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Olympics figures continue to impress

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Roger Mosey | 11:57 UK time, Monday, 18 August 2008

I said in my last blog that the best was yet to come from Beijing, and that turned out to be an understatement.

Coming into the office in London this morning, having bid a reluctant goodbye to Beijing over the weekend, it was magnificent to see the newspaper coverage of a golden weekend.

"Britannia Rules The Games" splashed across the front page of The Sun, and "Great To Be British!" taking up the whole of the front page of the Daily Mail along with pictures of our victorious Team GB.

I also predicted that we'd break the 30-million mark for television viewers to these Games - and we did that even before the start of track and field, so Broadcast magazine was correct to say the early figures exceeded expectations.

The Olympics are always a massive draw, but the challenge this time was the seven-hour time difference compared with Athens - and the fact they were being broadcast in daytime in the middle of August when many people are away.

So here's the full and updated picture. Up until last night (Sunday), a total of 36.6m people in the UK (65% of the population) had watched at least 15 minutes of the Games on television. In the past weekend alone, Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th, the figure was 23.7m.

Within that, there are some signs of hard-core addicts. Half-a-million people were with us just after three in the morning on Saturday to see Rebecca Adlington's brilliant swim in the 800m; and 2m stayed up late to watch the women's marathon in the early hours of Sunday morning. In the daytime, the audience went above 4m at 9am and stayed there right through the day until the end of our live transmission.

Usain Bolt

As for individual peaks, the highest was 5.8m for the 100m final on Saturday afternoon - where adjectives alone can't describe the victory by Usain Bolt. We had more than 5m watching the rowing live and 5m also for the cycling medals.

But we always knew that the daytime-in-August factor would be a big boost to our new media services, and that has proven spectacularly to be the case.

We had our best ever day on the BBC Sport website on the first Monday of the Games with 4.4m individual users. More than 1m people used our live video streams on Friday, with 110,000 simultaneous viewers today for the cycling team's latest gold medal.

The catch-up services have proven popular too with just under 400,000 clicking on the Bolt phenomenon on Saturday alone.

As for iPlayer, it has had 700,000 requests for Olympic programming in the first week.

Mobile saw another record. I was at the baggage carousel at Heathrow surrounded by people accessing the latest news from Beijing on their phones, and they weren't alone. More than 400,000 users came to our mobile services on Saturday - helped by football as well as the Olympics - and that was way ahead of the previous record of 270,000.

As ever, the one major platform for which we don't have audience data is radio - but listening both in Beijing and back in London I've been proud of the range of coverage on 5 Live, and I can't believe it's not proving as popular as everything else we're doing.

So there's now less than a week to go, and my guess is that the closing ceremony - complete with David Beckham, Leona Lewis and a London bus - is in with a shout for the highest individual audience from Beijing.

In response to public demand, we'll be repeating the much talked-about opening ceremony this Friday on BBC One at 11.20pm and you can also see it on BBC HD. Then the closing ceremony gets underway live at 1pm UK time on Sunday afternoon, with another chance to see it on BBC Two after MOTD2 and also in HD.


  • Comment number 1.

    I have watched nothing but the olympics for the last week and a half ,and have been as impressed as the rest of the country with our medal total which is fast approaching our all time best. But can i just say that we have had no medals in the athletics So why does the BBC have such high regard for it and such low regard for other sports. Today just off the top of my head we have won a gold in cycling a silver in sailing and we have two cyclists through to the semis in the sprint, however the top story is that the 110m hurdle gold medalist China`s Liu Xiang of four years ago has pulled out. Yes it is a story but surely it isn't the top story. Please lets have a look at what is going on outside the birds nest what about the rest of the olympics.

  • Comment number 2.

    Could you confirm who'll be commentating on the closing ceremony?

  • Comment number 3.

    Has anyone noticed yet, but the vast majority of the GB Team medals so far have been in events where sitting down is an important aspect!
    This is not a criticism, merely an observation.
    To give credit where it is due, most of these events have their emphasis on technology, teamwork and tactics as well as physical ability.
    An excellent set of results so far.

  • Comment number 4.

    Roger, can you explain how the figures have been arrived at? I guess two-thirds of the boxes in the BARB sample (used to collect viewing figures) have been tuned into the Olympics at some stage. Is that right?

    I too am listening to the 5 live coverage as I write and think it has much greater sense of and spontaneity and verve then the TV coverage which has been staid in comparison.

    That's partly because they jump from event to event but also because they get out of the studio - there was a terrific bit of radio this morning when a Chinese spectator emerged from the Bird's Nest and started talking to Nicky Campbell about the injury to Liu Xiang. Let the TV anchors out of the pagoda a bit more.

  • Comment number 5.

    I have barely wathced any TV coverage - I have watched a few re-runs on my PC.

    My problem with the main BBC1/2 coverage is that it is all about the British comeptitors rather than the event/race itself. So, I tend to watch for a few minutes and then switch off. I'd prefer to know all about the main challenges for each event and their abilities, rather than see a bland interview with someone about nothing, just because they happen to be British.

