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Your thoughts on our 2012 coverage

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Roger Mosey | 11:23 UK time, Friday, 24 September 2010

There's a common response when we talk about audience research: "nobody asked me!" But I thought it would be useful to give some headlines about what we're doing to try to find out what people want in 2012, and also give everyone on this blog a chance to comment on some of the early findings.

Our researchers have been carrying out qualitative research ahead of London 2012, travelling all over the UK to talk to people individually and in small groups about their expectations for the big year - and how they want the BBC to cover it. Another key question we asked was what events people believe fit within the 2012 story.

The main thing audience research reminds you about is that this is a vigorous, diverse nation with a multitude of different interests and attitudes. Your view of London 2012 is shaped by where you live, your age, your gender, your ethnicity and very basic things like whether you love sport or whether you intend to lock yourself in a cupboard for the 17 days of the Games.

But some intriguing themes are emerging about what binds all audiences and how 2012 can be a unifying force.

Fans celebrate with the Olympic and Paralympic Heroes in Trafalgar Square in 2008

The Olympics can provide a feelgood factor

First, people do feel these are glum times with economic difficulties and a lot of struggles in their daily lives. So they look forward to a series of events that could bring some fun and cheer. Related to this, they want a better Britain not just for themselves but for their children and grandchildren; and they want something that restores a sense of community, a better connection with other people.

Key then to the success of 2012, and how we cover it, is whether we can help foster that hope of being a more united nation. Above all, they want new heroes: there's the example of recent Olympic greats like Hoy, Redgrave and Holmes, and people want others who can inspire themselves and younger generations.

The striking thing is how this works for almost everybody. So older, traditional audiences say they want a stronger feeling of community and they worry that younger people don't; but actually younger audiences have just as powerful a wish to connect with their fellow Britons and to be inspired. And if the Olympics can't do that, it's difficult to see what else can.

For all that, there are still some worries. Our research groups in the English regions found suspicion about how London-centric this was all going to be, though curiously there was less worry about this in Glasgow or Belfast.

Part of that, though, can be allayed by finding out more about what will be happening near you: so some people in Newcastle didn't yet know that Olympic football would be in the city or that the Torch Relay would come to the North East of England.

Other groups were concerned that we shouldn't start banging the 2012 drum too early, or try to shoehorn everything that moves into a "BBC 2012" banner. The Olympics, the Torch relay and Festival 2012 (at least as free popular events) might fit inside, but some of our other national landmarks, especially the ones seen as "not for everyone", don't.

So all of this is appetising food for thought. It helps inform our planning, and we'll keep going back to audiences in all forms of research - and on this blog - to find out more.

There will still be some who feel they haven't been asked, but if we get it right they should be happy with what's on their screens and radios when 2012 is underway.


  • Comment number 1.

    Know when to cut your losses. Despite the amount spent on it, the 2012 logo is absolutely awful - everyone knows that. Seriously, get rid of it and start from scratch.

  • Comment number 2.

    The logo is probably the least important thing about the Olympics Roger and it isn't "absolutely awful" either, maybe a little dated and dull though.

    If the BBC really wants to make sure that the Olympics are well received, then show as much as possible on the HD channel, not just a highlight show.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    To be honest with you I’d rather you spent the money getting the cricket back on the box for the longer term and ensure the long term survival of TMS than spend it on Olympic coverage!

    2012 Olympics! London! I was born in the UK and feel like I am in a completely different country when going down to the smoke which is why I don’t bother. Mind you the diverse language within ‘our’ nations capital will ensure little communication problems for the 2012 visitors unless you speak English that is in my experience.

    Good thing the Indians have set a low bench mark for inefficiency and leaving things to the last minute in constructing sporting venues. At least we should be able avoid a similar debacle – surely?

    So if you are asking me – get the cricket back on the box, invest in 100m sprint final which should considerably free up the TV schedule and save us all a good few bob on the licence fee! To quote from a well know TV personality “Simples”

  • Comment number 5.

    No doubt your coverage as is now occuring with the Commonwealth Games will be completely from an English persepctive. Commentators from based in the south east will bang on about the south east ans the other nations wont get alook in. Even now the coverage before the games in Delhi talks about the other home nations as if they are somehow foreign.

    What would make the olympics great would be if the BBC could move away from the same old sports and actually dedicated some time to letting us see new or rarely seen sports.

    I want to watch the MTB races, archery or wrestling and martial arts but will no doubt be consigned to watching a 5 minute recap if any coverage is given at all. It will be the same diet of running around in circles, or swimming in straight lines.

  • Comment number 6.

    Your coverage of the Track Cycling World cup in Manchester last October was really good, particularly the fact that you could access the 'raw' feed from the red button and see that live possibly with just the stadium PA/commentary, even when there was 'proper' introducer led highlights and interviews carrying on elsewhere.

    I'd be happy to see more 'raw' footage where you get a 'seat in the stands view' and can browse a multitude of venues and qualifying heats on the red button, in addition to presenter led programs as the finals are reached.

    If you could then make those feeds available on I-player you'd pretty much have it covered

  • Comment number 7.

    Having watched Olympics in the US and in the UK, the BBCs coverage is a dream. SOO much better than NBC.

    In Beijing, the sports coverage was outstanding, and the online feeds helped a lot, so from that point of view, more of the same please.

    You guys have a really hard job to do and you'll do it well.

