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NBCOlympics.com Teams with Axient For Olympic Coverage

The Olympics seems to bring everyone together – even old and new media. Nevertheless, there's still controversy regarding webcasting of the games. Broadcasting rights are normally granted within national boundaries, but there are no boundaries in cyberspace. That means the Olympics won't be webcast live since NBC doesn't want to risk losing viewers of their time-delayed broadcasts to the web. What NBC/Quokka will be offering, however, are streamed highlights at their NBCOlympics.com site to broadband users.

NBC said today it has chosen Axient Communications ( http://www.axient.com) as its provider of streaming media services for its NBCOlympics.com site in the United States. Axient is a content delivery company that is premiering its new product 'Octane' (with full-screen, high-resolution video, stereo sound, text and graphics) at the games.

One of the reasons why NBC chose Axient is because of Axient's proprietary backbone technology that restricts the delivery of content only to the U.S. marketplace. The highlights will only be viewable on residential broadband connections as many corporate LANs are accessible from other countries.

"Our technology helps to continue to innovate and round out the 'Complete Olympic Experience' provided by NBC," stated Toby Wong of Axient.

Axient Communications will produce and provide up to 20 minutes of streaming video and audio daily via NBCOlympics.com (http://www.nbcolympics.com), including up to 10 minutes of highlights of Olympic competition seen on NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games during the prior day's broadcasts. Non-broadband users will be able to enjoy the NBCOlympics.com site, but they won't be able to watch the streaming highlights.

In order to view the highlights from the Olympics you must be connected to an Octane ISP. Axient is not releasing the lists of all participating Octane ISPs at this time, but they say that all major ISP providers have signed on.

Axient currently reaches 60 U.S. cities with their Octane service, and they are using the anticipated demand for the Olympic highlights to sign on more ISPs daily.

Phoenix, Arizona-based Axient's goal is to expand Octane's reach to the entire continental states by 2001.

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