an exciting balance between televised and online coverage," said Carlos Ramon, vice president, International at Akamai. "The Olympics has often been a catalyst for new and improved ways for communicating globally. We are excited to have once again played a role in this year's Games."
European broadcasters that offered live or deferred streaming of the Games from their respective Web sites included ARD, ZDF in Germany, France Television France, SVT in Sweden, NOS Netherlands, YLE Finland, ETV Estonia, RUV Iceland, SRG in Switzerland and Eurosport to name a few.
As the largest professional association of national broadcasters (television and radio) in the world, the EBU has 72 active Members in 52 countries of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and 50 associate Members in 30 countries further afield. A total of 88 EBU broadcasters were present at the Winter Games.
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