    For me the most interesting stuff is about the athletes' experiences, so get more of them broadcast. What do they eat for breakfast? How do they prepare in the few days before? What do athletes from other countries think about our olympics?
    Also, there should be a continuation of the youth theme, proposed by Lord Coe, so will there be special kids programmes and kid-targeted coverage? What do kids in other countries get out of the olympics? The logo is aimed at a youth audience, and is, unlike your first comment says, a clever and eye catching design. Like the blog said, it's so important and right, to not only inspire but involve kids in the Olympic movement, and it really should be for them.

    But yes plenty of events in HD please :-)

  • Comment number 8.

    I don't see why the BBC can't screen everything to some extent in this digital age. Nobody's suggesting that means filling the schedules of BBC 1, 2, Three and Four 24/7 but with the red button and actually screening TV coverage on BBC Three and BBC HD ALL DAY rather than just for a few hours each day surely it is possible to provide content for all. Of course it could always do what other broadcasters do and have more than one HD channel too.

    For those events which the BBC considers minor but other people actually value just stick a camera in the venue and shove the live footage on one of the red button pages. If it is concerned about cost I'm sure most people would be happy for the BBC to sacrifice commentary and even a certain degree of quality in order that this content is shown. Either that or advertise for volunteer commentators from around the country to work on these "minor" events. What a joke it would be if Britons were not provided with coverage of certain events in their home games (as with previous Olympics) just because the Beeb deems them not important enough.

    I agree with one of the other posters, the BBC spends far too much time on highlights. Show live coverage wherever possible and then once again stick the highlights on the red button. I don't see what is stopping the BBC from having virtually infinite red button pages to choose from.

    One of said red button channels could be dedicated to reports from Joe Bloggs around the country/games. Let people with their own cameras shoot footage/reports/stories from their perspectives of the games from whatever event they are at and then pass to the BBC for screening. If this country really is committed to a games for all then this kind of involvement is exactly what is required. The BBC is far too obsessed with paying a fortune to ex-sportsmen who are hopeless in providing objective reasoned analysis on its (limited) sports shows so this would make a refreshing change.

  • Comment number 9.

    HD Coverage is huge. Maybe a little more of an insight into the athletes that will be performing (or expected to perform) on this stage in the shape of write ups, and profiling. We know the world names like Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, but what about the other 6 in the blocks next to them. We know about Rebecca Adlington but what about her competition, for die hard fans they will probably know all about them but the Olympics is different, The Olympics isnt about die hard fans, everyones involved, non-sports fans and massive sports fans alike. If we want to make London the legacy it can be, and should be, then little things like letting the public know a little about the competitors that aren't house hold names will go along way.

    I wouldn't mind a blog from an average Joe, someone working at the games as a steward or maybe even a spectator. Get the view of as many people involved as possible. After all, this is still the worlds Olympics.

  • Comment number 10.

    For those who don't like sprt keep a 'normal' service on the BBC3/4 channels.

    For my part I absolutely love my sport but refuse to pay for your satellite counterpart. But remember other sports are still continuing during the Olympics such as cricket do not marginalise them.

    Not too long before start a fly on the wall view of predominantly home nation competitors but also some stories from abroad for balance.

    As an alternative angle follow some volunteers through from training to the games.

  • Comment number 11.

    Let me try to group some of the themes so far...

    On HD for Freddawlanen in #2, SU08 in #7, Pokelovintaxadviser in #8 and The Almighty Handshake in #9 - yes, HD will be a big part of our offering. BBC One will be simulcast in HD by then, so everything that's on BBC One as our main Olympic channel will automatically be available in HD. We'll also have a separate BBC HD channel, and our aim would be that would carry some Olympics coverage too.

    On red button and covering as much as possible for John in #5, Ninjaslim in #6 and others - our commitment is that we'll cover each hour of every sport. This could be as much as 6000 hours of content, which is more than double what we offered from Beijing. We'll aim to do that by using our regular channels (with some non-Olympic zones as hainba recommends in #10); supplementing that with red button; and then offering the rest via this website. And some of it will be, in line with suggestions, a basic feed of an event so that fans of a particular sport can watch it from beginning to end.

    Roger Birds in #1: the logo is a matter for the organisers at LOCOG, but I think it's now a 'given'. What you will probably see is some development and creative use of the shapes and colours as part of the overall London 2012 'look'.

    Phil in #3: I'm not a fan of the Simpsons, but someone has explained it all to me...

    GrumpyNorthernMale in #4: you sound like one of the people we need to work hard to win over! But I agree about the importance of TMS and I was proud to renew that contract when I worked in BBC Sport.

    Otherwise, thanks all for the ideas. They go into our planning process, and colleagues in the 2012 project read your comments too.

  • Comment number 12.

    1. Try and allow minority sports some good airtime. It's probably their only chance, unlike say Swimming, Cycling, Athletics, Tennis etc.
    2. Start to gradually ramp up pieces on what will happen afterwards. It's important to keep building momentum for what 2012 will stimulate afterwards, rather than just being a moment for heroes.
    3. If possible organise some BBQs or the like in some parks with big screens.
    4. Can you use all the 301, 302, 303 and 304 channels for the Olympics?
    5. Can you do a series of focuses on some gems of London outside the well-known tourist haunts?

  • Comment number 13.

    Just do what you always do, I liked the BBC's coverage of Beijing.

