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Summary:

Conviva has scored a non-exclusive multiyear deal to provide video distribution services to NBC Universal. The companies wouldn’t say which NBC properties would be involved or when, but an emailed press release had Darren Feher, NBCU executive VP and CTO, using the network’s web streaming of […]

Conviva has scored a non-exclusive multiyear deal to provide video distribution services to NBC Universal. The companies wouldn’t say which NBC properties would be involved or when, but an emailed press release had Darren Feher, NBCU executive VP and CTO, using the network’s web streaming of the Beijing Olympics as a reference point.

“Our experience with streaming the 2008 Summer Olympics provided us with more real-world knowledge about distributing live and video-on-demand (VOD) content online than any other broadcaster in the world… We also know too well the challenges – the quality, the unpredictable nature, and the costs – associated with live and high bit rate Internet broadcasting. Our diligence and testing of traditional solutions led us to Conviva because of their inventive approach combining distributed computing and quality of service (QOS) techniques to dynamic delivery of video streams on the Internet.”

So it seems possible that Conviva will be replacing Microsoft Silverlight for NBC’s next Olympics broadcast of the Vancouver games, though nobody would confirm that. Update 3/10: Now Conviva tells me it will not be replacing Silverlight for the Olympics, but rather providing distribution and management tools to run alongside it or Flash.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Conviva’s software is kind of like Move Networks’, except it’s an open platform that works with other people’s players and features. The company recently traded back its hired CEO, Carlos Ramón, for its founding CEO, Hui Zhang. Zhang, who had been chief scientist in the interim, is on leave from his professorship at Carnegie Mellon.

Conviva had earlier placed a focus on live broadcasting, though Zhang said initial talks with NBC last year inspired the company to broaden to other types of video distribution. He said NBC is looking to use Conviva to see if the online digital media experience match the scale and economics of broadcast.

When we looked at Conviva late last year it required installation of a plug-in to play video, but the company said it now also provides streams that can play without additional software.

Yahoo is also testing Conviva, as we reported in January. The startup has raised $29 million from UV Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Foundation Capital since being founded in November 2006.

  1. Wow serious bullshit alarm going off here. A “non exclusive multi-year agreement” – sounds like NBCU put some money into Conviva and is using this to help them launch. Lets see NBC launch a site with a technology other than Flash or SIlverlight before we jump to major conclusions.

    As far as the Olympics are concerned, I thought NBC Sports was letting companies buy rights to stream the games ala 2008?

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  2. Oh hahahaha, now this is even more confusing.

    NewTeeVee: did Conviva drop out of the P2P market, are they mixing P2P with CDN? Why didn’t NBC have Akamai do this via. Red Swoosh? And what does all of this mean for Pando @ NBCU?

    So many questions for the Peacock.

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    1. @SomeoneElse – We shall see!

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  3. What is the article exactly trying to say?

    What are Conviva doing for NBC??? This seems like a a lot of spin with no substance.

    To try to get clarity I went to Conviva’s web site but guess what lots of spin and no substance…

    Could you follow up with some facts about what Conviva will be doing with NBC – just getting a press release for some investment or will the actually be delivering video?

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    1. Yeah, we’ll have to see. Everything’s spin till it’s actually built, but you don’t always want to wait till way after the fact to open your mouth. I don’t think NBC would do this push unless they were actually going to get something out of it. I do agree that Conviva’s website is less than helpful.

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  4. Convia trialed their P2P End Systems Multicast, last year, they have obviously got a working P2P overlay that can scale, from the PR It seems as if they will be mixing P2P (VOD)+ CDN (live streaming), good framework for a scalable distribution and for providing picture in picture interactivity.

    On their earlier talks with NBC, it seems as if they where turned down as a viable option to stream their content, but after 3 years of testing and support from their investors, it looks as if they are ready to go-live.

    Be affraid, Be very affraid, these guy’s are the real deal,

    This non-exclusive multiyear deal to provide video distribution services to NBC Universal, will show if they really have the minerals or whether this is just a load of cobblers,

    I agree with the comments posted here, if Convia have the deal signed, we need more walk and less talk.

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  5. I don’t normally comment on blogs but your post was a real call to action. Thank you for a great read, I will be sure to bookmark your site and check in now and again. Cheers, Amy xXx.

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  6. [...] video technology after Major League Baseball gave it the boot last year in favor of Flash. We had written that a little startup called Conviva might also be helping NBC manage some of its Olympics video, [...]

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  7. @SomeoneElse

    I don’t get this either and I’m involved. What was this Darren guy thinking? He seems like a total idiot.

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  8. Darren Feher qis the stupidest person I’ve worked for.

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  9. I never could figure out Darren. Glad others believe he’s a bozo as well. I feel less lonely.

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  10. [...] But NBC isn’t locking itself into one streaming solution. Earlier this year, the network signed a deal with Conviva to power some of NBC’s [...]

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