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How the BBC Guaranteed Live Streaming Resilience for the Olympics

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The Olympics have become a measuring stick for online broadcasters: How much more can they stream than two or four years ago? How much can they up the quality? For the BBC, the 2012 Olympics proved a special challenge since London was the host. It was a busy year for the BBC.

"2012 was a big year for us when it came to online video," said Kiran Patel, senior product manager for the BBC, speaking at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City. "Even without the Olympics, we've had to cover the F1 season, we've covered Wimbledon, we had the Euro 2012 football tournament in Poland and Ukraine. We also had to cover the queen's Diamond Jubilee, which is a big event in the U.K., and we were adding new features to iPlayer like live rewind to the simulcast live streams that they have on iPlayer. On top of all that, we had the Olympics to cover, as well."

Preparing for those 17 days became top priority at the BBC.

"Being in London, the BBC had to make sure it was the biggest event we've ever covered, and the ambition behind the editorial proposition was huge," Patel added, before showing a video on the BBC's efforts.

For 2012, the BBC demanded coverage that was as resilient as broadcast, but with much more content.

"The goal was simple: Never miss a moment. But what the video doesn't show is the additional focus in the design of the product which was on business continuity and resilience," Patel said, referring to the video he had shown the audience. "There's been a big shift in focus from our digital proposition, which means that it follows at the same levels of resilience and importance as the broadcast chain. We can't go to black, we can't go to silence; it's just not acceptable."

For more, watch Patel's full speech below and download his presentation.


How The BBC Ensured Live Streaming Resilience For The Olympics

Live video streams were key to the ambitious online user proposition for the London 2012 Olympics, and that coverage had to mirror the very high traditional broadcast standards of resilience and quality. Hear the challenges the BBC faced when designing a resilient HTTP streaming infrastructure that was designed to cope with huge volumes. Learn about the solution the BBC used during the games and hear what changes to their methodology was required to build resilience into a cloud-based infrastructure.

Speaker: Kiran Patel, Senior Product Manager, BBC

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