BSkyB is to show ‘every second of the BBC’s 2012 Olympics coverage’ with the help of 24 brand new channels, dedicated to the London Games. More than 10 million Sky homes will be able to watch the 2012 London Olympics through two dozen brand new BBC channels which will be dedicated to the BBC’s live coverage of the games. Coverage will also be available on Virgin Media’s cable platform.
The agreement will mean that Sky homes will have access to comprehensive coverage of this summer’s Olympics, with up to 24 live dedicated HD and SD channels running simultaneously at peak times during the games. The 48 brand new channels, which are being created specifically for the Olympics, will launch into Sky’s Electronic Programme Guide and will show every sport from cycling to archery, swimming to wrestling, tennis to the 100 metre final. Alongside coverage on the existing BBC channels, Sky homes will be able to enjoy 2,500 hours’ worth of live BBC coverage throughout the Games.
Further ‘Red Button’ coverage will be available via Virgin Media’s digital cable platform, who December 19 agreed a new deal to bring next-generation BBC TV services to the Virgin Media TiVo Service in 2012.
The pair have developed new applications and user experiences for TiVo homes – paving the way for Virgin Media customers to gain access to the BBC’s interactive coverage of sporting events via a brand new Red Button experience, including Formula 1, Wimbledon, Euro 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics.
Because Sky homes will be able to view the channels via the Sky EPG, Sky+ homes will be able to record the coverage to watch at a time that suits them so that they can record every one of their favourite events and not miss any of the action.
As with the rest of the HD channels on the Sky platform, the new channels will be broadcast in 1080i and in wide-screen to enhance the viewing experience. The BBC’s Olympics coverage will also be accessible via the BBC Red Button.
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.
When watching the coverage with Sky+, customers will be able to record, rewind and replay crucial moments throughout the Olympics and also use this feature to record their favourite sports and events from the games automatically on their Sky box. The Sky+ Remote Record option also allows customers to set their Sky+ or Sky+HD box to record from mobile devices or the web.
The 48 new channels will be added to the Sports section of Sky’s Electronic Programme Guide from the 24th of July. The channels are free-to-air and available to any Sky home, including Freesat from Sky homes. The HD channels are available on any Sky+HD box and do not require a subscription, but do require an HD ready TV. Customers will require a Sky subscription in order to use Sky+.
In addition to the live Olympic coverage scheduled to broadcast over the 24 new BBC channels, comprehensive Olympic coverage will also be available on BBC One, BBC One HD, BBC HD, BBC Two, BBC Three and the BBC News Channel, of all which will also be available to all 10.3 million Sky homes.
Previously, the BBC has promised to broadcast up to 24 simultaneous streams live online, giving a platform to every Olympic sport for the first time ever. So, if viewers want to spend all day watching the judo or the swimming, they’ll be able to. This service will complement the BBC’s flagship channels, BBC One and BBC Three, which will air all of the key moments from the Olympics, as well as other platforms including Radio 5 live.
Combined, this coverage will deliver around 2,500 hours of live sport coverage through the various BBC platforms during the Games.
Roger Mosey, Director, BBC London 2012, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to cable and satellite providers to extend our online service to millions of TV viewers across the UK.
“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.”