Akamai Provides Details On Their Olympics Business

While Limelight Networks has been getting a lot of media coverage over their NBCOlympics.com business, many have been wonder and asking what exactly is Akamai’s role for the games? On last weeks quarterly call, Akamai executives made references to their Olympics business but without any details, until now.

In an e-mail to me this weekend, which I am allowed to share, Akamai detailed what they are doing for the Olympics, the type of content they are delivering and the websites they are working with. While it is true that Limelight is delivering all of the video, live and on-demand for the NBCOlympics.com website, (with Level 3 as the backup should anything go wrong) Akamai’s network is being used to cache and deliver all of the static content for NBCOlympics.com. NBC is using Akamai for dynamic site acceleration, event planning and support and syndication services.

In addition to the NBCOlympics.com website, outside of the U.S. many other websites have rights to broadcast the games. Akamai is working with the European Broadcast Union to deliver Olympic video to the sites they support including Eurosport, TF1, Canal +, Y.L.E (Finland) and France Television amongst others.

In addition to the European Broadcast Union, Chinese portal Sohu, MySpace China, Tudou.com, PPLive and others are also providing Olympic content, but I don’t know who is providing the delivery of that content, exclusively in China. While ChinaCache would not go into many details, they did say that they are helping IOC rights holders like CCTV, QQ and others with over 100Gbps of Flash live and on-demand streaming. Updated: ChinaCache put out a release saying they are providing delivery for Sohu, People.com, Xinhua,
CCTV, QQ, Sina and China Online.

Naturally, some on Wall Street are going to ask me what type of traffic does Akamai expect from the Olympics and what type of impact will this have on their revenue? Since no one knows exactly how much traffic any of these websites will get, there is no way to know and Akamai did not provide me with any traffic estimates.

No doubt, the Olympics are going to be a big online event for all of the content delivery networks involved, who will see lots of traffic. But with only so many hours in the day, and thousands of hours of live and on-demand content available, how much can one really watch in a 10 day period? And the big question, which so far, no one has been able to officially answer for me is, how long will the Olympics video be archived on NBCOlympics.com? For the CDNs involved, the longer, the better.

Note: I asked additional CDNs in Europe and Asia if they were providing any content delivery services for the Olympics so they could be included in the post. Some didn’t respond to the request or stated they were not involved.