The BBC’s Digital Olympic Coverage

BBC Sport have released details of the scale of their coverage for the 2004 Olympics, covering more than 1,200 hours of television and 200 hours of radio. Digital television and broadband internet means that the BBC will be able to broadcast much more Olympic footage than in previous years – so this year you might not miss out on the canoeing after all.

The Olympic Games generally create about 3000 hours of television – the BBC will broadcast 250 hours on its two main channels, and another 1,000 hours will be shown on digital TV.

Digital services will include constantly updated results and medal tables, and a scheduling tool so that viewers can see if the softball finals and table tennis events are on at the same time.

BBC Sport will be showing live and on-demand coverage of events on their web site for UK residential broadband customers. The service will feature the same streams carried on interactive channels, so users will be able to watch five events simultaneously.

The BBC Sport player can sit on your desktop whilst you’re working with your computer, and the site even includes other activities that you can enjoy whilst the video player is running. The Flash games provided are a nice touch and have a lovely SNES feel to them – I managed to out swim the calamari in 12.1 seconds, but the B and N keys on my keyboard will never be the same.

Watch the Olympics live online

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?