    However PLEASE don't do the overkill which the BBC can sometimes do, we don't need ten thousand journalists covering the games and updates on every single TV, radio and web channel every 5 seconds.

    You don't often get good value for money from a license payers perspective from BBC sports coverage at major events - the number of journalists you sent to South Africa kind of backed this up recently.

  • Comment number 14.

    The most important thing must be that the coverage isnt entirely 'hows Britain doing.' We live in a multi cultural nation and as such all sports need to be covered and focus on a variety of athletes from around the world - and not just UK athletes and household names like Bolt.

    I think it is also important that the BBC makes the Olympics as interactive as possible, exploiting tools like twitter and facebook - and also the radio mediums. Moving away from just Radio 5 but get the youth involved by using Radio One (maybe a 60 second style update as used on BBC Three.) Also the use of the local radio network to cover local athletes - maybe with localised Olympic Dreams style programs in the run up to the Olympics.

    What is also important is that despite the loss of Parolympic coverage that this is still well represented in News and other such programs, and maybe even keeping the same amount of Olympic updates etc.

    The choice of presenter is also essential - the BBC has some of the best presenters and commentators and analysts around but utilise people like Gabby Logan who is excellent, Victoria Derbyshire from Radio 5 who deserves TV time and of course John Inverdale. But Jake Humphery (whose blogs alone should get him on the Olympic front line) and the like should also be well used.

    Keep it fresh, don't try and be futuristic or daring and use the plethra of talent well (i.e Sue Barker and the normal Wimbeldon team for the Tennis, Clare Balding in the dressage).

    And can BBC Three run all day?

  • Comment number 15.

    I am based in the USA with work and find the US coverage of the Olympics awful. I hope some of the radio coverage will be streamed online or the World Service will cover the big events as they did in Beijing. This was a lifeline to me in the US. Here if the US dont win gold the event doesnt exist,

  • Comment number 16.

    BBC Three could run all day in theory, but the kids would be disappionted because it means CBBC or CBeebies wouldn't air, between them they share the same stream.

    I'd be intersted in the few months in the run up to the games some kind of 6-8 week documentary covering the history of the Olympics?

    1) The Early Olympics
    2) 1936: Hitler's Games
    3) London's Gamess
    4) 1952-1968
    5) Munich:1972 and Montreal: 76
    6) The Boycotted Olympics: 1980 and 1984
    7) Going East: Seoul and Beijing
    8) 1992-2004
    9) London 2012: The Future

    Something along those lines would be nice. I'm a great follower not just of sports, but of sports history. Might not appeal to the popular masses though.

    Would have to try and think back the last Olympics though they were different due to a sizable part of the action happening whilst we were asleep and that most people would wake up in the mid afternoon lull.

  • Comment number 17.

    Unounos in #13: we'll keep the numbers down to what's needed to deliver quality coverage, but it's worth saying our Beijing staffing was significantly below that of other major broadcasters like the Americans and the Germans.

    Sam Fathers in #14: I know Radio 1 are keen to be involved, and we're discussing ideas with them. Similarly, BBC local radio: many stations are already following their local athletes, and they'll be at the centre of our Torch Relay coverage.

    AdamUK in #15: BBC World Service is emphatically part of our London 2012 vision, though you'll understand we have to abide by rights agreements that much of our live content has to be for UK audiences only.

    Willy86 in #16: good news - an Olympic history series is in development for BBC Two in the run-up to the Games.

    And a general note on BBC Three: it's correct that it shares its channel space with CBBC, but our way around that will be - subject to regulatory approval - using the BBC Parliament bandwidth as we did in Beijing for extra Olympic coverage.

  • Comment number 18.

    Please bring back 'quotes of the week' before the Olympics. Thanks in advance for your prompt cooperation.

  • Comment number 19.

    The BBC shouldnt overkill and I agree that all Presenters for 2012 should be spread across the Coverage then Sue at Wimbers, Balding covering Dressage.
    I would say hope that Presenters would be around the venues in 2012 rather then couped up in the IBC.
    The BBC has lots of Presenters and those on the fringe, Gary Lineker and Jake Humphreys should be involved in bigger roles, Manish Bhasin and Roshi Persad being reporters while you have Hazel, Sue and Clare as Anchors like they have been.
    Also, I know it will be a no, but why not reinstate the Grandstand theme tune to open the Coverage as the one that the BBC will use will be rubbish.

  • Comment number 20.

    Re Willy 86s suggestion, re the mooted Olympic history series, can we possibly avoid the generic clips that get played before every Olympics. The BBC must have the best archive outside of the IOC in the world and it would be very interesting for instance to see uninterrupted coverage, as it happened, from Games going back to Rome and Tokyo, like the BBC do when they show Election coverage from previous General Elections on the Parliament channel. It could possibly be accompanied by music from that particular year, but for me personally, i would love to see whole programmes from Mexico City, Munich, Montreal et al, as they were originally transmitted, with interviews and features as well as the action. No need to edit, just coverage as it was from those years. Now for me, and i am sure many more that would be a great history, and would also be a great boon for all those who competed in those Games in those Olympiades for GB too.

  • Comment number 21.

    Stick to the sport on the online feeds. Tell the 'journalists' not to try and be funny and stray off topic. Just report what is going on. For example a football feed the other day made reference to International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Who cares?

  • Comment number 22.

