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The Digital Olympics

NBC is making an unprecedented digital push with its coverage of the Olympics this summer, making more than 2,000 hours of live content and 3,000 hours of on-demand content accessible via the NBCOlympics.com Web site. Cnet writes that while this is certainly a great opportunity for Olympics fans, it's a huge test for NBC, Microsoft -- which is powering the video service through its Silverlight video player -- and Limelight, whose network is being used to route the video streams to Internet service providers across the country.

Just how big of a test is this? As NBC Universal Senior Vice President Perkins Miller says, "It does keep me up at night...I don't think anybody could have imagined (this) in 2006," he said. "You look at something like March Madness on-demand. You look at what's happened on MSN with Live Earth. This is what we think the trend is for online."

As Miller points out, the Web provides the broadest and best way to cover the Games. "There's no incremental cost in terms of covering the events," Miller said, referring to those events that didn't make it to NBC's primetime TV coverage in the past. "They were available before. We just had not been broadcasting them." Microsoft's Silverlight technology will allow users to watch nearly every event live, as its video player displays as many as four events at a time.

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