Olympics: EBU to Aggregate Highlights Online in 720p

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its member broadcasters have launched “Vancouver Live” (note: this link only works for EBU member countries) for the Winter Olympics, which it’s dubbing “a unique video portal for winter sports enthusiasts” which will sometimes include 720p-quality video of up to 30 nations’ Olympics coverage.

(Content from Vancouver Live is beingrestricted to “certain EBU territories” and therefore is not accessible from computers based in North America and other non-European regions.)

The EBU said its plans for its dedicated Web site include distributing “a selected number of events” for free during the 17 days of events (likely to include opening and closing ceremonies and sporting events mainly involving European athletes). Some coverage will include live video streams on an “HD Channel” that the EBU said will be capable of 720p imaging (depending on broadband connections, and the computers and monitors being used).

The Web site’s video portal will aggregate about 30 EBU member broadcasters’ simulcast feeds — as well as six live feeds produced by the EBU itself, and a round-the-clock Olympics news channel.

The EBU undertook a similar online venture for the 2008 summer games in Beijing, which it said delivered more 22 million video streams to online viewers.

For its part, the EBU probably doesn’t care which countries fare the best. Its headquarters is based in neutral territory: Geneva, Switzerland.