BBC Testing Olympics Video With T-Mobile

imageVodafone’s (NYSE: VOD) BBC Sport news widget may have made headlines yesterday, but one unknown component of the broadcaster’s Olympics coverage is a relationship struck with T-Mobile UK to deliver video highlights of events from China. BBC Sport Interactive head Ben Gallop suggested to me in an interview the service could have been offered to more carriers, if they had been able to cope with demands of video delivery: “We’ve had discussions with all the mobile operators, it hasn’t been possible to work with all of them on it. In terms of challenges, that’s been an interesting one… We have an editorial vision for what we want to achieve, but it’s working in the realities of the UK mobile market; there are challenges.”

The experiment tailors the mobile version of the BBC Olympics site to add a small number of video clips and sports masterclasses. The video is a little jumpy but passable on my T-Mobile N95. But it’s less a full offering and more a “testing ground” for such services at future events. “This particular platform is more about how it develops in the future,” Gallop said. “We don’t see mobile as a mature service. Beijing is an end in itself, but it’s also a stepping stone for London 2012 – we want to try things out, see how they work to learn for four years’ time.”

The BBC got low take-up for its live mobile TV simulcast trial earlier this year but has applied to its regulator to go live with the service full-time. Both it and BBC Worldwide, however, have ruled out made-for-mobile content – this Olympics project uses video clips already cut for online. Full interview with Ben Gallop at paidContent:UK