2012 Olympics: BBC Will Broadcast 'Every Hour of Every Event,' Says Head of Sport

The broadcaster will launch 24 dedicated Internet channels to boost TV coverage but admits a "limited" role" for 3D TV.

EDINBURGH -- The BBC will provide comprehensive coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games next year for the first time in its history, using internet channels to provide total coverage of all 24 competition events in addition to carrying major sport coverage and highlights on its main channels.

As recently as the Beijing Games, the BBC had only been able to provide coverage of around 75 percent of the events via its interactive operations.

This time pubcaster is fashioning its content so that it can be adapted for TV viewers as well as desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone users.

Speaking at a panel in Edinburgh, BBC director of sport Roger Mosey said the BBC was preparing to offer viewers coverage of "every hour of every event from the beginning of the event to the end."

Mosey said the BBC was investigating the possibility of 3D broadcasting but admitted that there were capacity issues. There would be only a "limited" role for the coverage as it would need to transmit  on of the BBC’s two dedicated HDTV channels and yet broadcast to only a handful of homes.

However the pubcaster will trial a new Super Hi Definition broadcasting approach in partnership with NHK Japan.

Super Hi Def television sets are not expected to be commercially available for over a decade, but the BBC and NHK are working on installing three dedicated high-cost 50-foot screens in London, Bradford and Glasgow for the Olympics.

The venues will allow a handful of the audience at least to sample the technology, which has 16 times the clarity of Hi Def.

Mosey said the BBC hasn’t yet disclosed how much money it is investing on its coverage of the 17-event in July, but said it was on a “huge scale.” It will publish the figure next year.

Its investment in people is expected to be significantly ahead of the 439 staff it sent to cover Beijing -- for the same event NBC send more than 2,800 -- and will involve local and regional reporters covering the passage of the Olympic torch, news reporters on the coverage of the Games as a whole and the bulk of the resources of its sporting staff.

“Almost everyone at the BBC in one way or another will be involved with the Olympics,” he said.