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"These are the first truly digital Olympic Games where we'll offer more choice than ever before, and the pledge we made is that you'll be able to watch sport from every venue from first thing in the morning to last thing at night," wrote the BBC's director of London 2012, Roger Mosey, in a blog post. "At peak, this will mean we bring in 24 HD streams of content - with the result that hockey fans can watch live uninterrupted hockey, and table tennis fans can stick all day with their sport too. This represents four times more channels than in Beijing, and a total of around 2,500 hours of live sport, which is at least double what we've offered in the past."In the USA, rights-holding broadcaster NBC has also unveiled extensive, multi-channel coverage plans for the Games. The network intends to stream every event and medal ceremony live on its website to complement its television coverage, with more than 3,500 hours of live coverage being shown online through various streams - up from 2,200 hours at the dedicated high-definition channels to cover the Games, delivering over 1,100 hours of live programming for the first time in Australia and 3,200 hours overall; while in Italy, Sky Sport channels will provide more than 2,000 hours of live Olympic coverage.All this record-breaking coverage will be produced by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), a wholly owned subsidiary of the IOC, which will be acting as the sole Host Broadcaster for the first time at a Summer Games, following its joint venture with the Beijing 2008 Organising Committee four years ago. Manolo Romero, CEO of OBS, is proud that the organisation has been able to spread coverage of the Games even further than ever before."The fact that more and more countries are able to enjoy watching the Olympic Games and the excitement, drama and good feelings they produce, proves not only that the Olympic Movement itself continues to grow, but also that OBS is successfully capturing the unique atmosphere of the venues and the host city," he says.As well as giving more viewers the chance to enjoy the Games, OBS is also leading the way when it comes to broadcast innovations. Thanks to the use of 33 True 3D cameras, London 2012 will also be the first Olympic Games to be broadcast live in 3D, bringing the greatest show on Earth into viewers' homes in a way that has never been seen before. The immersive 3D coverage will include both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as athletics, gymnastics, swimming and diving events. In total, more than 230 hours of 3D coverage will be made available to RHBs. Romero believes that the introduction of live 3D coverage is an important stage in the history of Olympic broadcasting. "We will deliver more than 12 sports, and for some of them it will be the first time in 3D," he explains. "We will distribute by satellite worldwide more than 10 hours a day of Olympic vision in 3D. Ultimately, we believe this production of the first live 3D Olympic Games will make the London 2012 Games one of the most significant in the history of broadcasting technology."The state-of-art 3D production equipment needed to broadcast the Games in 3D will be provided by Worldwide Olympic Partner Panasonic."No doubt the 3D developments will change the way we watch the Olympic Games in the future," says Takumi Kajisha, Beijing 2008 Games. The coverage will also be available to view via NBC's smartphone and tablet applications."Technology has given us the opportunity to present more coverage, to make it available on more platforms at more times of the day," says Gary Zenkel, NBC Olympics President. "The Olympic Games continues to attract a massive audience in [the USA]. There's just a love of the Olympic Games. It crosses every demographic group, every age group and gender. No matter where the Games are located there are, of course, unique stories and connections that we always make to the locations. But it's the Olympic Games that people ultimately tune into and the Olympic Games are still something the American population loves to gather around. Whether it's in London, Beijing, Athens or Rio in 2016 they will come to watch those athletes compete and listen to their stories."In Australia, Foxtel, which is sharing coverage of the Games with commercial broadcaster Nine, will launch eight 54 OLYMPIC REVIEW BROADCASTING

Left The 1948 Olympic Games in London were the first Games to be televisedOLYMPIC GAMES BROADCASTING HISTORYSenior Managing Executive Officer of Panasonic. "This is the first live 3D Olympic Games and it is a new era of broadcasting."The Olympic Games has always been a pioneer in the development of TV broadcasting technologies, and has been on the cusp of innovation since the first live over-the-air broadcast was introduced in London in 1948. There is no doubt that the Olympic Games will provide some of the best content for the 3D market in the future, and that 3D TV will drastically change the way we experience this great sporting event in our living rooms."In addition to live 3D coverage, OBS will also expand its commitment to High Super Slow Motion (HSSM) from Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010 by utilising more than 40 HSSM cameras to provide stunning replays that will show more detail than ever before.OBS also plans to implement a number of innovative camera systems as part of its overall production plan, utilising a number of different technologies to enhance viewers' understanding of the Olympic sports. These include point-of-view cameras for several events and wire-cams suspended 100 metres above the rowing venue at Eton Dorney.In another innovative move, OBS - in partnership with UK host broadcaster BBC and Japanese national broadcaster NHK - will film part of the 2012 Games in Super Hi-Vision, which is predicted to be the next format of television. Offering 16 times the quality of HD and an unmatched audio experience, Super Hi-Vision provides a crystal-clear wide camera angle shot that gives the audience the experience of actually being at an event. This exciting new format will be trialled during the Games, with coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies being broadcast live to four specially commissioned Super Hi-Vision cinema screens in the UK.Ticket holders at BBC Scotland's HQ at Pacific Quay, Glasgow, the National Media Museum in Bradford and the Radio Theatre at the new Broadcasting House in central London will be able to enjoy the coverage on huge 400-inch screens, while a smaller Super Hi-Vision cinema using a 150-inch plasma monitor will be created within the International Broadcast Centre at the Olympic Park itself.The development of innovations such as 3D coverage, HSSM cameras and Super Hi-Vision underline OBS's commitment to providing the RHBs with the highest quality coverage, using the latest technologies."I personally am proud of what OBS achieved at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, but gain more satisfaction from having witnessed each one of the OBS staff demonstrate an immediate desire to produce even better coverage from London," says Romero. "I presume that is what keeps us all motivated and wanting to come back Games after Games - the belief that we can do better next time and the realisation, Games upon Games, that we do indeed achieve such desires."OBS has been able to shape its plans for London by drawing on past knowledge and experience from previous Games," continues Romero. "Once again we will incorporate new technological enhancements designed to not only relay the passion of competition to the watching world but to also achieve more with less."With the eyes of the world truly on London this summer, the 2012 Olympic Games are set to provide yet another watershed moment in the history of Olympic broadcasting and, with 3D coverage being offered for the first time ever, the action is sure to look better than ever to those watching at home. ?OLYMPIC REVIEW 55BROADCASTING