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Alibaba launches OBS Cloud to transform coverage of Olympics

Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) is using Alibaba’s cloud technologies for the first time in a bid to bolster its coverage of the Olympics.

Worldwide Olympic partner Alibaba has helped to launch “OBS Cloud” which aims to transform the way broadcasters cover the Games.

Yiannis Exarchos, chief executive of OBS, described the move as the “biggest technological change” in the broadcasting industry for more than 50 years.

According to Alibaba, hosting in the cloud will offer “cost-efficiency” and “worldwide manageability for storing, managing and delivering huge quantities” of OBS content.

Alibaba also claims it will provide faster deployment with reduced set-up time and fewer onsite resources.

The OBS Cloud is also designed to “help transform the media industry for the digital era”, Alibaba added.

“The partnership with Alibaba Cloud is transforming how we broadcast the Olympic Games to the widest possible audience,” said Exarchos.

“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.”

Alibaba says the OBS content delivery platform is now fully migrated to the cloud.

Between 7,000 and 9,000 short-form content clips are expected to be produced by the OBS Content+ crew to help enhance rights-holding broadcasters’ (RBH) coverage.

It is claimed by Alibaba that 17 RHB organisations and four news agencies have subscribed to the full service of receiving those clips through a web-based interface, which can be accessible for their digital and social media teams “from any location in the world”.

They will be able to access all of the OBS Olympic content including live content as it is being produced, Alibaba said.

A total of 31 RHB organisations have signed up for this a service to be able to easily browse through the low-resolution files near real time, and retrieve any content in any of their global facilities.

Alibaba says OBS will use the Content+ platform for remote editing and standards conversion – a feature that is due to be extended as a service to the RHBs for future Olympics.

“We are confident that OBS Cloud will deliver tremendous benefits to media organisations in terms of cost-efficiency and worldwide manageability, and help digitally transform the way RHBs broadcast the Olympic Games,” said Selina Yuan, general manager of international business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

“We are confident that OBS Cloud will deliver tremendous benefits to media organisations 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 onsite resources, while the flexibility of a cloud platform enables remote post-production 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.” inside the games

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