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Anticipating the BBC's 2012 coverage

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Roger Mosey | 10:30 UK time, Sunday, 1 January 2012

I'm going to leave it to everyone else to welcome you to 2012. We spotted it was on its way a while back.

But I do want to alert you to our first BBC 2012 television trail, which is running from New Year's Day onwards. The aim - to excite the widest range of audiences about what we have in store for the year ahead.

If you read this blog regularly, you'll know this is more than just sport - even though the Olympics are the crowning moment.

So what we've tried to do is capture the music, drama, documentaries and entertainment that will be on our airwaves or accompanying the London 2012 Festival in the build-up to the Games.

As you'll see, we also try to set 2012 in a context of the BBC's traditional range of programmes - so what you'll witness this year is the latest chapter from a British television story that goes back to 1936. Have a look:

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A couple of additional things to note. This trail has the first glimpse of the BBC's new three-dimensional blocks - the familiar squares with the letters B, B, C - which will animate more and do all kinds of clever things in the coming months. You'll also spot soon more uses of our Olympic logo, which appeared in pink looking like this for our London 2012 Festival launch:

BBC logo for London 2012 Festival


But will change chameleon-like depending on the event - so here, for instance, is the flame colour that will accompany our Olympic Torch coverage:

BBC logo for Olympic Torch Relay coverage


I know marketing, and especially marketing-speak, can sometimes be open to parody.

But what we hope is that this will form a pleasant and unifying back-drop to the real action of 2012, which is now just around the corner.


  • Comment number 1.

    One of the world’s few elite broadcasters will deliver the games and once more demonstrate that BBC is at its best on a global stage.  Again, all British talent powering what will be an incredible machine.  Television will be important for those who weren’t quite so lucky to snare tickets for the main event.  But to those people, I’d simply urge – from pure personal experience – do not give up the faith.  There will be plenty of opportunities between now and July.

    Legacy has been the buzz word of the London Games, but it goes deeper than a kid doing track and field or getting a venue a new landlord.  If the world can see us at our best, then maybe – just maybe – we might just dare to believe in ourselves again.  These are, quite possibly, the most anticipated Olympic Games in the history of the modern era.  Some credence to Dr. Johnson’s immortal words...

  • Comment number 2.

    The clip is lovely BUT I do feel it could have been longer perhaps with some views of the Olympic Park from above and also some glipses of iconic BBC buildings which believe it or not are known the world over! The Gill Sans logo is really imposing and is a simple but yet powerful reminder of what the BBC does best and that is : High-quality broadcasting!

  • Comment number 3.

    Would rather have the F1 and Football League Show than throwing all this money at games being held in our own country.

  • Comment number 4.

    Really looking forward to the Olympics now, the new year makes it seem a hell of a lot closer! Couldn't get any tickets so I'll be watching a lot of the BBC coverage with bated breath. They're coverage of global sporting events has been immense and I'm sure they'll do justice to possibly the biggest sporting event in my lifetime.

  • Comment number 5.


    What difference does it make that it's in England. Just because it's nearby doesn't mean you can get to every event, or afford to. It's the biggest sporting event in the world and it's coming here in just a few months time, try not to be so cynical about it!

  • Comment number 6.

    All the promotion and branding in the world will mean absolutely nothing if the coverage of the games themselves is not up to scratch.

    The BBC has in recent years ruined many events by preferring (sometimes expensive i.e. Hansen) taking heads over the actual action. Just take a look at The Open golf as an example of how not to do this hours of talk (especially at the weekend) when there were players out of on course with action shoved on to the red button/online (so much for HD coverage).

    SPOTY has been turned into some sub-X Factor reality show designed to appeal to non-sports fans and I fear the biggest sporting events most of us will ever see held in the UK will be similarly ruined.

    It's quite simple show every second of coverage you can and leave the talking heads at home or at least put only them on when nothing is taking place. We do not need endless coverage of 'Team GB' just because an event is taking place without much home interest. By all means have lots of features around the games just don't show them when you could be showing live (or even recorded) action.

  • Comment number 7.

    For the vast majority of sports fans in the country, the biggest event of the year happens in June (and we hope, the first day of July!).

    As for the olympics - building dozens of temporary stadiums for athletes no one's ever heard of performing in events no one knew existed doesn't seem a prudent way to spend £10bn+ in this age of austerity.

  • Comment number 8.


    I can see where you're coming from but who wants to see on the final day of the open some guy languishing on +20 hitting another bogey! And if you look at previous global sporting events, like the Beijing Olympics or the world cup in SA, they do focus on the action. At the olympics there was too much on, didn't know what to watch!