  • Comment number 6.

    The BBC coverage in general has been terrific Roger and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The Games Today fronted by Gabby Logan has proved a real bonus because all the news and main highlights are fully covered in that hour and it is good to see all the gold medalists going in to the studio even at that time of night. At the end of Sunday night's programme there was a piece of music played which I can't think what it is called so if anybody can oblige it would be much appreciuated and also who it is performed by.

  • Comment number 7.

    I have to say my tv has had nothing but the Olympic coverage on it since the Opening Ceremony, and I think the BBC has done an excellent job. The presenters, esp Sue, Hazel and Clare have been brilliant as always, and the range of sports and other nations given airtime has given it a huge credibility that I doubt American coverage could match. I am certainly confident that the BBC is more than a safe pair of hands as host broadcaster in four years time

  • Comment number 8.

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  • Comment number 9.

    I've been watching all the Olympics on Eurosport - ever since the car crash that is the new ski sunday turned me on to their channel to get decent coverage I've found them to be far superior.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think it is a great shame that BBC television has decided to ignore anyone who works or is a mother.

    You have all your red button stuff (not that I know how to use this). You have your internet stuff (I'm not complaining about this).

    You have your edited roundup programme at 7pm. But this is FAR TOO EARLY for mothers putting their children to bed.

    It is FAR TOO EARLY for people who work in offices and commute home.

    Why do you ignore prime time telly for the Olympics?

    A edited programme between 8pm and 10pm on BBC Two, or even BBC Three or BBC Four would be great.

    Wouldn't this be better than endless repeats of Little Britain?

  • Comment number 11.

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  • Comment number 12.

    Hi Roger,

    I have been glued to the Olympics all weekend, and it has been the only topic of conversation at work today. The action has been compelling, thanks to the likes of Bolt, Hoy and Adlington and, with the exception of some crass and intrusive interviewing, the BBC’s coverage has been excellent.

    Your team have done a fantastic job in providing so much coverage of the Equestrian sports, both on the red button channels and online.
    This is what we Horsey types have been asking for for years, so well done.

  • Comment number 13.

    BBc did wonders for the furthering of the Olympic interest but an infuriating nothing for cricket!!!!

  • Comment number 14.

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  • Comment number 15.

    Once again thanks to Roger Mosey for taking time to answer comments and queries. With respect to BBC TV coverage, it must be difficult to please everyone but we seemed to be have been deprived of football coverage and there was some cracking goals by Brazil in their 4-1 hammering of the 'unbeatable' Germany in the ladies semi-final. Really top class Brazilian style football. These are worth seeing. I know that football is underway in Britain but maybe some highlights from the semis and finals please?
    I've listened to Radio 5 live but find that there is too much joking and comments about personal matters from some presenters which is spoiling the coverage. Like all this stuff about naming the baby who was born in a toilet during the beach volley-ball game. Heaven forbid - let's be serious about sport please.
    Presenters - Jake Humphreys, Sue Barker,
    Hazel Irvine, Clare Balding are all great and impressive with their enthusiastic and listenable approach BUT for me Adrian Chiles is a turn-off. He whispers away and has this irritating habit of starting a sentence - pausing - and then repeating the previous 3-4 words before continuing. He does the same when presenting Match of the Day.
    Not quite sure why he is so highly rated by the BBC.
    Look forward to the repeat of the Opening Ceremony. Good idea Mr Mosey.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think the BBC have been fantastic, ive enjoyed every second of it. Ive been glued to the T.V since the opening and i wholeheartedly belive this is the best the coverage could be. Thanks for the entertainment and keep up the hard work. Bring on Twenty12.

  • Comment number 17.

    Re Richard #10

    The Games Today is repeated all night on the interactive service.

    On Freeview this is available on channel 81 (BBC Parliament).

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm afraid that my feelings towards the evening round up show, fronted by Gabby Logan, are of dissapointment, and of a lost opportunity.
    For people who work (or have to sleep!!). this show is the main opportunity to follow the events of the day and to feel part of the wonderful experience that is the Olympics.
    So much of this show seems to be taken up with incidental montages from previous games, inane questions or 'pop' sequences and articles, instead of showing SPORT. Much as we love Kelly Holmes, the events of the day should take priority.
    Tonight we had 1) a chap wandering the streets of Beijing with a cutout of Phelps, denying that he was the swimmer...hilarious!!2) a top ten of Olympic 'icons', with suitably crass TOTP countdown....a hoot!!3) Gabby Logan taking the mickey out of an athlete in a distressed state, who had misplaced her pole...oh how we laughed!!
    During the hour we had literally no more than 10 seconds of both Tasha Danvers making it through to the 400m final and Tim Brabants making it through to the canoeing final. Not to mention the opportunity to see little viewed sports for a few minutes, at least once every four years.
    The Olympics are brilliant because of the SPORT involved and the sportsmen taking part. The coverage doesn't need 'sexing up' or made more interesting by items that neither add to the excitement, or endeavour of the competitors.

