Fewer staff will go to Brazil World Cup

Barbara Slater Barbara Slater: Brazil to be first 24/7 World Cup

The BBC will be sending fewer staff to the World Cup in Brazil than it did to South Africa four years ago - despite promising 50% more hours of television around the tournament.

Current plans are that 272 people will go to South America this summer compared to the 295 who went to South Africa.

'Throughout the planning process, all parts of the BBC have been acutely aware of the need to run as efficient an operation as possible, striking a balance between editorial ambition, technical feasibility and value for money,' blogs Barbara Slater, director of sport.

Despite the cost, however, Sport will be basing its production operations in Brazil to reduce the risk of technical problems.

'With over 9000 kilometres between BBC Sport's HQ in the UK and our production teams in Brazil, it is technically very challenging to leave significant elements of the broadcast operation back in the UK,' explains Slater.

'For example, the significant delay in communications between the two countries presents an unacceptable risk to the continuity and quality of our programmes if we attempted to control the live operation from back in the UK with commentators, cameras and presentation teams spread around Brazil.'

And in a country that is 30 times the size of the UK, the vast distances between matches - which kick-off only hours apart - means the BBC will need 12 separate commentary teams.

Day and night

Television coverage will focus on the 31 live matches that will be broadcast, together with documentaries - including one featuring David Beckham, highlights and preview programmes.

Radio 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra will provide 24 days of football commentaries, most of them live and featuring expert voices. The radio presenters and pundits have more than 300 international caps between them.

There will also be online coverage, news at national, regional and local level, and international programming, such as the ten editions of World Football Focus on BBC World News that will come from Brazil.

'Our aspiration is to make Brazil 2014 the first '24/7 World Cup', which will appeal to all age groups, available across all devices at any time of the day or night,' says Slater.

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