BBC Sport Olympics FAQs

These FAQs are divided into four sections:

1) Latest responses

2) Questions relating to BBC coverage across all platforms, highlights and availability of video / audio and TV licence

3) Technical questions - e.g. lack of audio, poor picture quality

4) Other queries

This page will be updated throughout the Games. At the bottom of the page are further links providing more detailed information on technical issues.

1) Latest questions and responses

Where can I find the links for the catch-up video I want?

Every session of every sport is available online until January.

Look at the 'Schedule' box near the top right of any Olympic sport index (or on some it's second below the 'Medal Table' module), scroll back to the day you are interested in and you'll find yellow 'CATCH UP' buttons for each session.

Why can't I get the 24 streams on Freeview or BT Vision?

Unfortunately, due to platform capacity we are unable to offer the 24 streams on Freeview or BT Vision. We have a stream available all day on channel 301, and we have added a second stream for the duration of the Olympics on channel 302 from 7pm each evening. In addition, for Freeview viewers, the channel 301 output is available in HD on channel 304.

More details are available on BBC Director of London 2012 Roger Mosey's blog.

I'm watching video on iPad and I get an error message. What can I do?

We are aware of an occasional issue when trying to watch video on iPads. If you turn the wifi connection off on your iPad and then reconnect, you should be able to watch successfully.

Why is there no commentary on the sport I am watching?

Our commentators have been given a very full schedule in order to serve the multiplatform outputs. As a result we have opted to offer some matches or sessions without commentary. Where possible, we have indicated this in our billings.

Why is there sometimes dead air after an event and no interviews?

The live sport coverage does not come from the BBC as we are not host broadcasters. This issue will therefore occur on a small number of sports where it is not practical for us to leave the host coverage on the interactive channels and join the BBC coverage (where the interviews take place).

On the interactive channels we continue to show the host broadcaster's coverage after an event to capture medal ceremonies, which would therefore not have any commentary.

How do I record from the 24 streams?

While it is not possible to record via the red button application, ie after pressing red, you can record if you go via the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) or equivalent.

Why don't you show the points scores during the boxing rounds?

The BBC is not the host broadcaster and, unfortunately, the feed provided by the International Olympic Committee does not provide the points scores. We do pass on these requests to the host broadcaster on your behalf.

I cannot see the contest involving a particular athlete / team

It is not possible to show all fields of play from all sports due to bandwidth constraints, although we intend to show every football match, up to three courts at a time for tennis and up to two streams for badminton and table tennis.

Why is there a story about the wrong athlete/country on that particular athlete/country's page?

All of the country and athlete pages are organised by an automated system which aggregates stories (allowing us to have so many different indexes), including those which refer to several athletes or countries.

Therefore you may see some stories which are headlined about an athlete from one particular country (eg Great Britain) appearing on another country's page, because that story also mentions the silver or bronze medallist and their different country.

Is there a page showing all the football results and tables?

Fixtures, results and tables for the men's tournament are available here, with the women's tournament available on this page.

On the website, where does the athlete information come from?

The BBC Sport site offers audiences a page for every athlete participating in the Olympics. The data for these pages is being provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS).

On my computer, I'm getting audio but no video, what can I do? (Similar issues covered in section 3)

If you are hearing audio but getting no video playback, try turning off hardware acceleration and refreshing the page and then seeing if the video plays.

If you right click on the video player and open up 'Settings', you should get an option to turn off hardware acceleration.

If you can't click on settings because it is greyed out, please follow the steps in the following message board  in order to turn off hardware acceleration.

How long will the highlights remain online?

The highlights will remain online until January

How do I add/delete my Olympic favourites?

If you are on any country or athlete page you'll see a green circle with a plus symbol next to the title of the page. Hover your mouse over it, it will ask you if you want to 'add to favourites' (if you haven't already) or 'remove from favourites' (if you've previously selected it).

You can also remove a favourite in the same way when you are on your own 'Favourites page', which also has more details on each favourite.

Can I download the image of the London skyline that you use in your opening titles?

