Missing 250 Thousand Hours of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Aug 16, 2016
Alfredo Andrade de Mello

Imagine, for a moment, what a single second of lost Olympic Games broadcast coverage means — when viewed through the lens of more than 900 million global television viewers1 tuning into the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. That lost second can add up to 250 thousand hours of blank TV screens around the world.

Helping to ensure every second of the 5,000 hours of broadcast coverage, produced by 10,000 media professionals at the Olympic International Broadcast Center (IBC), reaches a global audience of 1.5 billion people is the job of GE Energy Connections.

GE is supplying the entire electrical distribution and power protection system for the 85,000-square-meter IBC, which will serve as the media broadcast hub for the Olympic Games. The entire electrical system — including transformers, power panels, switchgear and other electrical power components — will provide and manage all the power for the IBC. During the Olympic Games, the IBC is projected to consume approximately 50 megawatts of power, or about 20 percent of all the electricity used during the Games.

In addition, emergency power supply units are being deployed to provide both power backup at the IBC and to help ensure reliable, consistent power to recording, editing and broadcast equipment located on-site. These emergency backup power units will be monitored — almost as closely as some of the sporting events — by a team of 35 GE power professionals staffing a monitoring center. They will be checking power protection performance and tracking power incidents that might trigger preemptive service.

"With 206 countries represented2, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will bring together all the citizens of the world to celebrate the human spirit of excellence. Everyone at GE is proud to help ensure that the stories of these Olympic Games are shared with the world.

[1] Number of international views tuning into the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games -

[2] Number of countries represented at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games-


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Alfredo Andrade de Mello

Alfredo Andrade de Mello is the commercial leader for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for GE Energy Connections. He works closely with our customers, like the International Olympic Committee, to plan, design and connect the brilliant machines, grids and systems that deliver energy to the people and places that need it most.