Video technology provider NeuLion is powering China Network Television's (CNTV) streaming coverage of 5,600 hours of live coverage of the London Olympics, via a new premium service called CNTV 5+ VIP. The service, which is free, has exclusive streaming rights in China. CNTV 5+ VIP is yet another example of how central streaming will be to this summer's games, which start later this week.
Chris Wagner, NeuLion's EVP and co-founder, told me last week that while streaming is ubiquitous in China, what's noteworthy about CNTV 5+ VIP is that it is adaptive and will deliver an HD experience, streaming at an average of 1.6 mbps, compared to most online video in China which is 300-500 kbps. NeuLion is ingesting the linear broadcast and specific event video, encoding and distributing via its CDN as well as providing the video player technology.
In addition to a 24/7 live HD channel, nine sports will have live event coverage: basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, swimming, track and field, gymnastics and ping pong. In addition to the live video, Chris said the experience will be integrated with live stats and multiple camera angles.
Beyond the Olympics, Chris said the NeuLion and CNTV partnership is intended to support other premium online video content providers in the future. CNTV is a licensed entity which can collect money from Chinese consumers, so it can be a platform for other rights-holders to reach the burgeoning Chinese online market with paid services.
Here's an interview Beet.tv did with Chris.