In case you were in any doubt as to the importance of television coverage in modern sport, feast your tired peepers on this. As reported in the Guardian, the BBC are employing 765 people to cover the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In contrast, Team GB has 550 people competing in the events. There were 493 members of BBC staff four years ago in Beijing but the increase is necessary in order to deliver a record 2,500 hours of live action, including 26 channels dedicated to each sport.
As the public broadcaster in the host country, this is a massive event for the BBC and so in an attempt to avoid criticism during the event they have revealed their staffing figures before the games begin.
The corporation’s London 2012 director, Roger Mosey said it was “very strange” to compare the total number of staff to the number of British athletes competing at the Games. He continued:
“We have to cover all the nations taking part in the Olympics; and our teams are driven by the scale of the overall coverage, not the number of British athletes competing.
“We know that British audiences expect us to cover these Games well, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment for this country where the broadcasting will be required to live up to the event.”
With four times as many TV channels and an extra radio station compared with 2008 plus all the increased levels of interest in a home games more staffing was inevitable. The figure includes all news staff and those in the nations and regions who will report on the Olympics from around the country.
Our desks will also be prevalent in OB Units being used to broadcast an array of sporting events. At last count there were almost 40 Calrec desks in use this summer. Not quite enough to outnumber the athletes but we’ve definitely broken our own world record here!