The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
The Beijing Games on the BBC
The 2008 Beijing Olympics will represent the
14th Summer Olympic Games broadcast by
the BBC, a sequence that began with the
1948 Games in London and one that has run
unbroken since the 1960 Games in Rome,
These Games will, in effect, be the first
ever 24/7 Olympics with viewers able to
access live coverage, the latest news updates
and any of those missed magical moments,
regardless of the time of day and where they
are, through the BBC's extensive TV, radio,
online, mobile and BBC iPlayer services.
For the first time, viewers will be able to
watch the Olympics in High Definition on the
BBC HD channel, which is extending its
normal hours to provide around 300 hours
of coverage. HD gives exceptionally clear,
crisp pictures with vivid colours and is
particularly good for watching fast-moving
sporting events on large screens, with none
of the motion-blur some viewers experience
with standard definition.
Beijing 2008 is a 17-day festival of live
international sport – from aquatics to
athletics; boxing to badminton; football to
volleyball; sailing to softball; taekwondo to
tennis – taking place from 8 to 24 August.
The competition schedule involves 302
events (165 men's events, 127 women's
events, and 10 mixed events), in 28 Olympic
sports held throughout 31 venues.
will broadcast more than 2,750 hours, bringing
British audiences the global stories of
ambition, determination and courage, while
capturing the excitement, drama and magical
moments that make the Olympics such a
unique sporting event.
Roger Mosey, BBC Sport Director, says:
"These Olympic Games offer a unique
challenge in their location, their politics and
"The BBC will report every
aspect of the Games across all its services.
We will also offer more choice than ever
before to sports fans.
"These will be the first
HD Games, and the Games where people
have the largest range of digital options
across all our platforms. They will be able to
experience every moment with the BBC."
Once again, the BBC is set to produce more
hours of coverage than ever before, and
double that of Athens 2004.
BBC One, BBC Two and BBC HD will
dedicate approximately 300 hours to the
event over the 17 days, plus 2,450 hours of
interactive coverage from BBCi.
Viewers with digital TV can access up to six
additional streams to see extended coverage
of the 302 individual events.
In another innovation, this will also be the
first Olympics available on BBC iPlayer,
where viewers will be able to access both
the BBC's evening highlights programme, Games Today, as well as the pick of the
day's action, available for selection by sport.
BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC 5 Live Sports Extra will
bring round-the-clock news, commentary and
coverage with the majority of the stations'
output coming live from Beijing.
The online service (bbc.co.uk/olympics) will
include live streaming of up to six interactive
TV channels on broadband, as well as video
highlights from all the key events during the day
as they happen.
There will also be a selection
of these video highlights clips available on
The BBC website currently
receives up to 10 million unique users per week.
Radio 5 Live's Olympic Podcast will be available
on a daily basis providing a catch-up news
service, plus an additional podcast containing
Also on the website will be
a blog, photos and behind-the-scenes videos of
5 Live presenters to bring the atmosphere to
viewers and listeners back home.
Other BBC channels such as BBC World will
keep viewers around the globe up to date
with the latest goings-on and the BBC News channel will be out in Beijing to bring all the
news and issues surrounding the Games.
At lunchtime on Friday 8 August, the world will turn
its eyes to the Olympic Stadium in Beijing for
the spectacle and splendour of the Opening
Ceremony. Millions of people worldwide will view this historic
event, which marks the beginning of 16 days
of world-class competition.
BBC Television will have
live coverage of the Opening Ceremony and
the Closing Ceremony, which will herald the
start of London 2012's four-year Olympic
Both ceremonies will be presented by
Sue Barker and Huw Edwards. Huw is joined
in the commentary box by Hazel Irvine and
Gabby Logan fronts the BBC's evening
highlights programme Games Today, while
Hazel Irvine and Adrian Chiles present
Olympic Breakfast at 6am.
include: Clare Balding, Jake Humphrey, John
Inverdale and Rishi Persad.
A team of world-class presenters,
commentators and analysts will provide
intelligent, informative and exclusive insight on
all the action in China.
The BBC Television team
comprises some well-loved and respected
faces, as well as a few new ones.
Johnson, Colin Jackson, Jonathan Edwards and Steve Cram will guide viewers through the
track and field events, with Brendan Foster, Paul Dickenson and Stuart Storey; Sharron
Davies, Adrian Moorhouse and Andy Jameson will be poolside; Garry Herbert, Daniel
Topolski and John Inverdale will be joined at
the water's edge by Olympic rowing legend Sir
Steve Redgrave; Hugh Porter, Chris Boardman, Gary Sutton and Jill Douglas will be following
Team GB at the Velodrome; and Richie
Woodhall and Jim Neilly will be ringside.
The BBC Television team of roving reporters – Sir
Matt Pinsent, Phil Jones, Garry Richardson
and Jill Douglas – will prove indispensable as
they get under the skin of the man or
woman of the moment.
Notes to Editors
BBC HD is available at these EPG locations:
Sky: 143; Virgin: 108; and Freesat: 108.
To watch the BBC's HD channel, you'll need
an HD-ready TV, HDMI cable and a cable or
satellite digital set-top box from a supplier
like Sky, Virgin, or Freesat, which launched in
May and which provides the BBC HD
channel on a subscription-free basis.
BBC Sport and 5 Live Publicity