Interview: Xfinity X1 to Offer Comprehensive Coverage for 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The 2016 Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony is Friday, August 5th, and the the following two weeks of top athletic competition and drama will be more accessible than ever, for TV customers who currently have the Comcast Xfinity X1 platform. The X1 will offer over 6000 hours of live, on-demand and online streaming content for the 2016 Olympic Games, “Rio Experience on X1.”

The simple and customizable service will offer viewers a “Front Row to Rio,” which will allow them to interact with a simple menu for live events, favorite athletes, teams or nations, and has a “bookmark” section for all those favorites. And all the online streaming content that will be part of the NBC Sports App will be available on X1, and the X1 Sports App will include competition statistics, results, scores and the latest medal associated with each event. Also, NBC will be offering “Must See Moments,” which can be customized for notifications via the X1 App or even text messages for the smart phone.

X1 Front Menu
The Xfinity X1 Front Page Menu for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
Photo credit: Comcast

Special features includes voice activation via the voice remote, video description for the visually impaired, NBC coverage “Primetime on Demand” (which includes Opening and Closing ceremonies), multiple platform viewing options (broadcast or online) and Spanish language options.

This incredible new comprehensive coverage is due to the X1 platform being cloud-based rather than broadcast based. Over 1000 engineers worked on the project, to provide the most advanced system for watching the Olympic Games ever. Comcast VP of Project Management Peter Nush spoke with about this innovative new coverage service. How would you recommend the Xfinity customer approach this new X1 interactive Olympic coverage?

Peter Nush: It’s all about the fun. The one thing we always remember is that TV is a a couch-base, lean-back-and-watch experience. And while we worked to make it more interactive and less passive, there is a fine line between that experience and still relaxing in front of the TV. Right now, we seek to make the Olympic experience a little more interactive and engaging, where you can enhance the viewing, without losing any of the entertainment factor. When your team was developing the experience, which customizable element of the coverage did you see people gravitate towards the most?

Nush: As we research and understand how people want to watch television, we’re finding they want it to be a more personal experience, without having to work too hard – that is the fine line I just mentioned. We found customers asking, with so many choices and so much available to watch, how do they find what they think is interesting? So that is how we’re adapting the interactive elements…when you sit down you feel like you’ve been entertained, and you have the ability to access what is truly entertaining to you. What is an example of an Olympic sport that can now be accessed, which in the past has never gotten any Olympic coverage before?

Nush: Well, in 2016 for example, golf is now in the Olympics for the first time in over one hundred years. With it being televised in this way, with a rich experience wrapped around it, the fans who are really interested in golf they don’t have to settle for the in-between events with the X1 coverage. This is a big moment in Olympic broadcasting.

X1 Nation Menu
The Xfinity X1 Customizable Nations Menu for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
Photo credit: Comcast Okay, so golf is your game. How would a typical customer personalize the experience to not miss any of the action?

Nush: There are a couple things that this user interface does to make finding specific events easier. You can pick up the voice remote and simply say, ‘find me golf,’ ‘find my favorite golfer’ or ‘when is the next golf event?’ A user can also sign up for alerts for golf. You don’t have to browse the guide, you can sign up for reminders, and you can get alerts on your TV or on your phone that will tell you when golf is coming up…and on the phone it can either be through the app or with text messages. What do you believe will be the next frontier for this type of interactive television, and how do you think it will eventually change the way we watch TV?

Nush: If I knew the answer to what was next, I’d be investing heavily in that technology. [laughs] The field for making television a richer and more interactive experience is just emerging. Having software updates that are cloud hosted are giving us the tools to figure out just where those new frontiers are.

Whether on one end of the spectrum it becomes as exciting as Virtual Reality, or on the other end it’s just about better access to statistics in sports. It doesn’t make it too academic, it just makes the experience a smarter and more enjoyable one. Everything from those two extremes to everything in between on that spectrum is fertile ground, and now we have the tools to evolve our way into those next exciting developments.

“Rio Experience on X1” is available through the Comcast Xfinity X1 TV platform. For more information, click here. or click on senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2016 Patrick McDonald,

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions