Silverlight, MSN, Bing, and the Winter Olympics

nbcolympics The Winter Olympics, this year held in Vancouver, B.C., are just a few days away, and promise to be the most internet friendly Olympics, so far (especially if you’re in the US, we’re checking on the non-US story).  NBC Universal will again carry Silverlight-driven live coverage of many of the events, although the restrictions on what you can watch will be based on your cable or satellite package.  Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times explains the restrictions:

In some ways, online broadcasts of the Vancouver Olympics preview what’s coming from media companies, as they explore ways to charge for online content that used to be free.

This will be apparent when you try to watch a Vancouver event live online at, the Games’ official, exclusive broadcaster in the U.S.

For the first time, viewers will have to prove that they subscribe to premium-cable service to access "live and full-event replay video.", through, will be providing the coverage, including:

  • More than 400 hours of live event competition video and more than 1,000 hours of on-demand access to full-event replays from broadcast and host-feed coverage of all 15 sports on program.
  • Fast, comprehensive results for all 86 Winter Olympics events, providing live results, statistical summaries, elimination brackets and more.
  • An interactive online player, powered by Microsoft Silverlight, presents video in HD quality and has DVR-style controls, enhancing navigation and allowing people to pause and rewind live and on-demand video.
  • Mobile access to the Winter Games via MSN Mobile, powered by NBC Olympics.
  • Olympics Facebook application, MSN Vancouver FanPicks, via MSN’s Facebook Fan Page. FanPicks pairs fans with athletes depending on their lifestyle
  • information (hometown, zodiac sign, favorite books, etc.), and incorporates Bing, and Twitter feeds.

More on the MSN blog.

And not to be outdone, Bing is offering up new instant answers, and two new Visual Searches for the Winter Olympics, for Events and Athletes:


More on the Bing Blog.