Going for gold: OBS Cloud to transform Olympic Games coverage

Tokyo 2020 rights-holders will be given the chance to gather and manipulate host broadcaster video assets via the cloud thanks to a new platform being developed by Alibaba Cloud.

OBS Cloud is being created for host broadcaster Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS). It will aim to offer “all the necessary cloud components, in specialised configurations” to support content production and delivery workflows during the Tokyo Games.

As well as making it possible for OBS to provide visual and audio assets to rights-holding broadcasters, the portal will allow those same broadcasters to set up and test their own content creation, management and distribution systems, according to Alibaba.

Traditionally, broadcasters of the Olympics have only been able to implement and test their equipment upon arrival at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in the host city, and the physical space dedicated to broadcasters on site has always been in high demand.

Yiannis Exarchos, the chief executive of OBS, said: “Tokyo 2020 will be an opportunity for the International Olympic Committee to champion digital transformation in the media industry, as well as empowering broadcasters around the world with a cloud platform that delivers new possibilities for how the Games are enjoyed by fans around the world.”

The OBS Cloud will run on Intel Xeon processors and offer supercomputing capabilities, high-speed connectivity directly from the IBC, accessible cloud storage, real-time monitoring, live video and audio broadcasting services and media processing.

At the same time, Intel will collaborate with Alibaba and OBS in an effort to find a more efficient and reliable delivery pipeline for immersive media applications being developed for Tokyo 2020.

Jay Sankar, chief technology officer and head of product at Intel Sports, said: “Sports fans today are seeking more immersive and engaging experiences. Intel’s partnership with Alibaba Cloud and OBS is aimed at delivering these ground-breaking experiences to Rights Holding Broadcasters and fans in a seamless, efficient manner over the OBS Cloud, powered by the most advanced Intel Xeon Scalable processors.”

The Alibaba Group and the International Olympic Committee signed a long-term strategic agreement in 2017 that the two parties hope will transform the Olympic Games for the digital era.

Alibaba is the official cloud services and e-commerce platform services partner for the Olympics.

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