BBC Digital Olympics

Gary Lineker talks about the live interactive video player created for the Olympics 2012

London 2012 will be the first truly digital Games. The BBC will ensure audiences never miss a moment, delivering unprecedented coverage across multiple platforms, so that audiences can stay up to date wherever they are, whenever they want to.

New innovations in online and broadcast video, and ground-breaking integration of in-depth data, social features and personalisation from the BBC, will set a new digital standard and provide a lasting legacy across BBC Online.

The BBC will give audiences more choice than ever before, with access to:

  • Every Olympic event, sport and venue live, on-demand and interactive on, with up to 24 live HD streams and 2,500 hours of coverage
  • Pages for every athlete, sport, venue and country across, enabling detailed access to real-time updated Olympics data, statistics and news
  • High quality coverage that’s personal and social, enabling audiences to follow and “favourite” every athlete, sport, event and country and get tailored updates, as well as access live updates, Twitter visualisations and social media commentary.

Four screen access

Audiences will be able to watch wherever and whenever they want to, across four screens: PC, mobile, tablet and connected TVs (including smart TVs, games consoles and BBC Red Button).

The BBC will also offer select highlights in 3D, and deliver the world’s first trials of Super Hi Vision.

Changing digital landscape

In the four years since the Beijing Olympics, the digital landscape has changed significantly, with the arrival of the tablet, rapid penetration of smartphones, and growing use of connected TVs. The BBC has been working hard to ensure that the demands of connected digital audiences in 2012 are met via its multi-platform approach.

In Beijing, the BBC offered six additional streams of live coverage. This year the BBC will deliver even more value to sports fans, with four times the coverage offered in 2008: up to 24 live streams across four screens – PC, mobile, tablet and connected TVs.

Next-generation video coverage

Video is a key aspect of the BBC’s digital Olympics coverage, ensuring audiences have access to the best of the sporting action. Alongside the BBC’s flagship Olympics broadcasting on BBC One and BBC Three, there will be unprecedented and comprehensive video coverage across the BBC’s digital platforms.

The full breadth of the BBC’s enhanced and interactive video experience can be accessed via the BBC Sport site on a PC and laptop. The Sport website will introduce a new way of watching live events online:

  • brings live HD video coverage to the desktop
  • enables audiences to switch between 24 simultaneous live streams effortlessly
  • gives the option to rewind live coverage, for audiences that missed the start of the action
  • provides chapter markers, enabling simple navigation to those key moments within a session (e.g. the Gold Medal- winning dive)
  • offers relevant live data, statistics and information, while viewers are watching, in a seamless and unobtrusive way.

Information about what audiences are watching can be accessed via the Extras button:

  • Olympics Live: alerts viewers to interesting moments happening live across the 24 simultaneous streams, ensuring they don’t miss any key action
  • Athletes: discover more about the individual athletes, including information on their performance and previous times
  • Sports guides: info about the individual sports, with five key facts offered for every discipline
  • Match stats: key real-time statistics about the event.

Bringing Olympics stats and stories to life

Audiences can immerse themselves in every aspect of the London 2012 Games, thanks to the breadth and depth of Olympics news and information offered by the BBC across multiple platforms.

Pages for everything

Alongside a real-time updated medals overview, the BBC Sport site offers a page for every sport, country, athlete and venue. Built using innovative dynamic semantic publishing technology, these pages can be automatically created and updated in real-time and seamlessly feed live stats and schedule information to our audiences across multiple platforms.

Social and personal

Audiences can click to follow every athlete, sport, event and country directly via BBC Sport online, and receive updates as they happen about the things that matter most to them. The BBC will also offer immersive coverage that includes live updates, Twitter visualisations, and comments from across social media.

Accessing content on the go

Accessing content on the go on mobiles and tablets has become the norm for many. That’s why the BBC has developed an Olympics mobile browser site and Olympics mobile app so audiences have content at their fingertips, ensuring they never miss a moment of the action.

The mobile browser site, accessible across all mobile devices, will mirror much of the desktop experience, but will cleverly adapt to fit in your mobile screen. Apple and Android users will also have access to up to 24 live streams and short video highlight clips of the day’s best action. Audiences can access this via:

The free BBC Olympics mobile app for Apple and Android smartphones will include all the features available on the mobile browser site, plus the ability for audiences to read content off-line – when not connected to a mobile network or Wi-Fi.

Simple access to content on the TV

BBC Red Button for audiences with Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat

The BBC’s Red Button service for the Olympics on Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat will offer audiences access to up to 24 live streams and 2,500 hours of programming and an at-a-glance overview of the highest profile events available to watch at any one time. In addition, audiences can access a full A-Z listing, making finding the sport they want as easy as choosing a channel on TV.

BBC Red Button for audiences with Freeview and BT Vision

For audiences with Freeview and BT Vision, there will be an additional 24-hour channel of extra BBC Olympics content available via the BBC Red Button. Between 1900-0530, there will also be a second channel showing BBC Olympics content.

This will double the choice on offer from the BBC’s flagship Olympics broadcasting on BBC One and BBC Three – meaning that at 8pm audiences have at least four television services plus the full 24-stream service via our website.

BBC Sport app for connected TVs

The BBC Sport app for connected TVs will give audiences access to the BBC’s interactive coverage during the Games. Using an innovative new interface that redefines the experience of using an app on TV, audiences will have access to 2,500 hours of content and up to 24 simultaneous live events, all in HD.

All Olympic sessions will also be available on- demand with a comprehensive range of highlights and news headlines available 24/7.

Virgin Media TiVo users will be able to access this content via the BBC Red Button. Audiences with Sony Smart TVs (2011 and 2012 models) and Sony’s PlayStation 3 console users will have access to the same content via the app menu on their devices. Support for other connected TV devices will be announced shortly.

Gary Lineker talks about the BBC's new interactive video player