    Oh and don't call our team Team GB. We're not American or Australian - we know it's a team and we don't need to prefix. Ta.

  • Comment number 23.

    Just two things:

    1. Get Michael Johnson back
    2. Don't listen to the likes of the Daily Mail when they say you're doing rubbish because if it's anything like the coverage of Beijing it'll be amazing.

  • Comment number 24.

    Two things I would like to see:

    1. Focus on so-called "minority sports". There are plenty of really exciting olympic sports which usually get next to no coverage. Why not celebrate these instead of wall-to-wall swimming or similar?

    2. Avoid using the official logo. It has already made London a global laughing stock and there are plenty of better alternatives.

  • Comment number 25.

    As others have said, don't start the hype too soon. I don't want to see anything Olympics-related more than 7-10 days before the thing starts, otherwise I'll just be bored by the time the thing actually happens (qv the World Cup etc). Hype just ends up killing the magic.

    Ah yes. The World Cup. A great showcase for all that has been going wrong with sports coverage from the Beeb of late. (even if ITV was even worse) It represented a nadir for the lazy assumption of the last 15-20 years that playing a sport at a high level gives you the communication skills to be a sports journalist. Utterly mistaken - if anything there's a negative correlation, not least because all those hours spent on the training field come at the expense of practice in social skills (qv Wilkinson, Beckham etc), and the classic thing of the absolute best sportsmen making rubbish coaches etc because they can't understand how less talented people (let alone viewers) tick. The glory days of BBC sport were built on people who were either out-and-out journalists like Harry Carpenter and Brian Johnston or were bit-part players of the sport (Murray Walker and John Arlott).

    So don't give us ex-players, give us communicators with a passion for the game (and ideally a bit of technical knowledge on the side). Go trawling for pungent, well-written blogs and give their authors some screen tests. If they're prepared to spend hours writing a blog for free, then there's a fair chance that passion will come through on screen. Look for the communicators within the sport - it's no coincidence that two of your "must-have" minor sports people IMO are Topolski and Herbert, a coach and a cox, whereas for all their achievements I don't find the likes of Pinsent and Redgrave add a huge amount to commentary. Certainly I think the likes of judo could benefit from a coach's eye more than a player's. And if you must have ex-players, give us the ones who go against the orthodoxy, the Hunts and Boycotts. That's one reason why Michael Johnson is good, he's not afraid to speak his mind. And he brings a welcome international perspective, which is A Good Thing.

    I really hope you wrest control of the football coverage from the MoTD mob. They are so parochial that they are utterly unsuited to covering international football, they think that seeing Tevez & Mascherano weekly, and Messi in the odd CL game, means that they understand Argentine football. Which they didn't, to an embarrassing degree - the World Cup was nearly won, and certainly lost in the Argentine back 4 which they were totally silent on. Given that Brazil in particular takes Olympic football so seriously, there can only be one possible presenter - Tim Vickery of this parish. He's a perfect example of the blend of communication skills, passion and knowledge I'm talking about, plus he puts the hours in on his research unlike certain golf-playing footballers. If you could get a Vickery for each sport you'd be sorted. Sign him up now!

    Other random thoughts. The best bit of technology at Beijing was the wire cameras over the rowing, they brought the blood and thunder of the sport into your living room in a way that not even coxcams do. Could they keep up with action in the velodrome? The other really good bit of technology was the swimmer-level cameras in the open-water swimming/triathlon, again they draw you into the action in a sport that traditionally is filmed at a distance.

    Even as a rowing fan, rowing coverage can get a bit relentless hearty - be nice to see a presenter from the female or lightweight sides of the sport (and going back to what I said above, a lot of coxes are women...). Steve Parry was the one real success of Beijing - but I just don't get Jake Humphrey, he may be slick but I just don't feel that passion. Oh, and go big on the whole Shropshire angle - got to remind the French who really rediscovered the Olympics....

  • Comment number 26.

    Put simply can we get as much as possible on the red button. You have your highlights shows and are therefore filming the content and have people commentating on it for the most part so allow people to access that content. I want to have as much choice of what I watch as possible during the games. When you have a huge amount of live content coming from various parts of the city lets have as many options as possible when choosing what content we want to watch!

  • Comment number 27.

    Keep coverage interesting and fast moving with fair coverage to all sports and less gender prejudice:
    1.Reduce coverage of the start processes at races to approx 20 seconds before "gun"
    2. Show action not inarticulate ex sportsmen and women with the personalities of goldfish spouting the same old rubbish - they all iterate the same bland speak especially "bigging up" average British track and field athletes. However, expert explanation of the intricacies of sports like sailing races where eventual winners may not be obvious with 2D imagery is useful.
    3. Fill gaps between races, shots of of athletes wandering around waiting their turn to run, jump, throw etc with action highlights from more obscure sports which have access to TV exposure once every 4 years (should be covered more often by a public service broadcaster)
    4. Stop trackside interviews with breathless athletes especially those who have lost in the first/second heat.
    5. Campaign to restrict awards to medals only and have the ridiculous bunch of flowers at presentation ceremonies binned. Total waste of money - give it to sport charities for disadvantaged/disabled instead.
    As you can probaly tell I find most live track and field tedious as so few minutes of total coverage involves actual competitive activity. Sports involving multi discipline activities such as track and field, swimming could have been designed for edited highlights rather than tedious live coverage showing lots of non-action.
    Also, I believe the BBC supports the stereotype that only Men are interested in sport so tend to show predominantly male sports with an occasional aside mentioning women, junior boys and girls and disabled sports. Not good enough - BBC should leave mainstream sport like football and motor racing to commercial broadcasters and cover a much wider variety of the "lesser known" sports at which we, the British, are proportionately more successful

  • Comment number 28.

