April 26, 2012

2012 Olympics: BBC coverage on Virgin Media

I've had a few people asking about Virgin Media and the Olympics broadcasting from the BBC. According to the BBC:
"Virgin Media will provide its subscribers with 24 live streams of Olympic action from the BBC and Eurosport during the 2012 Games. The streams will be available in both standard and high definition at no extra cost while the provider will also carry 3D broadcasts when they occur."
Here is VM's own press release on the matter:

With the 2012 London Olympics just one hundred days away, Virgin Media today revealed a wide range of exciting Olympics content its customers will be able to enjoy throughout the Summer of Sport on Virgin Media TV, all at no extra cost. Featuring live broadcasts in both standard- and high-definition, interactive apps and even a wide range of events in 3D, Virgin Media’s unbeatable coverage of the Olympics, courtesy of the BBC and Eurosport, will provide fans the perfect destination for all their Olympic viewing.
For sports fans wanting to keep up with the absolute latest, in addition to the Olympics coverage on BBC One, BBC Three, BBC One HD and BBC HD, Virgin Media will also be bringing its customers 24 live streams in both standard- or high-definition* courtesy of the BBC.
This extensive coverage will mean that for the first time ever, every Olympic sport will be available to view live, whether it’s gymnastics, judo or show jumping. The 24 live channels will be available through the Electronic Programme Guide, or through a dedicated BBC Red Button application. For TiVo customers the BBC Red Button service will take advantage of the service’s IP connectivity and will be enhanced with an exhaustive catch-up offering allowing viewers to catch up on key moments of the games at a time of their choosing.
For die-hard Olympophiles looking for even more immersion, in addition to the regular coverage, Virgin Media will also be bringing its customers Olympics content in 3D courtesy of BBC and Eurosport 3D. The BBC will be showing the opening and closing ceremonies in 3D, alongside selected live events and daily highlights in 3D. Due to launch 27th July, Eurosport 3D will broadcast a mix of around eight hours of live coverage in 3D alongside four hours of each day’s main highlights and to provide the most comprehensive 3D coverage of the Games on British television. Aleks Habdank, director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media said: “With a full range of live channels in HD and the first Olympics in 3D, Virgin Media TV customers are going to be spoilt with an unbeatable experience for watching the 2012 London Olympics. This year’s unprecedented breadth of viewing options will allow fans of any Olympic sport to watch their favourite events live and on demand, and with BBC and Eurosport 3D, viewers will be able to immerse themselves in the Games as never seen before.” Virgin Media will also have a range of Olympics content available to watch at anytime through its pioneering TV on Demand service. Through the course of the Games, customers will be able to enjoy a range of catch-up content through BBC iPlayer, as well as selected highlights from Eurosport 3D to relive those spectacular moments with incredible depth and realism. Customers with Virgin Media’s TiVo or V+ HD services also have additional benefits such as the ability to record up to three channels simultaneously. For customers enjoying the Games live, TiVo also allows customers to tune into three separate channels at the same time, with TiVo automatically storing up to three ‘live buffers’ through its triple tuner feature. This allows viewers to flip channels at a whim and pause and rewind the action on any of the channels on the three tuners, even if customers aren’t recording the Games.

* Depending on a customer’s equipment, different services will be available:

TV Box
24 live BBC channels (SD)
24 live BBC channels (HD)
Red Button Services
Advanced Red Button Services
Eurosport 3D
Eurosport 3D On Demand
V Box
TiVo 500GB
TiVo 1TB

[sorry about the overspill on the table]
Table 1: All customers will be able to receive BBC’s 24 live streams in Standard Definition; customers require HD compatible equipment to receive HD versions of the 24 live streams and 3D compatible equipment to receive BBC 3D or Eurosport 3D. TiVo customers will be getting advanced BBC Red Button functionality including with an exhaustive catch-up offering allowing viewers to catch up on key moments of the games at a time of their choosing.


Anthony said...

This sounds amazing, I'm actually really excited by this. This how TV in this day & age should be.

Matthew said...

This is brilliant news! I was beginning to worry that Sky would have a monopoly on 3D coverage of the Olympics.

gmcausland said...

I am very much looking forward to this. Can't wait to record the Brit gold winning performances to keep for posterity. The Bejing Olympic performances disappear from the BBC Sports website after a couple of months and none is allowed to appear on You Tube. Hleduonnaving the ability to record and save them on Tivo is definitely a plus for me.