Rio 2016

Live From Rio 2016: SMT Crunches the Numbers for NBC Olympics

For the ninth straight Olympics, SMT is on hand within the NBC Olympics operations at an IBC, once again providing real-time data and timing information that helps enhance the production via on-air graphics, scheduling, and searches for content in the media-asset–management (MAM) system.

NBC projected logoAccording to Stass Iordanov, senior IT manager, SMT, the company has a team of 10 people onsite to support whatever needs NBC Olympics may have, particularly for the primetime broadcast.

“At every Olympics, the amount of data is increasing, and it’s always a challenge to deal with the volume of data and the latest information,” says Iordanov. “NBC has a graphics crew that works nonstop, and we work with them on things like virtual-graphics insertion in swimming, cycling, and racing events.”

SMT is handling real-time delivery and seamless data and graphics integration with all graphics-display systems for NBC Olympics coverage of golf, beach volleyball, diving, artistic gymnastics, swimming, and track and field events.

Golf is a natural fit for SMT, which is involved in the live scoring of premier golf tournaments and events and has brought all its expertise to the scoring and production at the golf venue in Rio.

In addition, for selected NBC Olympics broadcast venues, SMT’s Point-in-Time software system integrates live results data to provide commentators the ability to locate a specific “point in time” of a competition in both live and recorded coverage. In addition, the software graphically shows key events on a unified timeline so that NBC Olympics talent can quickly see, for example, how a race began, when a lead changed, or where an athlete’s performance improved.

The Point-in-Time software tool dramatically enhances NBC’s storytelling capability, giving on-air talent the ability to highlight the triumphs and defeats intrinsic in the extraordinary level of competition in the 2016 Summer Games.

“We are the source for any data that is available, making it available to different sources like live on-air graphics or log-in information for the MAM for searches and also information for scheduling,” says Iordanov. “And, the way our software works, it can be operated from anywhere. We also have multiple backups with diverse hardware and software streams, so we can cover ourselves with respect to any possible failures.”