    Put on a few repeats of Bargain Hunt, couldn't care less about any of the so called "sports" that are happening. It's a disgrace the Olypmics are in this country when no one, other than a few vegeterians, wants them.

  • Comment number 29.

    If there are multiple things going on at once like perhaps the 10000m is being run at the same time as a British gymnast performs, have a kind of split-screen where the 10000m is shown in a small box in the corner and the gymnastics is shown large, like they do with football world cup matches, when goals are scored in a match going on at the same time

  • Comment number 30.

    Firstly great to see that there is an Olympics history programme - hopefully this includes the Ancient Olympics.

    I agree about not hyping things up too far in advance. However, I would like to see in the 2/3 Months prior to the Olympics a build up type programme once a week - this could focus on British athletes, competitors from other countries, some focus on volunteers and organisers, local residents in East London and an update on the Torch relay. Perhaps the best time to start this programme would be when the Torch arrives in the UK as that will really mark the start of the big; final countdown.

    As for the games themselves as others have said as many options as possible please on the red button etc. However ignore any whingers who will no doubt be moaning about too much coverage - this is a unique event in our lifetimes so don't be put off by that. I would suggest that there should be coverage all day on BBC1 & BBC2 apart from the News. The evening primetime coverage should be on BBC1, with BBC2 showing non Olympics programmes as the alternative. BBC3 can also be used in the Evenings but BBC4 should be left well alone, as the programmes on there are so distinctive.

    I would also like a highlights/round up show in the evenings after the live action has finished - this could be particularly useful for those of us who are planning on going to see events live so we can catch up on what else has happenned.

  • Comment number 31.

    Its 2 year away

  • Comment number 32.

    I'd create seperate programmes about the individual venues, and stick them in the i-Player, so I don't have to re-watch facts about Lords that I already know every time I tune in for the archery.

    The 'main' coverage should focus on the major events, but with less repetition than we have seen before. Leave the red button for the more minor sports.

    And PLEASE don't waste streams on the interactive services with things like 'Day x highlights', and 'GB golds so far'- the benefit they offer is minimal, and is to the detriment of a wider viewing experience.

  • Comment number 33.

    Scrap it. Its a waste of money. I want the tax-payer to send me on a luxury holiday instead. That's it, a cruise to the Southern Ocean with everything laid on with all the trimmings included. Oh, I promise to send a post card. Thank you, chaps !!

  • Comment number 34.

    The only fault I would find with your broadly good coverage is that many events are seen as solely about the eventual winner and British competitors. Events such as the Men's 100metres at recent Athletics World Championships and Olympic Games because several of the competitors were seen as major players (eg Gay, Powell, Bolt) and the reaction or performance of the beaten athlete was as important as the reaction of the winner. Too many other events are treated as a contest between anonymous individuals with only the winner given a perfunctory interview. Ignoring a beaten favourite or close runner-up robs the event of context, it is as if a Grand Slam final between Federer and Nadal was shown with only the winner interviewed or discussed in analysis and the beaten finalist ignored.

    Much of the context/analysis provided by the studio duplicates what can be given in live commentary in several sports. It would be preferable in these instances to prioritise live footage. Any studio coverage should be purposeful rather than feeling like filler between events.

  • Comment number 35.

    'Sam Fathers in #14: I know Radio 1 are keen to be involved, and we're discussing ideas with them. Similarly, BBC local radio: many stations are already following their local athletes, and they'll be at the centre of our Torch Relay coverage.'

    Roger I appreciate you need decent staffing levels but my point about overkill is valid, I just hope we don't have a load of 'celebrity' broadcasters with a lack of knowledge of sport hogging the limelight. Having Chris Moyles or Fearne Cotton biggin up the games just to make it look trendy will put a lot of people off.

    I know we are the host country, but it is a sporting showcase, not a music festival.

  • Comment number 36.

    I agree with #23, get michael johnson back for the athletics. And then just try to show as many different sports as possible, and don't do what they do in america, who go out of their way to only show american athletes doing well. I thought your coverage of beijing was really good and hopefully for 2012 it will be even better.

  • Comment number 37.

    I have a couple of points:

    a. The BBC should cover the genuine Olympic Sports and not coverage, to much depth, those Sports (like Football, Tennis, Golf etc) which do not recognise the Olympics as the pincacle of their sport.

    b. If I have one critism of the Organising committee is lack of British(ness~). I appreciate that this is the London games but this is a fantastic opportunity to envolve the whole country.

    c. This is going to be a very expensive games. It is highly likely that 100.000's of people will lose their jobs in the coming weeks and months. This an opportunity to use these people and develop a games which is truly British in their make up. Also a proportion of the people who will lose their jobs will be in the Public Sector and as such I believe that the government should no longer finance the games.

    d. Finally. I find it worrying that the Stadium will be sold to of all industries football. I believe that the public have the right to decide how these facilities be used and who should use them. My own view is that with all the money in football it should never be given a stadium like the one being built for the games.

  • Comment number 38.

    Tips for good Olympic coverage (or indeed live sport in general), simple...

