Fri - 19.01.2018

Race to cover the Olympics

Race to cover the Olympics

Olympic athletes are not the only ones making ambitions preparations for this summer’s games. The BBC outlined its plans for covering the Olympics in a statement yesterday, promising to provide 2,500 hours of live Olympic coverage, up from the 1,500 hours that the BBC produced at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“We will be bringing live coverage of every Olympic Sport from every venue, both through a combination of BBC One and BBC Three and up to 24 simultaneous streams live online on PC, mobile, tablet or connected TV. These services will be complemented by coverage on Radio 5 live, mobile and tablet, while the majority of cable and satellite viewers will be able to access the 24 channels on their providers’ platform through the BBC Red Button,” said Roger Mosey, BBC director of London 2012.

The broadcaster promises that these will also be the “first truly ‘Digital Olympics’ ”, with coverage across four new media platforms, as well as TV and radio. The BBC has developed a mobile browser site and mobile app for Olympic news, and it touts the “enhanced and interactive video experience” that users will receive during the Games. This includes 24 live video streams, HD live video coverage, live statistics and data, and dedicated pages for each individual sport, venue, athlete and country. The mobile video company LiveU also announced yesterday that the BBC would expand its use of LiveU’s LU60 uplink solution to enhance its coverage of the games.

The Guardian points out that the 24 streamed channels represent four times the number that the BBC has used in the past to broadcast the Wimbledon tennis championships. The paper also reports that some of the most important Olympic events, including the men’s 100 meter final, will be broadcast in 3D and in “super high definition” at certain venues.

In addition to providing cross-platform coverage, the BBC is also making an effort to fix coverage of the games in the heart of local communities. The broadcaster writes that it will use its network of BBC Big Screens across UK cities to create 22 “live sites,” where people can sit and watch the events.

Across the channel, Agence Press France announced that it would be sending 180 journalists to cover the London games, including 12 teams of video reporters, which will produce more than 1,000 videos in six different languages. As Press Gazette reported, the agency aims to provide 2,000 photos a day, and between 400 and 500 text stories.

The Olympic organising committee is dialling up its own media presence via digital channels. Alex Balfour, the head of new media for the London committee organising the 2012 Games, spoke at WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Europe conference last month, where he pointed out that this year’s Games were taking place in a vastly different media landscape compared to the 2008 event, thanks to increased access to the Internet and to social media. Adapting to this new environment, the Olympics have already generated a significant online audience, with 4.3 million users registered to the official London 2012 website, and half a million people following the official @London2012 Twitter account.

New media will also change the way this summer's Games are reported by allowing athletes to become broadcasters themselves. “What will be new for an event of this scale is that athletes will be active on social media,” said Balfour at DME12, “It will be fascinating because it will give people insight into the athletes.”

Sources: BBC, Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union, Press Gazette, The Guardian, WAN-IFRA


Hannah Vinter


2012-05-16 14:59

Shaping the Future of the News Publishing

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