With Live Earth now less than two weeks away, Microsoft's MSN division is preparing itself for what will be one of the largest streaming events in the history of the Internet.
Companies such as AOL and CBS have done it for Live 8 and the Final Four in the past, however Microsoft's offering will be on a larger scale. The service uses those two events as a template for its own offering and will build upon them.
In total, the event will be viewable in about 24 markets worldwide, and is expected to serve more than five million streams per day. In many of these markets, Live Earth marks the first time a streaming event of this magnitude will be available directly for Internet users, MSN senior director Lisa Gurry told BetaNews.
In all, about 36 hours of live coverage will be available for viewing.
The interface is comprised of a main screen for viewing a single feed, surrounded by "thumbnails" of shots from other events. While these won't be moving thumbnails, Gurry said they will be changed frequently so the viewer has an up-to-date idea of what is going on at other Live Earth venues.
During the event, MSN said it will begin to capture highlights and make them available as on-demand videos beginning on Sunday. Gurry said that in addition to the entertainment value, MSN was investing in the concept itself, providing "green content" to users.
These videos will be pulled from a variety of sources, including National Geographic, Hearst, TreeHugger, Conservation International, and the Alliance for Climate Protection, Al Gore's group that is responsible for the event itself.
Gurry made it clear, however, that MSN does intend to approach the event from an objective perspective. "We want to be a platform for discussion, not to force an opinion," she said.
In fact, she said the company will provide outlets for those who may disagree with the positions of those supporting the event to voice their own opinions on the topic.
Microsoft, MSN, Windows Live, Live Earth, Events