Sun Sets on NBC Web Olympics Coverage

Web-server giant Sun Microsystems will once again supply the supporting hardware for NBC’s 2008 Beijing Olympic Games coverage on the Web, as it did for the 2006 Winter Olympics from Torino, Italy.

The difference for this cycle, however, is a dramatic expansion in the quantity of online coverage that NBC will be offering on Olympic fans will have access to approximately 2,200 total hours of live streaming Olympic broadband-video coverage of 25 different sports on the site, as well as some 3,000 hours of on-demand video, blogs, live chat and athlete profiles.

“This scale hasn’t been done by an Olympic Web site before,” said Taras Bugir, manager of strategic sales, global Internet-protocol TV for Sun.

Bugir noted that Sun will also supply Web servers to NBC for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2010.

The site is supported by 160 Sun Fire X4450 and Sun Fire X4150 servers, which use Intel Xeon processors. Sun -- which is providing ingest servers onsite in Beijing as well as scalable server support from the United States -- is also handling installation and engineering support for the Web coverage through its Sun Services arm.

"In 2008, is redefining the Olympic experience, and Sun Microsystems has been an important partner in that effort,” said Perkins Miller, senior vice president of digital media at NBC Sports and Olympics, in a statement. “We have recognized the growing online viewership for the Olympics and have worked with Sun to create a powerful and feature-rich Web experience for"