BBC 5 Live is running trails that claim that with the BBC you won’t miss a moment of the London Olympics. With the launch of BBC 5 Live Olympic Extra to supplement the main BBC 5 Live station and 5 Live Extra – as well as all the online content that the BBC is churning out – this is going to be a huge chance for radio to do what it does best. Radio and sports coverage go hand-in-hand, and can often be more exciting than sitting about watching the television pictures, or even sitting in the crowd. It’s all in the commentary, the sense of occasion and the excitement that the presentation teams deliver.
At this Olympics communication and broadcasting technology has moved on. The development of mobile communication links, often via mobile phones, is going to be brought to the fore like never before. Reporters and presenters will be able to link to more events and get into hidden-away places more easily than television can. At large events like this radio’s ability to bring live feeds directly and unobtrusively from the track-side is unrivalled. Plus, you can listen to the radio while you are doing other things. The big screen might be seductive, but you can’t go walking or driving with a television on your back.
I’m going to listen to as much of the Olympics as I can on my portable DAB radio. I’m going to keep some notes about what stands out in this coverage and what lessons we can learn for Radio Production at De Montfort University. After all, this is not only a showcase of great sporting talent, it’s a showcase of broadcasting talent as well. If you have ambitions to be a broadcaster, then I’d recommend that this is a great opportunity to listen and learn.