Let the Games Begin: Akamai To Speed Olympic Video Downloads

Having tackled the Super Bowl, Akamai Technologies is setting its sights on a more global stage—the summer Olympics in Beijing. Back in January, we reported that the Cambridge, MA-based company, which specializes in online content distribution and networking, was helping the New England Patriots and the NFL get ready for the biggest game of the year (turns out the Pats could have used more help with their offensive line and Tom Brady’s ankle).

Now Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) has announced that it is teaming up with New York-based The NewsMarket, an online video delivery and marketing firm, to enable journalists covering the summer games in China to view and download Olympic-related video clips more quickly and reliably than before. The NewsMarket, which has some 16,000 media subscribers across 193 countries, has set up a dedicated “Beijing 2008” video channel: the company says it is already being used by the International Olympic Committee and companies like Adidas, Samsung, and Volkswagen (presumably for advertising).

The NewsMarket clearly needs Akamai’s technology for its Beijing channel to handle the huge demand for video of the summer games. Akamai, for its part, may see this not just as a good short-term deal, but also as a way to gain a larger footprint in China, which, according to Akamai’s recent “State of the Internet” report, will soon be connected to the United States by a new “Trans-Pacific Express” undersea cable carrying up to 5 terabits of data per second.

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