  • Comment number 19.

    Overall your coverage is excellent but I suppose you don't do the actual race camera work so can't take much credit for anything but the presenters and commentators and scheduling.

    I find the 8pm - 2am void of coverage rather odd. As someone else has said a lengthy highlights programme on BBC 2,3 or 4 would be useful and better than the repeats on those channels.

    This may sound fussy but I miss a small part of pre-race build up. In the past, when on the start line, the camera has shown each athlete with a name caption for each and the athlete often giving the camera a wave. I only request this for important races like finals. For the 100m final you had Sue, Colin and Michael (who are excellent) analysing previous races and then you joined the commentator who didn't have enough time to go through the whole list of runners with lane draw. It seems like I'm missing out in comparison to previous years. This happens all the time with analysis taking priority over live pictures. Its not right.

  • Comment number 20.

    Has anybody else been disappointed by the 7pm round-up? It shows pointless videos (for example about the Chinese perception of the luck or lack thereof brought by various numbers) instead of focusing on the actual sport. How can so much time be wasted in such a short period given the actual amount of sporting action that is continuously occurring throughout the day??

  • Comment number 21.

    I don't know how anyone can say Eurosport's coverage is superior, unless to be deliberately perverse. Certainly Eurosport provides a choice and a different perspective. Obviously the BBC has to make editorial decisions on its main service, if you don't agree the host broadcaster feeds are usually available on the red button-and I'm sorry but analysis by experts of what's going to happen or what has happened is required by many in the audience, which is why all broadcasters do it. My only minor criticism overall is of the commentary on the Opening Ceremony-sadly David Coleman is no longer available, but Barry Davies is. Why he wasn't used is a mystery. I like Huw Edwards, but he is entirely unsuitable for this. The BBC does of course make mistakes, and I well remember the coverage of the 1984 Closing Ceremony being abruptly and prematurely concluded to show Pages from Ceefax. Hopefully saner people are now in charge...

  • Comment number 22.

    As I quoted in your last blog Roger, it has been great coverage, somewhat ruined by the cartoon monkey titles and the BBC's endless coverage of an American - Michael Phelps.
    As we have seen, the British swimmers were ignored when Phelps was around.

    Also I disgaree with post 5 - many other competitors were named when Brits were involved - Phelps and Bolt to name a few.

    I havent been able to listen to Radio 5 Live but I bet many people must have been listening to it but many listen to R5 for Football.

    I have to say I have enjoyed Sue, Hazel, Jake and Rishi fronting the coverage from the IBC, along with John at the Rowing and Jill at the Velodrome and Clare from the IBC and Equestrian.

    One person doesnt seem to have worked, that is Adrian Chiles, can you explain Roger why Adrian was covering the Olympics?
    His jokes were dry when he was covering Olympic Breakfast with Hazel, he talked on and on and he isnt a sports all-rounder that Sue, John and co are like, I just believe the BBC were better off sending Ray Stubbs or Manish Bhasin who knows their stuff then Chiles who I believe would have been more useful covering Football Focus/Score and Match of the Day 2 which he is used to.

  • Comment number 23.

    "listening both in Beijing and back in London I've been proud of the range of coverage on 5 Live..."

    How did you manage to listen to 5 Live while in Beijing, Roger? Every time I try to listen from China I just get a recorded message saying the stream is unavailable because of rights issues.

  • Comment number 24.

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  • Comment number 25.

    WebbeyFoxes - your sentiments about Adrian Chiles are along the lines of those that I have expressed about this presenter.
    This morning he actually started a sentence 3 times, stopping each time, and then picking up the previous 3-4 words and continuing. If this blip was just to occur once in a programme I would not bother to complain but it happens EVERY time that he introduces a clip or goes into coverage. This is very POOR presentation and surely surely the producers have to do something about this. It is very tiring to listen to.
    By comparison his co-presenter Hazel Irvine is brilliant, so fluent, clear, excellent ennunication (unlike Chiles) and very knowledgeable.
    I agree that the Olympics is not for Adrian Chiles.

  • Comment number 26.

    The main reason I find Eurosport to be superior to the bbc is that Eurosport coverage tends focus more on the actual sports event, whilst bbc (in all virtually all their sports programmes) seem obsessed with irrelevant features and presenters grabbing as mush air-time as possible.

  • Comment number 27.

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    To answer some of the questions:

    Jordan D in #2: Huw Edwards will be back to commentate on the closing ceremony with the rest of the team, and we were really pleased with the coverage of the opening ceremony. But a reminder that if you want a feed without commentary, it'll be available on our interactive services.

    APbbforum in #4: yes, the figures are based on the official BARB tv ratings in the UK.

    On the highlights in Games Today: clearly, views differ on this programme. But the headline figures are very strong: last night it had its highest audience to date at over 5 million, and the appreciation ratings continue to increase too. They're well above both the Sport and the BBC1 averages.

