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Olympics action on mobiles devices

Britons will be able to see all the Olympics sporting action live on mobile devices.

Cellphone. Picture: Stock.xchng.
London Olympics,Olympics,2012 Olympics,2012 Olympic Games,cell phone,cell phone operator
Sport

LONDON - Britons who have missed out on tickets for the Olympics will be able to see all the sporting action live on mobile devices in what the publicly funded BBC called its most comprehensive ever Games coverage.

Reflecting advances in technology since the last summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008, the BBC will stream every event to PCs, mobiles, tablets and Internet-connected televisions during the July 27-August12 Games.

"We have reinvented the experience of watching big events live," said Phil Fearnley, general manager BBC News & Knowledge.

"Audiences will never miss a moment and will get total control over what they watch," he told reporters, setting out plans for over 2,500 hours of live programming.

Demand for millions of tickets for the Games has far exceeded supply, souring enthusiasm for an event that has sucked up $15 billion of public money.

The Olympics, like this summer's European soccer championships, would normally provide a boost for television manufacturers trying to sell new sets, but the battle this year will be played out across a range of devices.

The BBC has developed a free Olympics mobile app for Apple and Android smart phones, offering up to 24 live streams and video highlights clips. Rights restrictions mean that access to BBC video and audio feeds will not be available overseas.

Satellite TV company BSkyB and cable provider Virgin Media will also take all the live feeds from the BBC.

"We've tested this every day for months," said Fearnley, reflecting on the technology challenge.

Calling these "the first ever digital Olympics", the BBC will offer online profiles of every one of the thousands of athletes taking part and link directly to the Twitter feeds of some of the best known competitors.

The BBC carries no advertising and is funded by a levy of $230 taken from every household with a TV.

The corporation is cutting a few corners to help fund its innovations. Its main broadcast studio in the Olympic Park has been recycled from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and will sit on a base of 18 ship cargo containers.

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