Sochi Winter Olympics Index Launched

Executive Product Manager

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Today we are launching the BBC Sochi Winter Olympics website, which automatically adapts its layout depending on whether you access the site from a PC, tablet or mobile.

This new responsive site will be the home of all BBC Sochi coverage, including 650 hours of live video in up to six simultaneous streams in the UK.

The indexes for the Winter Olympics site on four screens

The Winter Olympics is a massive part of a fantastic year of sport on the BBC which also includes the FIFA World Cup in Rio and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow taking place in the summer on top of the Formula 1 World Championship and Wimbledon.

Much of the planning and development for these big events takes place in the previous year, so there were a few key decisions to make in 2013.

When deciding what to build for Sochi, we spent a lot of time analysing audience feedback and usage figures from London 2012.

This research showed that being able to follow the live action in video, audio or through the live text commentary were the most popular elements of our coverage, alongside the medal table and schedule so that's where we've also focussed our efforts for Sochi.

The new live page, which will showcase the Winter Olympics live video, radio, statistics and live text commentary, has been evolving since launching in beta last year thanks to your feedback, and will be at the heart of our Sochi coverage throughout the Games.

In the run up to the Games, the new Sochi site will cover the latest build-up news and outline what's happening when in the detailed schedule. Next week we will also add a dedicated index for each of the Olympic sports so that you can follow the latest news on your favourite sport, check the schedule and view the video highlights all in one place.

During the Games, as well as watching the live action, you’ll also be able to follow your country's performance on the medal table and check out the results of every event.

This content is also available in the BBC Sport app for mobiles and tablets, available on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices. In the app you can also add the main Sochi 2014 page to your quicklinks and follow live coverage on the go with the Radio 5 Live and 5 Live sports extra radio streams.

If you’re following the action on TV there’ll be up to two red button streams on BT Vision, Freesat, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and YouView, offering live content and highlights from Sochi. While those with connected TVs will have access to all six video streams, highlights and headlines through the BBC Sport app for connected TVs and the BBC's Connected Red Button service on Virgin Media TiVo and both Sony 2013 and Samsung 2012 Smart TVs.

Another key decision we had to make last year was how to develop the Sochi site for the growing number of mobile and tablet devices visiting BBC Sport.

We recently saw record traffic from handheld devices to BBC Sport over the festive period and on a typical weekday we receive more than half of all visits from mobile phones and tablets, rising to two thirds at the weekend, so designing a service which is optimised for those devices was really important.

There are currently two BBC Sport websites - a mobile website and a desktop website. Rather than making two versions of every event site we're building in 2014, we have adopted a responsive design approach and have built a single website which will adapt its layout for whatever device you are on.

William Bamford, from our engineering team, will explain more on how the site was built in a blog post in the near future.

We'll also be using feedback about the Winter Olympics to help us add to and improve the experience for the other key events in 2014 so please do let us know what you think.

We're especially interested in learning how you use your mobile and tablet devices as companions to television viewing and I'm keen to hear your thoughts on the subject so please do leave a comment.

Lucy McLean is Executive Product Manager, BBC Sport, BBC Future Media

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Comments

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  • Comment number 37. Posted by PeterK

    on 18 Feb 2014 14:11

    Although promised full coverage there has been nil on Biathlon.
    A very demanding sport, could it be that using weapons is
    enough to scare off the programme planners ?
    Why not mown up and make a statement.
    PeterK

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  • Comment number 36. Posted by johanna

    on 17 Feb 2014 14:44

    so far games have been sublime. lot of drama and tension. shame that bbc 2 commentators, have to make so much fuzz about gay people. i dont understand their position. after all , Putin ONLY said : leave the kids alone ! very very sensible comment from my point of view. and the bbc jumped up. like the house was on fire. nobody else cares what they say. all the athlets are focused on winning medals. giving their best & having fun. who asked the bbc to stand up for the athlets that have different ''life-style'' choices ? nobody else was bothered about Putin's comment but paul o'grady and the rest of bbc who apparently likes to stir up things. all the rest are relaxed & having fun... carry on guys ))))
    as for the bbc being fair & square/ showing national heroes. indian guy who competed on his own without his team baking him... there were plenty other drama stories to show.
    why did the bbc not talk about the romanian guy , who lost his eye in a tragic accident, after which left his country to train elsewhere & paid ALL expenses from his own pocket , just to be able to compete at SOCHI ? not to mention all the jeni jones side talk. laughing at other competitors, whishing they will fail ...so jeni takes medal ...who does that ?
    let the best win...!! and surely dont wish any athlets ''death'' (out of podium i mean) on the slope or elsewhere
    apart from that nice...coverage and wonderful games...
    go norway ! & hope GB curling team wins ! they deserve it !!!
    everyone is entitled to their own oppinion !!!! so remember. please dont delete this post. just cause it doesnt comply with the bbc ''standars'' )))

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  • Comment number 35. Posted by LPW

    on 14 Feb 2014 18:07

    Congrats to Lizzy Arnold on her Skeleton Gold medal !

