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Countdown continues as Olympics draw closer

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Dave Gordon | 12:20 UK time, Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Take a look at the BBC website's in-depth guide to coverage of the Games

It's not just self-confessed 'anoraks' like me who have succumbed to Olympic fever; anticipation is definitely growing. We've seen the unprecedented demand for tickets and the resulting controversy; the first test events have taken place and we'll be marking 'one year to go' tomorrow (Wednesday 27 July).

More attention is focused on our athletes too as they compete in major events this summer for the last time before the Games next year. Over the next few months, we can look forward to events such as the World Athletics and World Rowing Championships (with World Swimming going on now) where results and performances will be judged in the light of possible medal prospects in London next summer.

The BBC will be looking to highlight those who have the potential to join Team GB next summer and make an impact on the global sporting stage. There will be great, compelling stories between now and the Games from across all 26 sports and we will be featuring them in our programmes and on the BBC Sport website.

At Games-time, the BBC Sport website will be making history. For the first time, it will feature live coverage of every sport from every venue on every day of the Games. We make that over 2000 hours of unique live sport. It means that if you want to watch six Basketball matches a day, you can; if Taekwondo is your passion, you can watch it whenever it's on.

It also means that at sports where there are multiple fields of play such as Tennis from Wimbledon and Badminton from Wembley, there will be coverage whenever there is play although we will not necessarily show the action on every court as there will be a huge demand to showcase all the other sports at other venues.

Today, we take the first step in translating our promise into a reality with the publication of our day by day, session by session website guide to what we're showing online during the Games. It's easy to use and a chance for you to start planning your Olympic diary and how you can watch the Games online.

We'll update it over the next 12 months as we get more information such as which teams will feature in competitions such as Football and Volleyball, competition draws and when and where British teams will play.

All of that information, the selection of British competitors, medal prospects and overall editorial priorities will help us decide what will be featured on the main tv channels and red button. Those decisions will be made far closer to the Games.

In the meantime though, this is an opportunity for you to begin planning your own Olympic schedule. From the start of the early morning action until the end of competition just before midnight, there will be live online coverage via the BBC Sport website of every sport from every venue where it's happening.

You can look at the big picture each day, planning for those not to be missed events. If you want to spend all day watching the water polo or fencing or taekwondo or swimming, or any combination of the 26 sports, for the first time you can. The choice is yours rather than ours!

Dave Gordon
BBC Sport Head of Major Events


  • Comment number 1.

    I wouldn't bother with the swimming. By the looks of the performances at the World Swimming Championships, we won't have much to cheer for or celebrate!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Not sure where else to post this, but just spotted an error on 11th August, you have Canoe Slalom down, when it is in fact Canoe Sprint.

    Otherwise though that's a really useful page, look forward to seeing it being filled with more details as and when it becomes available.

  • Comment number 3.

    Only major failing (I've commented on Twitter how the rendering doesn't work great from the pop up boxes) is that you are touting this as a "plan your viewing" whereas it just shows when all the events are on - no great problem with that (in fact having a one stop shop for where it is listed exactly what events across all sports are on on one particular day is great); however to "plan your viewing", you ideally need to be able to select the TV coverage boxes you are interested in and be able to 'save them' against a calendar ...

    I'm sure this will get even better once the actual detailed events schedule is added (e.g. exactly what time a heat or bout will start).

  • Comment number 4.

    Angbur - we'll look into that. This is definitely the right place to mention it.

    Jordan - I know you tweeted me about this too, but good to see your thoughts in longer-form. You've rightly said that this web broadcast schedule is largely the same as the actual Olympics schedule. That is because, as Dave says, we're showing every sport live. So it works for both - you can see when the events are on but also what we're showing (which is everything). It doesn't, as we said in the notes, have the TV schedule yet because that won't be available until later.

  • Comment number 5.

    Lewis - ironically, I'm probably clearer in short form!

    What I meant was that whilst you've shown your commitment to have every bit of coverage "on TV" (by which I mean you will have a video stream on which we can view what's happening), what would be great is:
    a) a mechanism where we can 'save' the things we want to see so we can see the overlaps in events being shown (e.g. I want to see Archery and Rowing, and there's an overlap); this also allows individuals to plan their 'computer screen' watching for the duration of the games
    b) when they become available, the addition of exactly when events are happening (as per the organiser's schedule) so that if you only want to see one event (say the heats of the Women's Single Sculls, but not the Men's Eights) you can get an idea of when it is taking place and so can dip-in-and-out of coverage and switch the video stream you are watching.

    As for the TV schedules - fully aware they won't be available for a while yet ... and as we've seen with the Beijing Games, depending on who is commentating/presenting, sometimes commentator less coverage (as I assume the video streams on the website will be) will be a better option!

  • Comment number 6.

    One thing that would be good in terms of athletics coverage is a separate stream for field events which are covered sparsely on the BBC, usually preferring to concentrate on chat/analysis even when action is going on in the background.

  • Comment number 7.

    Re: 5 Jordan D.
    I think what you are looking for can be found here:
    The guy usually does festivals, but this should be useful.

  • Comment number 8.

    Jordan - understood. Leave with me to see what's possible. Tiger Rose - great idea but don't know if it will be possible. Thanks for idea though. I'll find out.

  • Comment number 9.

    It's interesting that you should mention water polo and fencing in your scheduling example, Dave, because I can't remember the BBC showing any coverage of these sports at the last Olympics and indeed any others I've seen; therefore, will this system be the first time the BBC has shown some of the more minor Olympic sports to the best of your recollection?

    Additionally, will every sport and every stream have a commentator - perhaps by going down the same route you did at the last Games of using commentary from other English-speaking broadcasters for the minor sports?


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