Well it's taken a little while, but yes you can. Just click here.

Can I buy the music the track 'First Steps' that you're using for your theme tune?

Yes, and you'll be helping Children in Need at the same time! Just follow the links from this page.

2) Questions relating to BBC coverage

How do I find out what's on and when?

All event sessions* will be shown live on the BBC website, Sky, Virgin, Freesat, mobile, and Connected TV services. The BBC Sport website also has a full schedule.

Sky, Virgin, Freesat, Freeview and Connected TV services will offer a detailed 'coming up' schedule for the day ahead via the red button service while Sky, Virgin and Freesat will also offer EPG listings for the coming.

The Freeview listings are also available online here and on pages 197 and 198 on Ceefax and the Red Button text service. Finally, edited listings will be provided for each day on the mobile site and mobile Olympics app.

* 18 shooting qualification sessions and archery ranking rounds will not be shown - this is not a BBC decision, as we are reliant on the IOC's broadcaster to offer live coverage.

How can I find out if listings have changed?

All listings are provisional and liable to change. The schedule page and electronic programme pages will update automatically while our schedule pages on the Red Button and Ceefax will also reflect any changes. We will also tweet significant schedule changes from our @BBCSport Twitter account 

Why can't I watch/listen to media outside the UK?

The BBC only has the rights to broadcast video or audio of Olympic sport, interviews and features from Olympic venues, to users in the UK. Much of the content not recorded in the venues is still available for you to watch anywhere in the world.

I'm in the UK but I am being told that content is not available in my territory

We use technology to prevent people from outside the UK from accessing content that we need to limit to the UK for rights reasons.

Otherwise, you might have been identified as outside the UK because your computer is on a foreign-based network, or is routed overseas. If BBC media player does not recognise your IP address at all, then you won't be able to stream or download programmes.

Occasionally it may simply be a network error, so it is worth closing your browser or router and reopening as a new IP address is allocated which may be UK-based.

Our Geo-IP technology system recognises IP addresses provided by UK-based internet service providers (ISPs). If the BBC media player does not recognise your address, you must contact your ISP as they alone can register your address.

What hours will the Olympics be on network television?

BBC1 & BBC1 HD 0600-0000 (when BBC News is on, coverage transfers to BBC Two)

BBC3 & HD Channel 0900-2300 (except when 3D on HD Channel)

Who will the presenters be and what are the time slots on terrestrial TV and radio?

Although all schedules are subject to change, most days will run to a set series of time slots allocated to presenters, with commentary teams also set for each sport.

What is available in High Definition?

All coverage on BBC One and BBC Three will be made available in HD - on the BBC One HD and BBC HD channels respectively

All of the interactive streams will be available in full HD via the BBC Sport website and via Sky, Virgin or Freesat to those with HD TVs and HD set-top boxes.

For Freeview viewers, the primary red button channel (channel 301) will be also be available in HD on channel 304. Mobile and tablet viewers will not receive HD video.

It is also possible to watch all 24 streams in HD on television by connecting a PC or laptop to your television if both have an HDMI port.

Gary Lineker's guide to the live interactive video player

What are the online video coverage plans?

An enhanced video experience will give access to up to 24 live HD streams and 2,500 hours of coverage via the BBC Sport website on a PC or laptop. The live streams enable users to:

• watch live HD video coverage on the desktop

• switch between 24 simultaneous live streams

• rewind live coverage

• navigate to key moments via chapter buttons within a session

• read relevant live data, statistics and information while watching

• enjoy on-demand access to every session, as soon as the session has ended

• iPlayer will offer a catch-up service for all Olympic programming on BBC One, Two and Three.

What will be available on the Red Button?

There are two separate Red Button offerings depending on your provider.

On Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat, users have access to up to 24 live streams in both HD and SD. These can be accessed either via the red button or via the electronic programme guide (EPG). EPG access allows users to record the content.

Freeview & BT Vision viewers will have access to a 24-hour channel of selected BBC Olympics content, plus a second channel from 1900-0530 accessed either via the red button or the EPG (channels 301 and 302). EPG access allows users to record the content. In addition, channel 301 will be broadcast in HD on channel 304.