    Patrawle in #25: the BBC has an internal feed on 5 Live in our Beijing offices, but you're right that it's not available outside the Olympic zone because our broadcasting rights are limited to the UK only.

    Overall - the feedback we've been receiving has been overwhelmingly positive. Within that, some people like some presenters and others don't; and some think we've got the balance of different sports right, while others argue with that.

    We do listen to all comments: for instance, we increased the amount of fencing after some initial complaints, and we're re-running the opening ceremony because we got a lot of requests for it.

    But you'll understand, I hope, that I'm very proud of what our teams in BBC Sport have achieved in relaying the extraordinary stories from Beijing - and an amazing performance by Team GB.

  • Comment number 28.

    I have to agree with katmarjac at #18. The Games Today last night was dismal. Not all of the track and field finals were shown but we did have a pointless countdown of Olympic icons and Steve Parry walking around town.

    The programme is supposed to be a highlights programme and not The One Show on tour in Beijing. The editors seem to have decided to go for the broadest audience leaving the sports fans amongst us disappointed.

  • Comment number 29.

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  • Comment number 30.

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  • Comment number 31.

    Never thought I'd say this, but proud to be British! I'm sure this has already been discussed, but what are the chances of putting pressure on for a ticker tape celebration when our team returns to the UK?

  • Comment number 32.

    To fairweathersportsfan in #31 - it's happening! It'll be on October 16th and will feature our successful Olympians and (we hope) Paralympians. It was announced by Boris Johnson last night, and we'll obviously be covering it on the BBC.

  • Comment number 33.

    I agree with the broad thrust of the comments so far: the red button coverage has been exceptional, whereas the highlights programmes have been far too "magaziney".

    When I watched the "Games Today" programme yesterday (Monday) I was cringing with embarrassment: the cardboard cutout Phelps feature was childish and un-necessary, the bloopers reel was an insult to professional athletes, and there was far too much waffle at the expense of actual sport.

    On the positive side, the interactive streams have rarely been off my TV over the last week, providing excellent live coverage and very useful highlights and round-ups.

    I'd like to make special mention of two commentators. Simon Brotherton and Bob Ballard both bring a remarkable mix of enthusiasm and humour to their respective sports (cycling and diving).

    Can't wait to see what you've got in store for 2012!

  • Comment number 34.

    It is great to see our athletes of all kinds acheiving so much. It would please me even more if the supporters could hold their union flags the correct way up

  • Comment number 35.

    Tonight's WEB Olympic report and BBC News headlines were very biased towards the track, with Christine Ohurugu's gold receiving overdue attention. Chris Hoy's record three golds was only given second place for TV coverage and this in spite of 7 of our golds coming from the cycle track! If the athletics team come anywhere near that total it will be a miracle! The BBC need to end its long love affair with athletics (its commentators have a poor grasp of English and vocabulary) before the London Olympics and gave the reliable competitors their full due for once.

  • Comment number 36.

    Yes, we have amassed an impressive tally of (so far) 17 GOLD medals. I'd just like to point out that the medal table on this site still only shows us with 16 GOLDs! Alright, it's probably down to the fact that no-one at the BBC was expecting to have to count our success in double figures and has got confused with so many GOLD medals heading home but really. Please, BBC, let's give our guys and gals full credit and show the full total of 17 GOLD medals, at least until the figure (hopefully) gets even more impressive. Keep it up everyone.

  • Comment number 37.

    I have LOVED the coverage of the games. But there is one thing I'd really appreciate.

    Please could everyone stop saying “surely it’ll be Dame This” and “it must be Sir That”? I’ve even seen cringeworthy moments when interviewers have suggested this direct to the medal-winning athletes themselves – much to the poor soul’s embarrassment.

    I really don’t think it’s for BBC pundits to suggest who should be honoured. Can’t we just celebrate their successes in the now? If the powers that be honour them in the future then that’s great but please don’t make our athletes uncomfortable now by pre-empting it!

  • Comment number 38.

    Roger you seem to be very smug about the viewing figures but you seem to forget one thing. The BBC has exclusive rights to the Olympics in the UK so if I want to watch the Olympics I have to watch the BBC regardless of how good I think the coverage is. In my opinion a lot of it is very poor with many cliche ridden commentaries that don't add much to the event with many commentators feeling that they need to say something when the pictures tell the story well enough on there own. Its almost as if the commentators don't have the confidence to allow the pictures and crowd reactions to tell the story which is often the best way as it actually makes you feel like you are there when it is just left like that.

    I also have to concur with the people who don't wish to see gimmicky items in the 1hr highlights show. For many people it is the only chance we get to see the sporting action from the day so want a concise but accurate summation of what has happened around the venues and not wasting time with things like look at this cyclist going for a pee behind the bushes during the road race.

  • Comment number 39.

    Where are you getting 17 golds from bobgizmo? It was 16 the last time I counted.

  • Comment number 40.

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  • Comment number 41.