    Show the action when it's taking place don't spend ages chatting in the studio with numerous talking heads! The Open Golf was a prime example of this coverage shunted to the Red Button and in order to talk to the Duke of Golf etc. You finally got around to covering the Open in HD and we got to spend most of Saturday/Sunday mornings looking at Hazel Irvine's make up in high definition.

    I fear the Olympics will be blighted with similar nonsense along with the usual inane interviews with Team GB e.g How does it feel to be at the Olympics/win a medal etc what a pointless waste of air many athletes turn around and say 'you know what it's overrated...'

    It's a sporting event so show the SPORT not the ephemera around it. I've no problem with good build up programming but not at the expense of live action.

    As far as personel just use Michael Johnson as much as possible someone who's honest about our athletes rather than build them up/make excuses for them!

  • Comment number 39.

    The BBC's red button coverage of swimming is excellent. All the races are shown in full with informed, unbiased commentary from Adrian Moorhouse and Andy Jamieson; there are brief, pertinent interviews with Sharon Davies; the medal ceremonies are shown irrespective of the winners' nationality.
    And then we get to the weekend and coverage is on television, and we have to put up with all the things that make televised sport unbearable.
    At the recent European Championships rather than watching the women's 1500m final (no British swimmers) we had to endure Claire Balding asking Keri-Anne Payne a series of increasingly fatuous quesions ("Do the swimmers have any superstitions?"). The next day we missed all but the last few metres of the women's 50m freestyle because a slow motion video of British medal winers, with mandatory bombastic musical accompaniment, was being shown ... and there was no apology. Worst of all was CB's ridiculous, jingoistic assertion that the Russians had "cheated" when they mistimed an exchange in the medley relay and were disqualified - something which happens fairly frequently in top class competition.
    So, I suggest you ditch superfluous presenters, smallminded nationalism, pointless interviews and unnecessary trailers. Or if we must have them give us a "sport only" alternative on the red button.

  • Comment number 40.

    We all want top class coverage of the 2012 Olympics! All live coverage in HD and if possible also in 3D!

    Have highlights daily so we all get a round up of all the action each day!

    The Olympics is only for two and a half weeks and it happens once every four years.So its extremely important that BBC's coverage of the 2012 Olympics is a major success!

  • Comment number 41.

    I'll say this, when you go to a venue, can we have the 3d shot of the venue or the 'crashing' into the venue like what was used for Match of the Day 2.
    Also some posts on here are really silly, some people pointing out things the BBC does not have any control on, if you have things about the Olympics themselves, contact LOGOC, not the BBC.
    As for the previous Olynpics, I would like the BBC to dig out a few previous Grandstand Olympics, to hsow how they opened with their titles and the cheery faces of Coleman, Carpenter, Bough, Lynam, Rider to open the coverage.
    As well as commentary snippits from Coleman and co.
    Rather then the usual whiffwaff that the IOC give and some unkown bloke blasting his comments over a really good piece of Olympic Hsitory, I wouldnt mind Eddie Butler doing the commentary on the Olympic Programmes as he is good.

  • Comment number 42.

    Another batch of thoughts from me...

    To jonny in #23, Stop_it_Aggers in #25 and steadyeddie26 in #36: you'll be pleased to know we've signed up Michael Johnson for 2012 and he'll play a major role in our coverage.

    Carior in #26: I agree about red button, and our hope is to have more than 2000 hours there in satellite and cable homes. (No word from Brekkie here yet, but I can confirm that number will unfortunately be lower for Freeview. The online coverage will, though, be comprehensive.)

    Tiger Rose in #30: it's too early to confirm our channel plan yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had significant elements of what you suggest.

    Elizabeth18 in #27: interestingly, Olympic Games do attract more women viewers than most sports. It's one reason they get such amazing audiences overall.

    Lightofruth in #31: the other way of looking at this is to say "two years from now, London 2012 will be all finished and done with." I find that tends to focus the mind on how we have a lot to get right in a comparatively short time!

    Tony Torrance in #37: I've a lot of sympathy with your point, echoing others, about prioritising genuine Olympic sports. The only challenge on that is - imagine a Federer v Nadal (or Murray) gold medal match at Wimbledon as part of the London Olympics. That would be pretty huge, I think?

    Finally, FoxesofNuneaton in #41 and earlier - nice to be back in dialogue. My view remains as it always has been that the heritage of BBC Sport is wonderful and something of which I'm personally very proud, but part of that tradition is innovation and moving things on. All the great people and programmes were actually novelties when they started, and for 2012 I believe it's important that we celebrate our heritage with a fresh burst of creative boldness.

    All other points read and appreciated by the team and me.

  • Comment number 43.

    Takes me about two weeks to remember my password whenever the BBC log me out!

    Basically I think the BBC doesn't really need to ask the question. The Olympics is one thing they get right and no need to do anything out of the norm really. Obviously things that can be fine tuned, and things like the interactive issue on Freeview which should be looked at resolving by the games themselves (I'm sure we'll have a few more unwanted shopping channels etc. by then, so surely the BBC can find the space for one or two more streams). Also keep it in the hands of BBC Sport - but judging be the Delhi line up I'm guessing Huw Edwards will be on commentary duty for the ceremonies, so make sure he allows the events to speak for himself - not narrate the whole thing as he did in Beijing.

