FileCatalyst & NBC Sports Group at Sochi 2014 Case Study

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Profile

Since 2002, NBC has owned the American rights to broadcast the Olympics and deliver coverage from each event and medal ceremony across the United States via cable television and online. From February 7 to 23, 2014, NBC Sports Group, renowned for its unsurpassed award-winning production, presented the 2014 Summer Games from Sochi, Russia.

Challenges

The Winter Olympics featured live coverage of 98 events across 15 Olympic sports. While covering events in multiple venues, NBC Sports Group needed to deliver video files digitally over a global 2 Gbps link to its headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, where it was edited. Archived footage used during the production also had to be moved from Stamford to Sochi for editorial purposes. The timely delivery of this content was critical.

Aside from the moving the content at accelerated speeds, NBC Sports Group also needed to ensure the reliability and security of every transfer. Sharing files effectively during the games was imperative, and this needed a solution that could accelerate and facilitate concurrent transfers. During peak hours, NBC Sports Group sent up to 100 large video files at once. Finally, NBC sports group needed a solution that could concurrently transfer MXF files while being encoded or dynamically changing.

Solutions

To accelerate the global delivery process and meet the other specified objectives, NBC Sports Group used FileCatalyst’s accelerated and managed file transfer platform. From the opening to the closing ceremonies, FileCatalyst’s technology ensured that every transfer was fast, reliable and secure. The platform’s ability to deal with concurrent transfers and seamlessly transfer dynamic video files made for a streamlined process that saved significant time.

Throughout 2013 leading up to the Sochi games, FileCatalyst worked hand in hand with NBC Sports Group to ensure that the software was up to the task. New features were developed for unique challenges such as handling files that were growing and changing while being encoded. FileCatalyst optimized the solution to handle up to 80 growing MXF proxy videos - and deliver them in real-time. The solution’s scalability also allowed it to concurrently handle up to 20 hi-res MXF video file transfers, further maximizing the link’s capacity.

Results

The 2013 Games were so successful that FileCatalyst was chosen to accelerate the 2014 Winter Games. With FileCatalyst, NBC Sports Group broke new ground in live sports production by overcoming the limits of concurrent transfers and solving the problems associated with dynamically changing MXF files.

“FileCatalyst allowed us to fully utilize our link speed for the 2014 Winter Olympics digital content as well as help us deliver more excitement to the viewers that watched the Games on NBCUniversal.”