    Roger - Gabby, Sue Barker, Adrian Chiles are all able anchor presenters but when are you going to make more of John Inverdales consumate sporting knowledge and broadcasting skill. He is an outstanding communicator, a brilliant interviewer and a genuine sports nut! This combination produces the best sports broadcaster working in the field on any network - his work on Radio 5 live is consistently outstanding. Use him or lose him. Conversley, Matt doing the main gymnastics commentary is somewhat populist and lack's 'gravitas' in my opinion. Serious sport deserves serious sports broadcasting, where is Barry Davies? I thought he had retired but understand he is in Bejing with the BBC.

  • Comment number 42.

    I blame the success of Top Gear. It seems now that all bbc sports programmes are based on this 'magazine' style over substance format, crammed full of pointless features with presenters trying to grab the limelight instead of actually covering the sport itself.

    Still not had a reply to this though Roger...?

  • Comment number 43.

    I've been keeping my eye on BBC coverage up to the Olympics and now during the events themselves.

    There has been no mention whatever of the problems or challenges facing UK pistol shooters who have had to train for, and compete in, events which have been made illegal in this country.

    There people are heroes, and the BBC has ignored them, clearly because of internal left-wing BBC culture.

    The whole thing is sickening.

  • Comment number 44.

    To richp25 in #38: no, we don't have exclusive rights. As this discussion has mentioned, Eurosport have UK rights too - so you have a choice.

    Callcentremunkey in #42: apologies, though I have answered this in another thread. There is live or repeated uninterrupted coverage available in our interactive streams 24 x 7. Our main TV programmes through the day also concentrate on live action.

    In those circumstances, Games Today deliberately tries to do something a little bit different - while still bringing viewers the best of the action. I'm not being complacent about it, but all our indicators show it's both popular (6.7m viewers last night as a new high) and appreciated by most of the audience.

    Finally for now, alexswanson in #43: we've covered the shooting in these Games and we've reported on the issues you mention a number of times in the past. So no left-wing BBC culture issues, I promise, and this topic will clearly be an important one ahead of London 2012.

  • Comment number 45.

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  • Comment number 46.

    Many thanks for your reply Roger, although I am not in total agreement with your point - I feel that many people in this country are not regular Eurosport viewers and therefore the 6.7m viewing figure is probably more due to no other terrestial competition.

    I can however understand that the highlights program does try to do 'something different'. (But please please please sort out Ski Sunday - no more Graham Bell and Ed Leigh!!)

  • Comment number 47.


    Ref #41.....What are the BBC's plans for Inverdale? He never seems to get the big 'anchor' role at the Olympics - yet on Rugby and particularly Wimbledon, he is peerless (even though Sue Barker gets the prime-time live spots).

  • Comment number 48.

    It would be really interesting to see a table of medals by population.. China has most people and medals.. Jamaca and GB must be very high scorers of medals per capita. BBC site.. how about posting that as an alternative table?

  • Comment number 49.

    I have been following the Olympics over the past few days and I would like to say how impressed I have been with the BBC's coverage, it has been first class. The presenters have done a terrific job, especially Sue, Hazel and Rishi. I particularly enjoyed the clip in response to the Aussies suggesting that all of our medals had been won whilst sitting down.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 50.

    Roger, thanks for getting back to me with regards Huw fronting the Closing Ceremony. I won't ask why he was flown back between ceremonies or some other small issues. Overall it has been excellent coverage throughout the Games, and I for one enjoy Adrian Chiles first thing in the morning.

    One question, and it appears to be semi-raised above: as you've got Barry Davies out in Beijing for the Hockey (a joy), why wasn't he used for the Ceremonies and Gymnastics where he has previously proved excellent? I look forward to your response.

  • Comment number 51.

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  • Comment number 52.

    BTW anyone notice how Michael Johnson was embarrassed by Sue Barker and Colin Jacksons OTT eulogising of Tasha Danvers bronze. He has a bit of class (though I bet he's costing an arm and leg).

    He chipped in after about 5 minutes of glorying over MD's run something like "Did anyone notice the Jamaican broke the Olympic record ?"

    Sue and Colin giggled and carried on regardless.....ho hum

  • Comment number 53.

    I don't think you can get away with saying that viewers have a choice of broadcasters and you get more viewers because of your better quality.

    If I want to watch the Olympics, I have to watch the BBC, end of story. I'm sure that the vast majority of British people are in the same situation as me. I'm not complaining though.

  • Comment number 54.

    You are absolutely right to be pleased about your Olympics coverage Roger and I too think that the Games Today hightlights show has been terrific. I have asked this question once already and will youy please answer it? What is the name of that tune that was played at the end of Sunday night's Games Today to celebrate the 8 golds over the weekend? Do you ever get it where you hear a tune and then you can't for the life of you remember its name and then it really bugs you trying to recall it? You can help put me out of my misery here Roger being a big chiefy and all. If you will find out for me in return I won't make a single further post anywhere on 606 about Andy Jamieson and his dreadful commentating.