    As I've said before don't be ashamed of the games and don't pander to those not interested in it. It's an event more than seven years in the making, one we don't know when - or if - we'll see again in the UK within our lifetimes. Ultimately it's two weeks out of four years, and even if it displaced everything on all four main BBC channels for the period, so what!

    BBC1 at least should be given over exclusively to the games for the fortnight - we don't need the BBC wasting money on episodes of EastEnders when the most dramatic events to happen in the East End for decades is unfolding live.

  • Comment number 44.

    I would like the BBC to produce a highlights video after the games which is available to the public at a reasonable price.

  • Comment number 45.

    Pondering a bit more. I enjoy the stories of how athletes train etc, and perhaps the BBC could use their overseas correspondents to do "Road to Stratford" pieces for overseas competitors, perhaps comparing how people in the same event do things differently around the world.

    Following on from that, I'm not sure whether this is something for the BBC to do or Youtube, but given the availability of the technology it would be quite cool to have short, say 3', self-made films submitted from all 205(?) countries on a website in a standardish format - this is where I live, this is where I train, this is my gym, this is my country's sports science, this is my diet, this is my day job and so on. These could be edited together to make proper programmes, or used as fillers, and the most interesting ones could be followed up with proper film crews.

    I'm much more interested in the athletes than in seeing talking heads waffling, and it can be easy to forget that behind the different flags people are coming to London with very different life experiences.

    Another nice thing would be a series of say 30/45-min shows on the "superpowers" - Cuban boxing, Kenyan running, Central European canoeing, that kind of thing, a mix of the history and what they do that's "different" to everyone else.

  • Comment number 46.

    Stop_It_Aggers: great minds think alike, and there is already World Olympic Dreams
    which we announced earlier this year
    and there will be an increasing profile for these stories.

  • Comment number 47.

    Really like George Matthews idea in #20 of taking a leaf out of BBC Parliament's book and rather than just the usual clip/history shows screen some selected broadcasts in full. The odd Opening Ceremony, certain Golden Days and then moments such as Ben Johnson being found out or the aftermath of the Munich massacre would be fascinating to see from the point of view of the BBC covering such events as the story unfolded.

    Also think Tiger Rose has the schedule pretty much spot on - all day on BBC1/2, with BBC1 covering the evenings events and alternative programming on BBC2, with any extra Olympic coverage on BBC3. Plus reading through the comments interesting how, in light of a recent blog on the issue, the demand for highlights came up time and time again.

  • Comment number 48.

    Brekkie - just for clarity on highlights: nobody's suggesting there won't be all the best content available on demand, including on the iPlayer and this website. The question is whether a conventional multi-sport highlights show is still needed on linear TV given especially that live action will continue until close to midnight. You would therefore end up playing highlights late and on a secondary channel, when people have a multitude of ways of catching up with what they want to see before then.

    And to you and George Matthews - I think it's an intriguing idea too, so I've mentioned it to a couple of colleagues. I'll keep you posted.

  • Comment number 49.

    Thanks Roger. And appreciate highlights isn't a straightforward issue, but I do think however late it is ideally the BBC coverage for the day would end with some kind of reflection on the days events, whether that's in a more traditional hour-long highlights show or a shorter summary of the days events with perhaps a guest or two showing off their medals.

    And I appreciate too that even should other live events have come to an end by the conclusion of the evening Athletics session, there will probably be other action to show "as live" from earlier in the evening too. I guess really Olympic Breakfast will effectively serve as the highlights show for the previous night, though I imagine the Olympics will be burning the candle at both ends.

  • Comment number 50.

    Roger - considering the more recent blog entry has been closed for comments within 5 days, but this remains open, could you please investigate why? I want to comment on something there, but to do so here would no doubt be labelled "off topic" and be censored by the moderators.

  • Comment number 51.

    In terms of the above, I have one major hope having watched the opening ceremony of the CWG from Delhi.

    1. Do not allow a Newsreader to either:
    a) commentate on the ceremony
    b) talk over the ceremony like he did yesterday.

    I'm still perplexed by the choice of commentator. I asked after Beijing why Huw Edwards was chosen and I ask again now, why. I hope an answer will be forthcoming after the last time didn't result in one.

    I'm also looking for a promise that the BBC will ensure that they are broadcasting from the Olympic site and note from some studio on the other side of London. The CWG coverage suffers because Sue is sat in London. Why isn't she in India?

  • Comment number 52.

    The BBC's heart just doesn't seem in it. And the highlights show was shocking - just 20 minutes at 7pm, Luckily I taped the 5pm show too, but that just had about 3 minutes of "highlights" in the full hour and was padded out with interviews and features. Nobody tuned in to find out why Mark Foster has died his hair!

    Just because the Delhi organisers are making a farce of everything doesn't mean the BBC have to do.

  • Comment number 53.

    Thanks for engaging fully with the posters here,
    In post 11 you made it clear that HD will be a big part of your offering- and I'm glad of it. What I'd really like to hear from you is that the British public will be treated to not just HD, but top quality HD at the same standard it will be shown to the rest of the world- in 1920-1080 resolution. and with a composition that copes well with high speeds and panning shots.
    Static shots and slow-mo replays are reasonable but for the fast action will the picture quality remain ok ?
    I noticed on the latest 'games on tv now the English athlete doing the Vault- his legs moving so fast the picture was breaking up-and recently in an outdoor world roadcycling event the shots from a 'camerabike?' were less than I'd hoped for, ok that was in sd , but even so..
    Super slow mo from indoor cycling sometimes shows a strobe effect- this could be lighting related but needs looking into.
    Having invested in high Quality AV kit, on the promise of HD from the BBC via Freesat I'd like a top picture from our home event please.

