NBC, NFL Deal Puts Adobe One More Step Back

Quietly, a sleeping giant has been evolving. That sleeping giant is Silverlight, a Microsoft rich media technology to rival Adobe’s Flash/Flex platform.

On this date, July 28, there is a dearth of Silverlight content on the web. Almost all the major video sites use Flash players, with Hulu, an NBC property, being a probable exception. However, that is about to change.

NBC Universal is a partner with Microsoft, and the two have collaborated to produce properties such as MSNBC among other joint ventures. In just a short week from now, the next generation of the Microsoft-NBC Universal partnership will unfold before an international audience. NBC’s coverage of the Olympics will be live streamed over the internet using Microsoft Silverlight technology.

I’ve talked to people recently who have discussed the Silverlight platform in the context of competition with Adobe and the ubiquity of Flash. The consensus is that Flash will be here for awhile yet, but as more and more adoption of Silverlight occurs, the Flash footprint could wane significantly. Developers need reason to use a new technology and with the absence of such reason, the status quo will remain.

That reason could very well be the widespread success, if it is a success, of the Olympic coverage on Olympics.com.

But wait, there’s more.

Silicon Alley Insider reported yesterday that an announcement would be made announcing NBC live coverage of Sunday Night Football during the 2008 season over the web. That’s right. Streaming games, multiple camera angles, instant in-home replay, statistics and more.

Which platform is poised to leverage this astonishing about-turn from NFL press mongers? You got it… Silverlight.

Why would NBC invoke any other technology than Silverlight to render rich media content over the web when the technology is quite possibly powering Hulu-powered television and quite possibly about to be a rousing success at the Olympics.

As a side note, the NFL about face on the use of the internet is interesting. Those who have read this site for a long time recall the video podcast that I did from Ravens training camp that was shut down. The video is in my archives if you want to go looking. It’s quite funny, actually.

The NFL is calling this a one year experiment to determine the interest in viewers engaging and consuming their content in non-traditional ways. I look forward to the report that rubber stamps what we’ve known for quite some time: online video consumption, live and otherwise, is replacing televisions in homes across America.

Update: as noted frequently in comments, Hulu is not powered by Silverlight but Flash.

Update 2: So Silverlight was seen as a huge fail and NBC has gone with Flash for their SNF coverage.

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Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

144 thoughts on “NBC, NFL Deal Puts Adobe One More Step Back”

  1. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  2. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  3. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  4. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  5. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  6. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  7. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  8. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  9. Definitely a trend to watch. I recently worked with a dev shop that chose Silverlight over Flash. It was a strategic design on their part, given their relationship with MS, but I wonder how many other companies are in the exact same position.

  10. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  11. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  12. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  13. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  14. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  15. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  16. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  17. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  18. I personally think that it’s going to be a coup. Personally, I thought thatthe Olympics might be the thing that brings Silverlight to the forefront butnow with Sunday Night Football… it’s going to be a hard trend to deny.

  19. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  20. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  21. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  22. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  23. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  24. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  25. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  26. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  27. personally I think the personal decision wasn’t personal. Personally I think the companies who personally select Silverlight are taking a personal risk that personal and business users may personally not to install another plugin. When personally prompted to install silverlight I personally think there should be a personal message explaining it’s not spyware, not personally tracking keystrokes, not going to transmit personal info, etc.

  28. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

  29. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

  30. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

  31. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

  32. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

  33. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

  34. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

  35. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

  36. No where in the article does it say that NBC will be using SilverLight for NFL games so this is purely speculation on your part. MSNBC’s new video player is a Flash app and as you’ve pointed out Hulu (an NBC property) is powered by Flash so it is just as likely that the NFL games will be Flash. Additionally when MSFT rolled out their latest marketing campaign The Mojave Experiment (http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/) what video technology did they use? Not Silverlight. Glad you’re such a MSFT fanboy but the reality is that Flash still dominates web video and will do so for a very long time (even MSFT realizes this which is why they still use Flash across many of their own properties).Despite all the hype around the Olympics, MSFT has announced that users won’t be required to install Silverlight as they will provide videos in Windows Media format. I wonder how many folks will skip the Silverlight download in lieu of Win Media I bet it is 2:1.

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