  • Comment number 55.

    In reply to callcentremunkey, who says in post 46 that the BBC's viewing figures are down to not having terrestrial competition:

    What usually happens when the BBC and ITV show the same football final? Yup, the Beeb wipe the floor with ITV and for good reasons: no adverts, better commentators, better picture quality (at least on DSAT), interactive options.

    If you shared the BBC's coverage with ITV, C4 or five; I could pretty much guarantee where the majority of viewers would turn.

    Incidentally I tried Eurosport's coverage and there's no interactive options and it's not even broadcast in the correct aspect ratio - the SD channel is 4:3 even in this day and age!

  • Comment number 56.

    Great coverage as usual of the Games from the BBC. And how good to hear Stuart Storey back on duty doing athletics for the BBC. Stuart is by far the best athletics commentator around. I just hope that having stuart back is a sign of things to come for the athletics season.
    BBC interactive has been fantastic when you are out at work all day. And it is good to know that it will around after the games. Just one quick question. Will the bbc now begin to invest in more sport for example more rugby union (hieniken cup, england autumn internationals.... just one of those would mean enough rights to challenge sky...The Hieniken cup was better on the least we had jim nielly commentating on the irish team a lot of the time) horse racing (get back goodwood, cheltenham, and The St Leger at doncaster..If the bbc had those 3 and perhaps the guineas meeting then they would have a far suprior racing portfolio than Channel four and still not have to cover as many days) and football (the fa cup and england home internationals all belong on the bbc, when setanta goes bust and itv have to pull out then maybe just maybe the fa will realise what a good thing they had with the bbc and sky)
    Any great job on the olympics

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  • Comment number 60.

    I have really enjoyed the BBC coverage of these Olympics. However, I do feel the need to comment on Sue Barker's opening script before today's track and field on BBC2 (approx 12-05pm). Does nobody in the Olympics newsroom watch the news? Following a major plane crash in Spain, whoever wrote that Phillips Idowu is "on the runway awaiting take-off" needs shooting and for Sue to make a supposedly humerous comment about the presentation team "being in mourning" for Michael Johnson's world record is crass in the extreme. I am not normally one to complain needlessy and I have no attachment to the tragedy in Madrid. I do feel however that BBC editors, presnters and the whole production team should be a lot more aware and professional about sensitive matters.

  • Comment number 61.

    The Games have been excellent and the BBC coverage has been in the main excellent on all platforms

    The only downside for me has been Gabby Logan's highlights programme - in the main dumbed down rubbish

    She has misidentified or mispronounced athletes and even commentators pretty much every night. One night someone even leant in front of the camera when she was doing a link!

    The reason the figures are so high is because people who've been at work want to watch highlights

    Mr. Mosey says 'most people appreciate it'. This is based on a small sampling process which is all too sadly used by cossetted TV execs to justify poor quality programming

    I think if someone of Mr. Mosey's record and experience watched evey edition of The Games Today from the Olympics he would come to the conclusion that it has been the weak link in an otherwise superb Games for the BBC

  • Comment number 62.

    I am forced to agree with several other bloggers. The overall BBC coverage of the Games has been excellent - especially the red button facility.

    The one notable exception has been the Games Today programme presented by Gabby Logan. Too much unnecessary chat, too many unnecessary (and repeated endlessly) cartoon clips, one too many cardboard cut-out of Michael Phelps and too little meaningful coverage of the various sports. Clearly the programme was designed to appeal to viewers who were not sports fans! But that's what you get when you import a poor presenter from ITV.

  • Comment number 63.

    Tmthyhrl's threat in #54 has galvanised us all into tracking down the tune... I'm told it's
    'Wake Up' by Arcade Fire, track 7 from their album 'Funeral'.

    To hank-kingsley in #61 and others: yep, I've watched every edition of Games Today either in Beijing or in London, and I'm very happy with it. I always accept there are alternative views - and I appreciate the chance to hear them via this blog - but we're as proud of that show as we are of the rest of our output.

  • Comment number 64.

    Jordan D - of course everyone has their own personal likes and dislikes but I can't for the life of me fathom out your preference for Adrian Chiles as a presenter.
    Compared to Irvine, Humphreys, Balding, Barker etc. he has this infuriating habit of starting a sentence and then stopping, before repeating the previous 3-4 words and continuing and this I find most irritating and boring. He does this time after time, both on his Match of the Day and Olympic presentation.

  • Comment number 65.

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  • Comment number 66.

    JamesAutar - I think it's because he's very amusing and I like his style, similar to MOTD2, and find it works well with Irvine. He's a bit like Bill Turnball on BBC Breakfast - slightly irrevrant and not to everyone's taste!

    Roger, I know you are excellent are responding to questions, any chance you can respond to the one in post 50. Happy to take it off these boards if you wish.

  • Comment number 67.

    I would like to see the BBC create an Olympic medal table that adjusts the figures in relation to the size of the national team entered. That would make for interesting reading and boost the UK up closer to USA and China.

