The 2018 Winter Olympics from PyeongChang, South Korea, will be under way in less than 24 hours, and, for Dave Mazza, SVP-CTO of NBC Sports Group and NBC Olympics, launch preparations have gone smoothly so far.
NBC delivered more than 1,500 hours of Olympics coverage from Sochi — the most ever for a Winter Olympics and more than the coverage of the previous two Winter Olympics from Vancouver (835 hours) and Torino (419) combined (1,254). Once again, overseeing the monumental technical and engineering effort behind the scenes is Dave Mazza, SVP-CTO, NBC Olympics. He talks about the Sochi Games, the future — and past — of NBC Olympics, and the technology that has allowed the Peacock Network to deliver the Games to U.S. viewers like never before.
If anything is taken for granted about the London Olympics, it’s the effort that NBC puts into into producing them for American viewers on multiple channels. Chief tech Dave Mazza says just like the athletes, the NBC techs rely on adrenalin to get them through the 17 days. “Maybe it’s a marathon with a triathlon at the end followed by a 100-yard dash,” he says in this NBC-produced video.
Dave Mazza, the engineer-in-chief for NBC Olympics, has spent the last three months overseeing the installation of the network’s control rooms and servers at the International Broadcast Center. His staff has nearly 100 distinct video feeds going to the US (roughly 325 hours’ worth of video a day), the most ever for an Olympics, all destined for the main NBC network and a panoply of cable channels and websites.
Dave Mazza, SVP of engineering for NBC Olympics, is kind of busy right now. He’s overseeing the massive technical preparations so everything’s ready for the July 27 opening ceremonies in London. And while he and his team have years of experience covering the games, there’s always new technology to try out. “We always say that we will always use tried-and-true products to do the Olympics as we can’t afford the risk of something new. Then, when I look at the list of new stuff, it’s staggeringly long. We can’t pull off everything we’re trying to do with the tried and true. It’s just the nature of the beast.”