NBC to use YouTube streaming technology for 2012 Olympics

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It looks like Silverlight is out as NBC's video technology of choice, as the broadcaster has announced a new deal with YouTube to provide its online streaming backend for the London 2012 summer games. Details on the agreement haven't been made public, but it appears to be a good deal for both sides: YouTube gets to associate its brand with the Olympics, and NBC gets to take advantage of YouTube's massive network and audience. Infrastructure seems key, as NBC has stated they plan to stream every event from the games live, as well as offer recaps, interviews, and online-exclusive segments. However, NBC stressed that YouTube.com wouldn't be a source for any live Olympic coverage — all live content will appear on NBCOlympics.com, with YouTube only providing the streaming technology and promoting the games from its website. Given how some of NBC's closest affiliate and cable partners likely feel about YouTube, that particular limitation isn't too surprising.

The move makes sense considering YouTube's ubiquity when it comes to online video and NBC's obvious need to find an alternative to Silverlight. However, NBC owns the Olympic broadcast rights only in the US, and the move to keep the streams on its own website probably means the content won't be available internationally. The BBC will more than likely use its own iPlayer technology in the UK, but it's yet to be seen if other broadcasters will turn to Google's video service. Either way, because a good part of the games will be taking place during business hours in the US, it looks like YouTube has found another way to ruin office productivity.

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