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Olympic Broadcasting Services Hosted via the Cloud for the First Time

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For the first time ever, Alibaba, through its cloud solutions, collaborates with Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) to host the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in the cloud through Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs).

Built on the platform 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 drive operational efficiency and greater agility. An innovative broadcasting solution brought together by OBS and Alibaba that operates entirely in the cloud, OBS Cloud is designed to help transform the media industry for the digital era.

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

“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,” said Yiannis Exarchos, OBS CEO.

Delivering short-form content

During Tokyo 2020, an average of 7,000 to 9,000 short-form content clips are expected to be produced by the OBS Content+ crew to help enhance RHBs’ coverage of the Olympics.

Seventeen RHB organizations and four news agencies worldwide have subscribed to the full service of receiving those clips through a user-friendly web-based interface. The thousands of clips can be accessed by the RHBs’ digital and social media teams from any location in the world to supplement their own Olympics coverage.

Content asset management

Through Content+, RHBs will be able to access all Olympic content produced by OBS, including live content as it is being produced. This service lets the 31 RHBs that have signed up for this full service 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 postproduction needs simultaneously as the games are happening.

OBS International Transmission MCR Room. Remote postproduction and production with content accessible from any location via an internet connection

Content production

Used as part of postproduction workflow, OBS will use Content+ platform for remote editing and standards conversion, a feature that will be extended as a service to 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.  

“We are confident that OBS Cloud will deliver tremendous benefits to media organizations 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 on-site resources while the flexibility of a cloud platform enables remote postproduction and production to be done faster — and from any location with an internet connection . We look forward to seeing the future of Olympic Games broadcasting begin at Tokyo 2020,” said Selina Yuan, general manager of International business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

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