    And Scott corno and Ian Sankey I bet you're the same people that moan that new year fireworks are a waste of money when we're in a recession. These are the sorts of things that lift a country and make people feel excited and proud. I'd take that over a bit of extra cash anyday.

  • Comment number 9.

    @Bcfctim - you're right - I'd be more proud of the country if we didn't lets WWII vets literally freeze to death unable to afford to heat their homes or refuse drugs to breast cancer sufferers because they're too expensive. Paying millions to an American company to explode Chinese made fireworks above London on NYE doesn't fill me with any national pride or false feelings of English accomplishments.

    Bringing home Euro 2012 on the other hand would trigger spontaneous celebrations surpassing the millions on the streets after the RWC win in 2003.... and pale into significance the small number of people genuinely interested in olympic sports.

  • Comment number 10.

    Two things I'll comment on now: one the lack of ability to view this outside the UK. I'm a license fee payer, on holiday abroad and there is rights protection on this video, which is laughable, seeing as I've just viewed the NBC (US rights broadcaster) video promo for their Olympic Games coverage.

    Secondly, as you didn't have a blog when you announced the presenting team, I'll ask formerly - if you have feedback from the viewing public on why a news journalist should be your opening ceremony commentator rather than a member of the sports team (as was the way pre-2008 and at the 2010 ceremonies), could you please share it so we can understand why the negative feedback to the 2008 ceremonies appears not to have been taken on board.

    One positive - I like the logo types ... I assume a blue and green version (completing the 2012 colours) will be along soon?

  • Comment number 11.

    Firstly, I'd like to say I am thoroughly excited for all the programming that the BBC will be giving us over the next year, and that some of the past comments on this blog entry aren't very patriotic. My comment is going to be a bit off-topic considering this is a BBC Sport blog, but the blog post seems to be a bit off-topic anyway.

    In 1997, Martin Lambie-Nairn set down the ground rules for the new BBC logo: it must not be used in any other colour than black or white. It must not be given drop shadows or other 3D effects remaining the same at all times. And it must never, eve, be animated on as three separate boxes, three separate devices.

    This branding breaks two out of three of those rules. Doing that weakens the core brand and consistency of the brand worldwide. I understand the want to associate a different colour with different events and that the Olympics has a vast amount of different events, different cultures and different events need different logos. But by showing off the BBC logo in pink of all colours looks like a joke.

    I understand that the BBC hast taken the time to create a solid brand for the Olympics and that my post may just look like someone who is stuck in the old ways and wants a boring BBC brand. I don't. I want a good, solid, BBC brand. A BBC logo that is consistent across the board, and eventually a BBC that looks like it is organised using similar brand elements for all services.

    I also probably come across a bit too serious but I'm just passionate about the subject. That's my opinion anyway and whatever you do with the brand this summer and this year I look forward to seeing it and seeing the programming and coverage of the Olympics and other sporting events.

    -Jonathan P.

  • Comment number 12.


    I'd rather see someone on 20+ than interviews with the Duke of York etc. that the BBC have served up instead of live action.

    As for 2008 I still remember plenty of point VTs with British athletes, there are only so many times you can listen to someone being asked variations of "how does it feel to be at the Olympics?" It's a bit like during F1 when Lee McKenzie starts an interview with a driver who's retired from the race "You must be disappointed..."

    There was also the whole highlights show debacle and the amount of air time given to Gabby Logan rather than the action.

  • Comment number 13.

    Is this blog seriously telling me I might see the BBC logo in pink, or orange?

    It's over hype and waste like this that will make me more cynical of the BBC coverage as the endless build up grows and grows as the Olympics approaches.

    And then we are told that award winning and ratings winning sports coverage is being cut and sold due to budget constraints.

    Bring back Grandstand, one anchor in a studio, and a commentator, no endless celebrities and experts offering analysis and feeling, and no endless questions trying to get a contentious sound bite.

  • Comment number 14.


    It's a shame there are so many cynics like you around these days. No one really truly celebrates anything anymore, all you've got are people like you looking down on everyone going "no one actually cares about the Olympics". Or the classic: "it's not actually British". Take cricket for example. One sport where we actually are best in the world yet you get hordes of people like you feeling so smart as you go on about how their south African really and we don't deserve it until we've beaten every country everywhere. I truly feel sorry for you as you seem to enjoy moaning much more than celebrating.

  • Comment number 15.


    It's all part of the celebrity culture where there is more interest in what some bloke off the telly thinks about something than the actual thing itself. That is not right but I feel in the global events the BBC broadcasts have focused on the sport, even if they do over-analyse it at times.

    As it's the British broadcasting corporation I agree with it paying more attention to British athletes. But yes they could have a bit more variety in their features, the same questions do seem to be asked a lot of the time.

