Olympics: BBC Plans Ambitious HD Coverage

BBC HD and BBC Two are mapping out a minimum of 160 hours of coverage.

The BBC in London said it plans to offer its most comprehensive coverage in Winter Olympic history for the games in Vancouver, with much of it coming to the United Kingdom in HD.

BBC HD and BBC Two are mapping out a minimum of 160 hours of coverage (large portions of it recorded, given the eight-hour time difference between Vancouver and London) with special emphasis on a few sports that Americans don’t follow as closely as others — namely curling and skeleton bobsled. The British have serious medal prospects competing in both competitions.

In addition to heavy doses of coverage on BBC Two, another 13 hours of programming is scheduled for BBC HD, which is just beginning to be offered in a planned phase-in across the U.K. and Ireland via terrestrial (Freeview), DBS (Sky) and various cable rollouts over the next year or so.

BBC viewers with digital TV also will have access to six additional streams of coverage (most of them live at any given time) — along with a half-hour of highlights looped throughout the day and night.

Extensive online and smart-phone coverage from the BBC is also on tap, using the broadcaster’s BBC Sport site and BBC Mobile to carry up to four streams simultaneously.