Roger Mosey, the BBC’s director of London 2012, has said navigating viewers through the 24 streams that will be available for the duration of the Olympics will be the broadcaster’s “single biggest challenge”.
Addressing the Broadcasting Press Guild, attended by Broadband TV News, Mosey said the BBC would use Kenziko’s Kinetrak technology to showcase the events available across its network. “You take the basketball off of BBC Three and you then have to tell people where it is.”
Presenters of the curated coverage on BBC One and BBC Three will gesticulate to illustrate what is coming up.
Kenziko technology, such as Kontact, has been seen on programmes such as Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, where the presenter drives sequences entirely from an iPad.
Mosey said the 24 stream coverage, available over Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and online, contrasted with the six-event coverage at the Athens Olympics in 2004. However, he cautioned that such breadth would ultimately impact on viewing figures to the main channels.
“We will give reach figures for the television streams, but by spreading it thinly we will be cannibalizing ourselves, though I still expect BBC One to get a good audience,” he said. “Most people will want to watch a BBC One HD narrated experience of all the things happening.”
While BBC One and BBC Three viewers will move between events, the 24 streams will allow fans of individual sports to watch coverage all the way through to the medal ceremonies. While the BBC will supplement the coverage from host broadcaster Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), adding its own cameras to ensure images of Britain’s athletes, some areas of the streams will lack customization.
“By the time we get down to the bottom area of the EPG you may have partial commentary and host broadcaster captions,” Mosey admitted.
Mosey has been in discussions with ISPs for the last three years to ensure that the internet streams are successfully delivered. He pointed to areas around Arsenal’s football ground where it was often difficult to send a text during half time. “The one thing that will mitigate it is the 24 streams, which people will be able to view, rather than going to broadband.”
The BBC streams will be largely restricted to the UK, though the EBU is expected to offer a portal with a single stream from each participating broadcaster.