BBC’s Digital Olympics: Four Screens, 28 Streams, 2,500 Hours

“Every sport, from every location.” That is BBC Sport’s mantra for delivering next year’s London 2012 Olympic Games digitally.

“We will have up to 24 simultaneous live streams of sport running across our digital platforms. At Beijing, we had eight,” BBC Future Media’s head of sport product Cait O’Riordan told the Association of Online Publishers’ annual summit in London on Friday.

The broadcaster wants to make its coverage, totalling 2,500 hours, available to users on the “four screens” of desktop browser, mobile, connected TV and tablet, “through whichever piece of glass they choose to watch it”, with these hallmarks…

  • “Immersive video for a more active viewing experience.”
  • “Dynamic curation, delivering unparalleled detail.”
  • “Simple personalisation.”
  • “Optimised mobile browser experience.”
  • “Connected TV experience.”

O’Riordan elaborated…

  • “Catchup in the live experience. If you get home after (diver) Tom Daley’s hit the water, we’ll make it easy for you to jump back to that point.”
  • “Whichever stream you’re watching you can get extra detail.”
  • “Dynamic semantic publishing. We will have a page for all 302 medal events, a page for every country (there are 240), and a page for every single athlete (there are 12,000 of those). We can do a page for a Tashkent weightlifter as easily as we can for Usain Bolt.”

For its Olympics website, the BBC is considering using the same, Windows 8-style grid proposed in the main redesign beta, inspired by touchscreen swiping. We’re using the same design pattern deliberately,” O’Riordan said.