Azure handles record-breaking Rio 2016 Summer Games video streams, validates scalability

Arif Bacchus

In the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, NBC Olympics announced that it had chosen Microsoft Azure as the trusted cloud provider to power the network’s Olympic streaming coverage. Now that the Games of the 31st Olympiad are over, statistics from the Azure deal have been revealed, and they show that Azure handled record-breaking Rio 2016 Summer Games video streams.

On the NBC Olympics side of things, across and the NBC Sports app, there was a record 3.3 billion total streaming minutes. Viewers also streamed 2.71 billion minutes of Olympic coverage – a new record for live event coverage. Additionally, NBC Olympics digital coverage amassed 100 million unique users, which was 29% more than the 2012 London Olympics.

Of course, this all was powered by Azure which faced zero outages or downtimes within the full 19 days of the 31st Olympiad. For Microsoft, some Azure records from the Olympic games include:

  • A 1080p profile for all streamed channels (up from 720p during Sochi) as viewers expect a “TV-like” experience on any device.
  • Over 4,500 hours of content
  • Over 50 simultaneous Olympics events
  • Over 100 live channels continuously available for the Games.

What are your impressions of these statistics? Did you help contribute by following along with the Olympic action? Let us know what you think by dropping us a comment below!