  • Comment number 54.

    Roger is having some systems problems at the moment so we're posting this on his behalf.

    "To Jordan D in #51: there's a new system in place which closes comments after a certain number of days. In the light of your comments and others, we've increased that on this blog from 5 days to 14. Since there's at least one new post every fortnight, that should mean there's always an opportunity to comment.

    As for Huw Edwards: Huw is the voice of major events across the BBC, and he gets high appreciation scores from our audiences. The biggest occasions transcend Sport and News, and are watched by a huge range of viewers on BBC One. That's why Huw has been chosen to cover ceremonies at the Commonwealth Games alongside the Olympics and his other commitments."

  • Comment number 55.

    How come this older blog remained open then?

    As for Huw Edwards - major political and national events, fine! Major sporting events - not so, and frankly an insult to the team at BBC Sport. Hazel Irvine is the obvious choice, but also a wealth of superb commentators more than capable of guiding us through the ceremonies without just chatting all the way through. Hugh Porter would be my choice, once again proving to be one of the best sport commentators on TV.

  • Comment number 56.

    I want to see as little time spent in the studio as possible. There is always sport going on somewhere, so when something finishes reflect on it briefly and then simply transition straight to another sport, with an expert commentary team trained not to spout hyperbole every 20 seconds but actually give informative insights into the action. The sport is the entertainment here, not the talking heads.

    Also I expect the BBC to report anything that 'goes wrong' during the Olympics instead of sweeping it under the carpet as often happens to make the Organising Committee look better than they actually are. If we have a perfectly-run games I will be very surprised. Recent published criticisms of the marathon route are a good start.

  • Comment number 57.

    CompactDistance in #56: yes, we promise full and frank reporting of all aspects of the Games.

    Brekkie in #55: my point would be that Opening Ceremonies, especially the one in London, are major national and international events which go beyond sport. But we do, of course, include an array of BBC Sport talent - and we will in 2012.

  • Comment number 58.

    I really hope the BBC think hard about who they will be using as commentators. There will be a lot of broadcasting oppertunities at the home olmypics and I hope that the BBC will use some names that have dropped down the pecking order so to speak.

    The commenwealth games team has included a nice couple of surprises. It has been great to hear Tony Gubba commentating on table tennis and even more surprising Nigel Starmer-Smith on the hockey (I had almost forgotten how good a commentator Nigel is and I hope he might be in line to commentate on England rugby highlights in November now that Nick Mullins is at ESPN). These two have not been involved in multi-sport games coverage for a few years and it has been nice to have them back.

    Also Barry Davies (perhaps his swansong?) I'm sure he will be involved but this year he has only commentated on the Commonwealth Games and Wimbledon and was missed at the Winter Olympics.

    Stuart Storey and Dougie Donnelly have both dropped out of BBC network coverage. (In fact Dougie doesn't even now present scottish football). These two both have to be involved, even is Stuart doesn't do athletics use him like at the last olympics covering other sports such as open-water swimming and beach volleyball.

    Finally it has been nice to hear some surprise names on the world feed coverage of the Commeonwealth Games, people such as David Bobin, John Helm and Simon Holt. The stand-out has been Tony Jones on the archery, I would consider using him for the olympics on the archery. Eddie Butler who has had this breif in the past could do another sport or a reporting/voice over brief.

  • Comment number 59.

    Also when in the next (UK) Olymopic Dreams episodes planned? It will be interesting to see the Commonwealth Games achievements documented in this excellent series.

  • Comment number 60.

    David - the documentary on BBC One last night about Tom Daley came from the Olympic Dreams stable, and got a very good audience of 2.5m.

    Meanwhile, World Olympic Dreams has been following some of its Olympic hopefuls in Delhi and you can find that content on our website

  • Comment number 61.

    Tom Daley though isn't the only Brit with Olympic dreams - though it's great for once to see a promising youth actually living up to his potential and breaking through on a senior level.

    Back to the ceremonies though, and after today's a rethink is definately needed. Olympic Ceremonies are big visual spectacles - they don't need to be talked through all the time, and actually performances should never be talked over. I'm getting the impression though the decision is made and feedback is being ignored.

    Other than that on the whole a good games for the BBC. A shame about a couple of things - not covering early morning heats live, and also not being in Delhi itself (though understandable), but really on the whole exactly what we expect from the BBC in covering such an event - though of course the Freeview situation is still a major problem (especially when the EPG is 24 hours behind!)

  • Comment number 62.

    Thanks Roger, I've not seen the Tom Daley programme yet but of course have recorded it.

    I've only seen the highlights tonight of the closing ceremony and I know this is off-topic but well done to the Glasow organisers their section today was first class.

    I agree with Brekkie a generally good games for the BBC, it was a shame the morning heats were not live on mainstream television but I suppose the planning period was a bit shorter, I hope the rights for Glasgow are secured with a bit more notice!

    I was however a bit dissapointed with the closing credits, a lot of commentators were missed off, even if they were working for a world feed to not have the likes of Barry Davies, Matt Chilton and Sean Kerly credited was a bit strange.


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