Why is Freeview showing something that's on BBC One or Three?

We always aim to avoid duplication of events on the red button and BBC One/Three, but there will be times when this is unavoidable for a short time. For example if BBC One switches to an event being shown on Freeview we would not switch coverage on Freeview until a suitable point to switch events.

What is available on Connected TV?

The BBC Sport app gives users access to the BBC's interactive coverage, while Virgin Media TiVo users will be able to access this content via the BBC Red Button - all available in HD. All live content will then be available on-demand and in full. The BBC Sport app is available on PS3, Virgin TiVo, and connected TVs from Panasonic (2011 and 2012 models), Samsung (2011 and 2012 models), and Sony (2012 models).

What is available on radio?

BBC Radio 5 live will cover the Olympics from 0600-0100 while a dedicated channel - Olympics Extra - will provide a 24 hour service of live action and highlights. Further details of radio coverage are available on this page.

What video can I get on mobile and tablet?

We have separate mobile websites for touchscreen smartphones and phones without a touchscreen. and an app for Apple (iOS 5.0 and above) and Android (2.2 and above).

The Olympics mobile browser offers:

• A new 2012 homepage

• a page for every Olympic discipline (36 in total), every competing country (203 in total) and the thousands of competing athletes

• medals table

• detailed schedule and results service

• on-demand video highlights in the UK - clips of all the best action and interviews

• live video with up to 24 live streams in the UK including network live coverage (ie BBC One and BBC Three) and streams devoted to the live coverage of individual sports. Users will be able to access the videos from a live video

index page which will list what videos are currently available to watch.

The mobile app includes the features lised for the mobile homepage plus

• customisable navigation - add your favourite sport to your tab bar (iOS only)

• offline reading - (ie read the top stories when you¹re not connected to a mobile network or wifi)

• live radio - listen to Radio 5 Live, 5Live Sports Extra and Olympics Extra

Note - We will only offer video to users on iOS devices with ioS 5.0 and above and users with Android handsets with a screen width of 320 px or more and using OS 2.2 and above. Users on Android 4.0 may have to download Flash to get the video to work.

I missed/will miss a live event - will I be able to see it?

The BBC Sport website will offer a full on-demand service of all event sessions via the schedule here link as well as clips of key moments including every gold medal winning moment.

Sky, Virgin, Freesat and Freeview viewers can also record via the EPG, while there will also be a limited highlights package on the red button service.

The catch-up service on the website will remain available until January.

My recording device has recorded the wrong thing / missed the end of the broadcast

All schedules are subject to late changes. We endeavour to amend the timings in Electronic Programme Guides to ensure these changes are captured, but the process is not immediate and unfortunately delays can occur. For Virgin TV customers, the EPG can only be updated once a day and as such late changes will not be captured. This is out of the BBC's control.

The schedule says you are showing a session - why can't I see it?

Some events are only available to satellite, cable and online viewers. Unfortunately, due to bandwidth limitations on Freeview and BT Vision some sessions will not be available on those platforms.

There may also be occasions when an advertised session is not shown because of late changes to the schedule.

Why are you not showing every field of play from certain events?

It is not possible to show all fields of play from all sports due to bandwidth constraints, although we intend to show every football match, up to three courts at a time for tennis and up to two streams for badminton and table tennis.

I cannot see the shooting qualifying

While we will show up to 24 streams of live coverage during the Games, archery ranking and 18 shooting qualification sessions rounds will not be available - this is not a BBC decision, as we are reliant on the IOC's broadcaster to offer live coverage.

Where can I view live or recorded sport coverage from non-Olympic events - Formula 1 for example?

Coverage of non-Olympic sports events will be limited on all platforms during the Olympics.

Formula 1 highlights and live coverage of the Laguna MotoGP will be available on BBC network, and the BBC Sport website. Live qualifying from the Laguna MotoGP will be available via the BBC Sport website, iPlayer, and the Sport Multiscreen on Sky, Virgin and Freesat. It will not be available on Freeview due to bandwidth limitations.

