BBC to offer 24 HD Olympic streams to cable and satellite
By Julian Clover
April 3, 2012 10.24 Europe/London

The BBC has announced it will make all 24 HD quality streams from the Olympic Games available to cable and satellite platforms for the duration of the games.

It means that every sport from every venue will be available, across TV, including the Red Button, mobile, tablet, connected TV and PC. The BBC had already promised to deliver broadcast up to 24 simultaneous streams live online.

The announcement was made by Roger Mosey, director, BBC London 2012, at the Sport Tech UK Summit at Lord’s cricket ground.

“BBC One and BBC Three will remain the flagship channels for the Olympics. But, as the London 2012 Olympic Games will be the first truly ‘Digital Games’, we wanted to offer an unprecedented amount of live sporting action to the widest possible audience through these 24 live streams, giving vastly more choice than ever before,” said Mosey.

In a blogpost, Mosey confirmed that Sky would pick up the cost of satellite distribution, regardless of whether other platforms took the service. He was also optimistic that other platforms would take the service.

Broadband TV News understands that there have been discussions with the cablenet Virgin Media.

Sky will add an additional two dozen BBC channels in SD and HD for all 10 million homes. HD coverage will be available for the five million subscribers with Sky+ HD receivers.

Stephen van Rooyen, Managing Director of Sky’s Sales and Marketing Group, said: “The London Olympics is a huge event in 2012 and one that we are all looking forward to here at Sky. We believe that the best way to watch the Olympics is in glorious HD as it offers viewers the best possible viewing experience and, supported by Sky+, the flexibility of watching the action at a time that suits our customers. We’re delighted that every single Sky home will have the opportunity to enjoy unprecedented coverage of the biggest UK sporting event in a generation.”

No subscription will be required to see the BBC channels that will also be seen through the free to air platform Freesat.

The 48 new channels will be added to the Sports section of Sky’s Electronic Programme Guide from July 24. They will also be accessible through the BBC Red Button service.

BBC One and BBC Three will act as curators for the Games, broadcasting the key moments, while the streamed service will allow viewers to follow their sport throughout.

Combined, the BBC coverage will deliver around 2,500 hours of live sport coverage through the various BBC platforms during the Games. The BBC will have extensive coverage of the Games from 27 July to 12 August on television, radio, online and mobile.