  • Comment number 16.

    "Bringing home Euro 2012"

    IF only...we'd need a team of footballers prepared to give their all for the country to do that go.

    The Olympics at least bring the best out in sportspeople who aren't earning millions and pampered each day.

  • Comment number 17.

    I have no doubt the Olympics will prove to be a huge success and believe the BBC covers sport and these kind of occasions better than anyone else. However I do have concerns about the BBC’s coverage and it would be much appreciated Roger, to learn your thoughts on this –

    Is there going to be a comprehensive daily highlights programme? With so much sport on offer the opportunity to catch up with everything will be invaluable. Furthermore, will it put the sport and analysis of it at its core? Myself and many others sports fans I know were appalled at the Beijing Games daily highlights show on BBC1 which almost seemed to be reluctant to talk about and analyse any of the sport. Instead it spent far too long on VT trailers (e.g. Phelps/’Jaws’ theme introduction to the swimming coverage every day) and to be frank, dumbed-down coverage of too- few sports that must have been with the intention of capturing the interest of the casual viewer who knew little about the Olympics and/or sport (e.g. the interview with our gold medal winning lightweight double men rowers, spent more time joking whether they could eat hamburgers and junk food, than talk about their performance - one of the best from the British team in the entire Games)

    I appreciate that the London Games present an opportunity to engage more people in sport, but fear that the many sports fans who are knowledgeable about Olympic sport and want the BBC to provide insightful and comprehensive coverage will be let down, and have to rely on the broadsheet press. I hope this is not the case but it would be good to know how your programming intends to cater for the different kind of viewers.

  • Comment number 18.

    @MarktheHorn - one can but dream...

    Although Footballers are overpaid, how many hundreds of millions does the sport generate for the taxman each year? Go anywhere in the world and you'll see Man Utd tops and Beckham perfumes...

    ... Compare that to the £600m the government handed to UK athletes for their 'elite' program which is mostly spent on sports which few in the world even knew were sports yet alone cared to watch! Footballers may be overpaid, but they're much better for 'Brand England' than the olympics ever will be.

  • Comment number 19.

    Yes..getting drunk and being abusive on and off the pitch is very good for the brand.

    Footballers get away with a lot tax wise but that is a different matter.

    Naturally not ALL are like that but sadly most seem to be English and at the top clubs.

    Ofcourse your going to get some bad eggs in other sports and its from the taxpayer as such but they at least want to win.

    I question if some footballers do...

  • Comment number 20.

    The BBC's obsession with the olympics continues. Can't afford popular live sports like formula 1 or football but is able to waste public money on a 2 week event or a pointless move to salford.

  • Comment number 21.

    Thanks, all. First batch of replies:

    @Scott Corno in #3 and @foyz in #20 - we'd expect the Olympics to be watched live by around 75% of the population which is way more than any other event except a World Cup/Euros (and they would be roughly the same).

    @JordanD in #10 - I think our difference on presentation is that we see the Opening Ceremony as a major national event. That's why we use the BBC's lead for the biggest UK/global occasions.

    @Jonathan2012 in #11 - our brand/marketing people will read what you say with genuine interest, though I suspect they'll argue that all brands should "evolve"...

    @Tim2012 in #17 - the highlights pattern will be different in London because we're expecting to be mainly live on BBC One and BBC Three until 10/11pm. I'll aim to write more about that in the near future.

  • Comment number 22.

    Those Logos look awful, had to put the colour down on my screen and scrolled it down quickly. BBC Logo plus colour doesnt work! Too much becoming ITV's Logo!

    I also looked at the presenting team when it was announced (albeit with no major fanfare!) and wondering why the BBC Breakfast team was covering the event when last time, it was Adrian Chiles and Hazel Irvine from Beijing, I dont want non-sports presenters being dragged out! BBC Sport has a pool of presenters why get BBC Breakfast whose Sports knowledge only goes as far as Chris Hollins and he's been given job after Job (nothing to do with Sport!).
    Why not Mr Hollins and Clare Balding? Nope yet Sian Williams is 'leaving' Breakfast and give her a 'bigger' role...trying to stop her from ITV I suppose.....
    Also why is BBC1 and BBC3 given seperate presenter teams?? Dont BBC3 viewers understand who Sue Barker is? Are they only interested with Manish and Rishi who are *Younger* presenters yet Manish and Rishi could be better used to enhance the BBC Coverage...thats like keeping Sue on BBC1 for Wimbers and putting someone younger on BBC2..
    I was excitied that the Olympics are coming and dont have a bad word to put about BBC Sport in its build up but feel its being spoilt by the cutbacks to F1, Football League and other sports being cut...I mean look at Sport on the BBC recently being sliced in half yet the BBC is one of the biggest Sports Broadcasters but not offering much in Live coverage...this must be wrroying for you in the build up...Live Sports being sliced by the Management yet the biggest event is overshadowed.