Can I download videos to watch later?

No. Currently, BBC Sport offers video only when your device has a network connection.

Do I need a TV licence to watch on my computer, tablet or mobile device?

If you use any device to receive television programmes as they're being shown (live) on TV, the law requires you to be covered by a TV Licence. It makes no difference how you watch TV - whether it's on your laptop, PC or mobile phone or through a digital box, DVD recorder or TV set.

You will not need a TV Licence to view video clips on the internet, or with the iPlayer, as long as what you are viewing is not being shown on TV at the same time as you are viewing it.

Where can I buy a TV licence or get more details?

To buy a TV licence or obtain further information about licensing requirements call TV Licensing on 0870 241 5590 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk 

3) Technical questions - e.g. lack of audio, poor picture quality

Why is there no commentary on the sport I am watching?

Our commentators have been given a very full schedule in order to serve the multiplatform outputs. As a result we have opted to offer some matches or sessions without commentary. Where possible, we have indicated this in our billings.

Why is there no Commentary service available for the Opening/Closing Ceremony?

The No Commentary and Audio Description audio options are available on the BBC Sport website, and on the red button services on Sky, Freesat, Virgin and Connected TV services. Unfortunately, it is not possible to offer the No Commentary service on Freeview. Audio Description commentary will be available, but with audio only. Due to complex technical reasons it is not possible to offer pictures on Freeview.

How do I get rid of the red button graphic on my screen?

To lose the red button icon from the top right-hand corner of the TV screen, press the following colour key buttons, depending on your platform:

Freeview - Green. Sky - Back Up. Virgin Media - Blue. Freesat - Green or Back

I'm watching video on iPad and I get an error message. What can I do?

We are aware of an occasional issue when trying to watch video on iPads. If you turn the wifi connection off on your iPad and then reconnect, you should be able to watch successfully.

Why can't I find the Olympics app on my internet-connected TV/games console/blu-ray player?

Internet-connected TV is still an emerging technology. The BBC Sport app makes use of live video delivered over the internet and only the latest devices support this but we are working to make the application as widely available as possible.

Will I be charged for watching live events via the BBC Sport connected TV app?

When using the BBC Sport app, video is transferred to you via your broadband connection, just as it would be if you were watching on a PC or mobile device. If you have a cap on your broadcast account, you will need to monitor usage.

My phone won't play live video clips?

We currently only offer video services to iOS devices using iOS 5.0 and higher and Android handsets using 2.2 and higher - if you have one of these devices and a lower OS version, it may be possible to upgrade the operating system of your device.

How much does it cost to listen/watch via 3G?

The BBC will not charge you to watch video or listen to audio. However your operator will charge you for the amount of 3G data you use. If you are playing media over 3G and are unsure of the data costs on your tariff please contact your network operator.

How can I limit the costs of watching/listening to video content on 3G?

There are several ways to limit the costs of watching video content:

The same live and on demand content offered on the mobile service is also available on the desktop BBC Olympics website. You can use this service on a desktop PC or laptop with an internet connection

If you use a lot of mobile data you can talk to your mobile operator about the most cost-effective way of using the mobile internet on your phone and find out about ways of monitoring your mobile internet usage.

You can reduce data costs by using WiFi when available.

On my computer, I'm getting audio but no video, what can I do?

If you are hearing audio but getting no video playback, try turning off hardware acceleration and refreshing the page and then seeing if the video plays.

If you right click on the video player and open up 'Settings', you should get an option to turn off hardware acceleration.

If you can't click on settings because it is greyed out, please follow the steps in the following message board  in order to turn off hardware acceleration.

I'm using a Mac and the screen sometimes goes green and pink. What can I do?

Try turning off hardware acceleration. Follow the instructions above.

Why is the video buffering?

If you are on a slow connection the video may pause every now and then. On occasion this may also occur on faster connections, we are working to rectify this issue.

The video sometimes appears pixelated. Why?

We are using a technology that adapts the bitrate of the video you are watching depending on the speed of your connection in order to give you the best experience.

The rate starts low and ramps up to the appropriate level which is why the video quality may look poor when you join the stream for the first time.

You've said I can watch in HD but I'm not getting an HD picture. Why?

Most video in the interactive video player is available in HD quality if your broadband speed is fast enough. The player will offer the best quality suitable for you. Streams showing BBC One and BBC Two are not currently available in HD.

I am getting a message that I need to update ton the latest version of Flash

The new interactive video player utilises a new version of the BBC's Embedded Media Player (EMP). Enhanced features of this player include a smoother media playback experience, where you will be given the best playback experience based on your available bandwidth.

This new interactive video player may prompt you to upgrade your Adobe Flash Player to the latest version to allow playback of content.

If you have an older operating system for which Adobe no longer supports (Mac PowerPCs for example), then you will not be able use the interactive video player as it requires Adobe's Flash Player with a version number minimum of 10.2.

You will still be able to switch and watch video however by choosing the video you would like to watch either from our schedule or our live-video page . Once you've selected your chosen video, access the right click menu on the 'pop out player' link above the player. Opening this link in a new tab or the current window will launch a smaller player containing an older version of the EMP (that can be put into full screen) which you can watch your chosen video in.

If the player requests that you upgrade your Flash version, you can access the latest supported version of Adobe's Flash Player for your particular operating system from Adobe's website. 

I have a question about online video not covered here

Further guidance is available on a dedicated help page.

4) Other queries

Where can I find out more about Olympic sports?

We have created detailed pages for every Olympic sport where you can find out more about how the sports work, and how and where you can get involved. There are also links to the BBC Things to Do pages, where you can find details of thousands of activities and taster sessions on offer up and down the country.

On the website, where does the athlete info come from?

The BBC Sport site will offer audiences a page for every athlete participating in the Olympics. The data for these pages is being provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) as athletes arrive for the Games. We will be updating the site with this data as we receive it.

Will the athlete pages be updated?

Every athlete page will automatically be updated with results of events they have competed in. In addition, if a news article, report, feature or video significantly mentions them this will also appear on their individual page.

Where are the results on Red Button text/Ceefax

While the BBC Sport website will have full results of every session for every sport space limitations on Red Button text and Ceefax mean this is not possible on those platforms. Instead we will provide text reports of the biggest events of each day plus schedule information, medal tables, details of Team GB members in action plus a limited statistics offering.

Where can I get information about transport, cultural events and other non-sport content.

The BBC London 2012 portal will cover all aspects of the Olympics - news, sport, travel, weather and more. The official London 2012 website  is also a good resource, including a section for visitors with information on accommodation, travel and other amenities.

Can I use your content on my own site?

I am afraid not, because the BBC owns the copyright.

However, you can take a feed of our headlines on to your site via our RSS service , providing you credit us.

Could I use a picture from your website?

Unfortunately we are unable to grant permission for you to use a photo, because we are supplied by external photo agencies such as Getty.

You can find the photo you want from their website.

Where can I find the links for the catch-up video I want?

Every session of every sport is available online until January.

Look at the 'Schedule' box near the top right of any Olympic sport index (or one some its second below the Medal Table module), scroll back to the day you are interested in and you'll find yellow 'CATCH UP' buttons for each session.

Can I download the image of the London skyline that you use in your opening titles?

Well it's taken a little while, but yes you can. Just click here.

Can I buy the music the track 'First Steps' that you're using for your theme tune?

Yes, and you'll be helping Children in Need at the same time! Just follow the links from this page.

How can I report a problem that is not covered here?

We have a feedback form if you wish to report any other issues.

Useful links

Olympic schedule

Interactive TV reception problems

Satellite TV reception problems

Help receiving TV and radio - Digital TV

Satellite TV reception problems

BBC - Help receiving TV and radio - Digital radio

Help receiving TV and radio - Digital radio FAQs

BBC - Help receiving TV and radio - Digital TV