  • Comment number 68.

    We are about to reach an astonishing milestone. Great Britain has never won more that 43 medals on forign soil. The only time we exceeded that was in London in Edwardian times when the tug-of-war was a medal event With boxing medals now in the bag we are about to pass that milestone and win that particular tug of war. Wow!

  • Comment number 69.

    Good coverage from BBC...

    Especially the Red button feature. Try reading some of the Aussie web sites chuntering about the limited coverage they get from their main broadcaster and you'll be reminded how lucky we (digital viewers) in the UK are.

    Great to hear Barry Davies at the hockey and the peerless Herbert/Topolski combination. Hazel Irvine was on good form.

    However, I was disappointed with some of the other commentators. The guy covering the BMX races was off the pace. Also the couple doing the 10km open water swimming fought eachother for airtime.

    I too have similar gripes to those already expressed about Yorath and Chiles.

    But with 2 weeks of near 24x7 coverage I'd score this 7 out of 10. A better 7pm programme would have drawn the 8/10.

  • Comment number 70.

    Thanks Roger you're a diamond.

  • Comment number 71.

    I think in general we all have our little irritations at certain commentators and presenters. There are many I like and a few I don't and some think the same as me and many don't and somebody else doesn't like somebody else and so on. But when you look at the BBC coverage over the last two weeks as a whole you won't find better anywhere in the world.

    I will admit to being an old fogey in my middle age and I really miss David Coleman's commentaries. I also thought that the likes of Des Lynam and Steve Rider were irreplaceable but then along comes Hazel Irvine who is just the best sports presenter the BBC have. She is ably backed by the likes of Clare Balding, Adrian Chiles, Sue Barker and Jake Humphrey looks like a good one for the future too.

    The commentators make these games for us watching on the TV and would the cycling have been the same without Hugh Porter or the rowing without Gary (the British are coming the British are coming) Herbert? I think not. I really enjoyed the commetary of the open water swimming too with Stuart Storey and Stephen Parry and wouldn't the pool swimming in week one have been so much better with these two? All the same I have enjoyed every minute of these Games and you have done us proud with your coverage.

  • Comment number 72.

    BBC Olympic coverage has on the whole been excellent. I was lucky / unlucky due to illness to have been able to watch almost wall to wall coverage including the invaluable interactive section.
    The main problem I see is mantaining a balance not only with regard to British competitors but competitors from other countries as well as the sports where britain does not have any representatives. This is where interactive has been most helpful.
    I dont agree at all that Gabby Logan's show is in any way misplaced simply because there has been a wealth of more 'serious' daily coverage.
    There is a place for a lighthearted magazine programme but I do think there is a thin line between highighting someone's misfortune and a genuine 'youve been framed' moment (pardon the reference) given years of work and dedication by the competitor involved.
    The programme format is new in relation to the Olympic coverage in past years I think it can be refined though.
    There's four years to go. Why cant Gabby have a show like this through the sporting year which takes a different but still legitimate light hearted view of sport without being in any way disrespectful?
    I think there's a programme here.
    What do the producers/directors think?

  • Comment number 73.

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  • Comment number 74.

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  • Comment number 75.

    Clare balding you are doing a great job. it is clear that adrian chiles is out of his depth. and it would be great if he could get some trainingto stop umming and arring when presenting. and stop playing with his pen.

  • Comment number 76.

    Oh and another thing, what about Michael Johnson? - he is peerless. His summaries and professional comments are in a different league.
    He calls it like he sees it and often pulls no punches ref. his comments on his protege Timothy Warriner.
    It's a pity for Colin Jackson though as I feel he will always be in the big man's shadow.
    I hope BBC has him on a long term contract.

  • Comment number 77.

    can adrian chiles please stop referring to how he could or couldn't do what the olympic entrants are doing. viewers have no interest in adrian chiles abilities. why is it that no other presenter seems to cross reference comments with their own abilities?

  • Comment number 78.

    Having watched the latest Olympic broadcast, and finding nowhere else on the site to register my comment, I wanted to say how superb the end-credit montages have been. No other broadcaster puts together such beautiful, emotional, inspiring images and footage, and I look forward to the BBC's take on the closing ceremony. Please keep hold of the staff who do this and if necessary give them a pay rise!

  • Comment number 79.

    I see we (GB) have been overtaken by Russia and are now (23 5:25pm BST) in 4th place.

    Just out of curiosity I added up the EU medals and came to over eighty golds. We (EU) have a smaller population than China so why not show the EU as well. Then we could be first!

    I hear the Scots want to send their own team next time! So perhaps 'we' had better become more sophisticated and less jingoistic and xenophobic nationalist in who we think of as 'we'! Wasn't it meant to be about the athletes anyway!

    So please show EU (so we can be first and beat the Chinese!), GB, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (or forgive my ignorance - does Ireland send an all Irish team - as they do in some sports?) And while you are about it by each county too - BBC London has done one for London already.