  • Comment number 23.

    Trailers are worse than irritating at the best of times. Why would I choose to watch one when there are countless better things to do with my time?

  • Comment number 24.

    @FoxesofNuneaton in #22: the difference in Breakfast between Beijing and London is that there was live sport throughout the 0600-0900 period in 2008 because of the time-difference --- but there's very little in 2012, so we want to keep a strong mix of news and Olympic information with the familiar presenters alongside the build-up to the day's sport.

  • Comment number 25.

    Thanks for your reply Roger.
    But if the lack of Sport for Olympic Breakfast will be small compared to Beijing, why slot Hazel Irvine in the Breakfast slot then?
    Plus will any of the Logos who you showed us be in the BBC Studio which leads onto another question, will all Presentation be brought from London's Media Centre on the Olympic Park or have Breakfast split between 2 Studios (such as TV Centre to avoid quick changes of TV Crew and such?) Will the BBC Studio at Olympic Park have the logos on the set itself?

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi there, can you tell me what song is being played in this?

  • Comment number 27.

    Roger - thanks for your response in #21: if you see it as a national event, then what has changed from the pre-2006 view (where all ceremonies were covered by BBC Sport commentators) and from the last Olympic Games in 2010, where the coverage was hosted and voiced by Hazel Irvine.

    Are you suggesting therefore that 2010's ceremonies (or those before 2006) weren't 'national events', but Beijing was?

  • Comment number 28.

    @Foxes in #25: Breakfast will still have a much higher sport content than normal - and it will be a BBC News/BBC Sport co-production. That's why we wanted top teams of one news presenter and one sport.

    @Jordan D in #27: the Opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver wasn't a UK national event. The Opening of London 2012 is. And, in common with other leading broadcasters such as NBC, we used News anchors on the Beijing opening because of the political dimensions to a Games in China.

  • Comment number 29.

    No mention of the corruption, incompetence and slaeze - would that be too embarrassing?
    And the HOW MANY (?) BMW's being bought, at our expense to ferry the slime from the IOC and LOCOG around London in Zil-lanes, whilst the rest of us are crammed into overcrowded trains?


  • Comment number 30.

    Another example of getting it all the wrong way round and costing the licence payer a fortune.
    Why is the BBC paying anything when the Olympics need the publicity?
    They should be paying the broadcasters not auctioning the rights.
    Never mind I suppose, the dumb licence payer will come up with the cash as they seem to have no option.
    At least this year the BBC have seen sense not to pay a fortune to braodcast very fast advertisements hurtling across the screen called F1.
    There's a whole list which needs a paradigm shift, they need the publicity more than the broadcasters need them;
    any professional football, in fact most professional sport, the National Lottery, any event with the sponsor's name in the title, rock concerts, celebrity shows - they increase their future earning by the publicity .............
    The BBC should negotiate how much they should be paid and not the opposite way round. It's meant to be public broadcasting not just celebrity coverage at a great cost.

  • Comment number 31.

    Lets be honest here if the BBC had not got in to bed with Sky in terms of F1, most of these petty,horrible anti Olympics post on this blog would not appear, it just goes to show how fickle Sports fans are, why dont people stop being so miserable, stop moaning, quite frankly get a life and start supporting the Olympics, i cant wait, a once in a lifetime opporunity.

    Also post 29 can you provide any sources or any facts to back up your claims or have you just made it up?

  • Comment number 32.

    I know the olmpics have cost £9.3bn, but I would rather it was spent on the greatest sporting event in world and all that it brings with it, rather than on hospitals, young people, old people, schools, teachers, nurses, roads, trains, etc, etc, etc.

    I have been a taxpayer for thirty years and in that time my taxes have gone towards hospitals, young people, old people, schools, teachers, nurses, roads, trains, etc, etc, etc.

    Makes a nice change to spend it on something the world will enjoy and the greatest possible advert for this country.

    It's a shame so many (according to these blogs) will be doing something else when the Olympics are on. If you can't get excited about the event and at the very least be patriotic about it, then I fell more than a little sorry for you.

  • Comment number 33.

    Does anyone know what song is being played on this advert? It's sounds a little bit awesome

  • Comment number 34.

    @26 and @33 - this from our creative team: The music on the launch of the year trail is by M83 and the track is called Midnight City. It’s from the new album “Hurry Up We’re Dreaming”.

  • Comment number 35.

    Muchas gracias, señor :)


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