    What a pity the BBC TV coverage was spoilt by simplistic, error-laden, commentating (esp Paul Dickinson).

    They even managed to 'criticise' her final run and say it wasn't very good, despite it being the FASTEST of the heat and 2nd fastest of the entire competition - only bettered by her Heat 3 time !

    Ignorance is bliss apparently...

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  • Comment number 34. Posted by DBOne

    on 14 Feb 2014 12:50

    @33 Its probably not the BBCs choice - the IOC as the rights holder will dictate how the BBC distribute the video.

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  • Comment number 33. Posted by pete

    on 14 Feb 2014 02:03

    Hi lotrjw, I thought websites were supposed to be moving over to HTML5 as an alternative to flash, I would have thought the BBC would be one of the first ones to do so, I guess they are not as innovative as they would have us believe.

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by Holy Family RC Primary School

    on 12 Feb 2014 15:10

    Please see the work of one of our outstanding year 6 pupils, Ashley (aged 11). He has recreated the poem which accompanies the Winter Olympic advert. We hope you enjoy

    I’m the oppressor of cold and dark,
    the terrible tyrant of frostbite and hail,
    the dangerous devil,
    a perilous pest of the chill that runs up your neck…
    so run, run, for your life!
    For I am the conundrum that lies before you…
    I’m the general tormentor that ruins your days!

    I gave rise to mountains and snow,
    I concocted the barest trees,
    I composed the shimmering icicles that grow upon your ledge,
    I crafted the snowflakes that fall before you.

    I will blow wild winds that will slice you open like a Japanese samurai sword,
    I will send darkness like treacherous mountains descending from hell,
    I will snap your trees like a tooth pick,
    I will punish you like an unforgiving father disciplining his son.

    The ones who stood strong and brave, I stole their dreams away… those dreams could not be saved,
    I’ve crushed their bones … skied with their legs


    Will you dare to take on my winter spirit?

    Written by Ashley P and submitted by the proud teachers of Holy Family RC Primary School Southampton, SO16 9LP

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  • Comment number 31. Posted by lotrjw

    on 11 Feb 2014 12:20

    @pete Im with you I have a windows 8 phone and I have the same issue, its the flash content as regular flash doesnt work, so video content needs a unique way of being delivered!

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  • Comment number 30. Posted by pete

    on 11 Feb 2014 12:10

    Can someone tell me why as a windows 8 phone user I cannot view any of the live content or videos when browsing the olympics section of the site or any 5 live links, surely there must be millions of people using windows phones and a lot more than people using connected tv's? I realise they are not as popular as i-phones /pads or android phones but surely they are more popular than connected tv's.

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  • Comment number 29. Posted by Olympicsfan

    on 10 Feb 2014 21:17

    I am pleased that the BBC at least tried their best to get the other partners to agree on a carriage deal similar to 2012.

    However, can i ask - is there a plan to try to do the same as London for the Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2014? I am not sure how many channels will be needed on that occasion - has it been worked out yet? It is great that we can watch what appears to be every event and I am so pleased that the RB channels are on Sky's EPG at last. Even if not on Dsat as separate channels, will this be offered online and connected TVs so that every session of every event of the Commonwealth Games can be made available to people to watch? It would be great if this can be arranged.

    When the Olympics or Commonwealth Games are on, it is generally the only thing we watch in our house as they are so unpredictable and enjoyable. Please can you answer me the following:

    1: Will channel 977 remain on the EPG after the Olympics? We already know that 978 is finishing - at least for now.
    2: Given that this connected red button approach is the first of the new way of delivering BBC Sport, will there in future be extra channels on air for brief periods - such as for Wimbledon this year? Online had 10 channels in 2013 and it was great. You could not have done better.
    3: Is it the plan therefore to do similar for future big sporting events? if so, great.

    Keep in the good work BBC Sport.

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  • Comment number 28. Posted by KernowChris

    on 9 Feb 2014 21:14

    I note that the Main BBC News page indicates 'Watch in HD', where are these feeds, I only see 1500kbps content on IE and Chrome on a BT Infinity connection running at 50M?

    What is happening?

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