    This obsession with the 'medals table' is rather overdone!

  • Comment number 80.

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  • Comment number 81.

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  • Comment number 82.

    At 10:26pm on 20 Aug 2008, Jordan D wrote: "... I won't ask why he was flown back between ceremonies or some other small issues."

    Why not? Leaving aside the fact that the peerless Barry Davies is already at the Games, how much is it costing us and how big a carbon footprint is Mr Edwards going to have after this? Do we really need Huw standing in front of the Bird's Nest during the 10 o'clock news? Not really, no. Oh wait, I know, it's because the question won't get answered.

    As far as the rest of the coverage has been, the live stuff has been really good for the most part although I agree with what looks like the majority in that people like John Inverdale, Jane Douglas, Clare Balding, Hazel Irvine, Michael Johnson (best pundit ever?), Barry Davies and Hugh Porter (possibly the most underrated commentator) have been good as they always are and that Adrian's habit seems to have gone from "nervous tick" to "must do it every sentance as it's my 'thing'". The Games Today has disapponted though, with too much emphasis on "human interest stories" and not enough sport.

    It'll be interesting to see where the BBC goes from here. Sky have snapped up the cycling, Setanta show Golden League and the next big multi-sports event (Paralypics apart) will be the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Let's hope the BBC take note of some of the concerns on this blog to fine-tune their output for London 2012 (and Glasgow 2014).

  • Comment number 83.

    Well Rodger, that's nearly it! Once again as I said earlier today excellent coverage.
    There's always a lump in my throat when I see the main credits coming up at the end of big events like the Olympics and I thought that the choice of music which accompanied the montage in the closing titles this time was both fitting and poignant.
    What annoys me a bit though is that whilst your production teams come up with excellent backgound music to introduce action and to complement major stories and action clips, there is no reference given to the musicans or title of the music used.
    I am a bit of a music lover too but it annoys me when I recognise a song and cant remember who it was or I hear some gem that remains nameless.
    Is there any way that you could find out and post the music and used in the current Olympic coverage? Maybe part of the main site could have a link to a page with song titles and music clips used.
    Could your titles not refer to artists and songs as acknowledgement?
    I would venture that such inclusions would be welcomed by many.

  • Comment number 84.

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  • Comment number 85.

    As a teacher I am aware that when things go wrong everyone is very quick to complain but when you work hard and things go well, few remember to say thank you.

    So here it is...

    As a young person living in London and an avid watcher of the Olympic games this summer I felt a strong need to contact the BBC as we near the end of the games.

    For many years now I have felt an apathy for Great Britain. I have failed in finding inspiration and ingenuity in our leaders and the people we look up to. However, over the past few weeks my view has changed. Your coverage of the olympics has been truly fantastic. It has gripped me throughout and has given me so many highs as well as a few emotional lows. Through seeing so many honourable and inspirational GB sportsmen and women I have really begun to be proud of Great Britain and what we stand for. Without your superb coverage of the games this would not have been possible.

    So one final thank you to every single person who has worked to show us all what the Olympics is truly all about. Not just a sports competition but a tool to bring people together, to cross racial and religious boundaries and of course to make people proud of the country they are from.

    Thanks again,

    P.S. Bring on 2012!

  • Comment number 86.

    Dear Mr Mosey,

    Congratulations on an excellent coverage. This is the first 'social networking' Olympics, I believe. Where I felt BBC could improve is to - Eye for details and facts. 1 Use former athletes knowledge and people within the sports to communicate to audience. Dispense with newscasters, who are not comfortable with what is going on - Opening ceremony is a case in point. 2 Don't forget the Diaspora in Britain. Britain is a multicultural country with a large number of people from different nations, even though people are supporting Team GB, they would like to know how other lesser nations are doing. Otherwise people will tend to search for other sources of news. 3 Diversity - Felt you did not have enough Chinese people or staff from the BBC World Service, involved. They would have presented their perspectives. You did this in Sidney (The first internet games?).
    4 Launch a 2012 bbc site - following progress of people - athletes, coaches. families, who will be there. Not forgetting those who have past on (bit of history)!!
    Apart from that well done and look forward to tuning in 2012.

  • Comment number 87.

    Sharokin on 18th August 2008 wonders why the BBC made an issue of the Chinese 110m hurdler pulling out. Athletics are the blue riband events of the Olympic games. For China, the individual was the 'pin up boy' of the games. His image was every where. (Dame?) Rebecca Adlington may be our pin up girl in 2012. If she gets injured, it would be a possible global news story. It is ironic that the 'pin up' people or icons of the last two games, actually never crossed the finishing line. The Greek sprinters in Athens and the hurdler in China! I do agree the BBC should not ignore the other sports outside the 'Birds Nest,' especially after the games. But the media votes with its feet. If there is not a huge crowd to keep up viewing figures they will ignore it. For example, try and get your local newspaper to cover a non-football event during the football season. You will find it extremely frustrating!


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