France Télévisions to rely on Microsoft, Deltatre for Olympic Streaming, Mobile Services

European broadcasters are beginning to make their Olympic strategies known and France Télévisions is the latest, announcing that it will embrace the Internet and mobile platforms in a big way in order to allow fans to share their Olympic Games experience. Deltatre of Torino, Italy, will play a major part in the offering and video content hosting will be on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Azure Media Services, enabling multi-platform consumption with a single encode, meaning great cost-efficiency in operations.

“Fans are spending more and more time following their favorite sports via digital devices as well as on TV,” says David Botbol, head of multimedia in the Sports Department of France Télévisions. “We think that London 2012 will represent a great turning point for digital sports and we owe it to our fans and viewers to give them a wide range of options to enjoy the Olympic Games wherever they may be in France.

Botbol says fans will have access to thousands of hours of content – both live and on demand – as well as very rich live data for every single event at the Games. All the content is provided simultaneously on multiple digital devices and is integrated with social media so sport fans can comment and connect to each other, whether they be using their tablet computer, smartphone or PC.

“We will complement our television broadcast coverage with the finest Internet coverage ever offered to our public,” adds Botbol. “We have appointed Deltatre because of its strong know-how in digital media and Olympic Games as evidenced by what they achieved in Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010 for other world-leading broadcasters.”

Among the technologies used will be DIVA, Deltatre’s broadband video player. It will help deliver thousands of hours of live sports content, combining France Télévisions channels with multilateral streams with live sports data to enhance the viewing experience and making navigation very easy. DIVA also integrates additional great options such as user commenting via Facebook and Twitter, quad view, picture-in-picture, editorial alerts, and action sharing in order to create the ultimate digital viewing experience.

The video will be delivered using Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming technology in order to give fans the highest possible video quality that their devices can display, greatly reducing the experience-killing buffering that nobody likes.

Deltatre’s suite of mobile applications for tablets and smartphones, OVA, will use the main DIVA principles, providing the same extensive coverage of the events to mobile users on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. OVA also integrates live sports data with the viewing experience, including live standings, team statistics and game scoring.  This will offer the fans of the Olympic Games a service never before experienced in France.

And data like Gold Results for both web and mobile, will also be a major offering, with features like extended schedules, country and athlete profiles and a full Medal Table. Every single result for every single event, including split times and detailed statistics will be available on the France Télévisions’ Web site adapted for computer, tablet and mobile phone. In addition there will be direct links to much live and on demand video content directly from the athlete, sport, event and country sections of the website.

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