Phil Fearnley isn’t sure which will be the most used of the “four screens” identified for delivering Olympics coverage this summer – Web, mobile, tablet or connected TV.
But the BBC News & Knowledge general manager is promising a buzzword right on-message with London games organisers themselves – “legacy”.
Fearnley refused, when asked, to elaborate on digital Olympics costs incurred by the BBC, which has faced funding cuts after years of budget envy from commercial rivals.
Instead, he promised developments would have “legacy” – a term plucked right from the playbook of London’s own Olympic organisers, who have been building costly sporting stadia, during public spending cutbacks, to last.
On Tuesday, he told a briefing: “Much like the velodrome and the aquatics centre, that were built with lasting legacy at their core, we have built our online experience to leave a lasting digital legacy for our audiences.”
A mixture of earlier incremental product innovation and Olympics-specific new builds, the corporation’s online games platforms will later be re-deployed on other sporting events and music concerts like the Glastonbury festival.
For the new products which are being brought to the table, the 2012 Olympic Games is a dry run for far smaller use cases to come.
Coupled with this year’s Jubilee coverage, Auntie believes it must fulfil its remit to galvanise the nation. All in all, 2012 is a very big year for the BBC, as well as for Britain.
“It’s the first time our audience gets total control,” Fearnley said during Tuesday’s briefing.
“We’ve tested it every day for months. The biggest single event we’ve ever seen was in the World Cup when England played Slovenia. Take that and double it – that’s what we’ve been planning for the Olympics.”