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Olympic Broadcasting Services hosted in Alibaba cloud for the first time

By Shannon Williams
Fri 30 Jul 2021

In collaboration with Olympic Broadcasting Services, Alibaba‘s cloud solutions will be supporting service delivery for Rights-Holding Broadcasters for the first time during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 

Built upon the platform provided by Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group and Worldwide TOP Partner, OBS Cloud offers new models for content delivery that are designed to drive operational efficiency and greater agility. 

An innovative broadcasting solution brought together by OBS and Alibaba, and operates entirely on the cloud, OBS Cloud, is designed to help transform the media industry for the digital era.

“The partnership with Alibaba Cloud is transforming how we broadcast the Olympic Games to the widest possible audience – this is perhaps the biggest technological change in the broadcasting industry for more than half a century since the introduction of satellite transmission, which was introduced to Olympic broadcast coverage for the first time at Tokyo 1964," says Yiannis Exarchos, OBS chief executive officer.

Leveraging Alibaba technologies, Content+, OBS’ content delivery platform is now fully migrated to the cloud for delivering short-form content, content asset management and content production.

Delivering short-form content

During Tokyo 2020, between 7,000 and 9,000 short-form content clips are expected to be produced by the OBS Content+ crew to help enhance RHB coverage. 17 RHB organisations and four news agencies have subscribed to the full service of receiving those clips through a user-friendly web-based interface. The thousands of clips can be accessible by the RHBs’ digital and social media teams from any location in the world to supplement their own Olympic coverage.

 Content asset management

Through Content+, RHBs will be able to access all Olympic content produced by the OBS including live content as it is being produced. 31 RHB organisations have signed up for this full service to be able to easily browse through the low-resolution files in near real-time, and retrieve any content in any of their global facilities. The access to live coverage allows RHBs to mark part of the live content and download it for their own post-production needs, simultaneously when the games are still happening.

Content production

Used as part of post-production workflow, OBS will use the Content+ platform for remote editing and standards conversion; a feature that will be extended as a service to the RHBs for future Olympics.

In addition, two RHBs will receive live distribution of Ultra High Definition (UHD), High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Internet Protocol Video and Audio package during Tokyo 2020, allowing them to deliver 4K content to their viewers.  

Selina Yuan, general manager of International business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, says, “We are confident that OBS Cloud will deliver tremendous benefits to media organisations in terms of cost-efficiency and worldwide manageability, and help digitally transform the way RHBs broadcast the Olympic Games. 

"The agility that comes with cloud infrastructure allows faster deployment time with fewer onsite resources, while the flexibility of a cloud platform enables remote post-production and production to be done faster – and from any location with an internet connection," she says. 

"We look forward to seeing the future of Olympic Games broadcasting begin at Tokyo 2020.”

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