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When we covered the 2012 London Olympics (see here), the Opening Ceremonies had quite an effect on overall broadband traffic (especially in the US). The Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremonies do not appear to have had the same hold on broadband streamers. Procera looked across several different types of broadband networks (fixed, mobile, and a wireless ISP), and the impact of the streaming for Friday was minimal.

Some Take-Aways:
- Netflix appeared to take NO hit in bandwidth usage from normal, unlike the 2012 Olympics. None of the networks that we looked at had any statistically significant increase or drop from normal rates, and YouTube was similarly unaffected.
- On a large cable network in the northern parts of North America, streaming traffic did hit ~10% of overall streaming traffic at peak time. This was in a northern part of the continent, so winter Olympics hit pretty close to home in this location. This was an anomaly compared to other networks, and shows that regional differences can affect live event usage.
- By contrast, in a southern part of the US on a large cable operator, Olympic Streaming was less than 1% of the total streaming traffic, so the warm part of the US did not tune in as avidly as the cold part did.
- A comparison of regional ISPs that spanned fixed, mobile, and a wireless ISP showed that mobile usage was extremely low, WISP usage was spotty, and fixed was consistent (if low).
- A look at a Scandinavian operator revealed consistent bandwidth usage for the Olympics, but also not a lot of volume overall.

Here are a few of the snapshots:

Large Cable Operator: Olympics vs. Other Streaming Services. In this network ~1% of subscribers active on the network watched some Olympics coverage online.


Mobile vs Fixed vs WISP Olympics Comparison for Thursday and Friday:


Scandinavian operator: Comparison on Netflix vs. YouTube vs Olympics coverage by average bitrate. The Olympics streams are of high quality, but lower volume.


Subscriber Usage: The number of subscribers that accessed the Streaming Service for the Opening Ceremonies was far greater than normal, as shown below:


Small cable operator in North America - Netflix vs. Olympics

NetflixvsOlympicsCable2 We will continue to track the Olympics as they continue over the next two weeks, and let you know if anything significant occurs. We expect similar behavior for the rest of the period, although specific events may peak in certain countries as their favorites happen to be competing live that may be time shifted due to time zone differences.

Topics: Analytics in Motion

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