Arab Today, arab today bbc olympic staff to outnumber team gb athletes
Last Updated : GMT 06:51:45
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

BBC Olympic staff to outnumber Team GB athletes

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today BBC Olympic staff to outnumber Team GB athletes

London - Arabstoday

The BBC is to employ a staff of 765 people to cover the London 2012 Olympic Games, a larger team than the 550 athletes who will represent Team GB. The broadcaster will deliver a record 2,500 hours of live action from the London Games, including 26 channels dedicated to each sport. It has revealed the staffing levels now in a bid to head off potential criticism before the event begins. A team of 493 BBC staff covered the Beijing Olympics, of whom 437 were flown to China from London. The corporation's London 2012 director, Roger Mosey, said the increase was inevitable given the increased output, with four times as many TV channels and an extra radio station compared with 2008, and the increased levels of interest in a home games. The figure includes all news staff and those in the nations and regions who will report on the Olympics from around the country. The BBC will not produce its own coverage of the action, instead relying on feeds from the host broadcaster, Olympic Broadcasting Services, but will have to package and present the footage. It also has expansive online and radio operations. Mosey pointed out that the contingent at the London games from US broadcaster NBC would number 2,800 and that Sky Sports had a staff of 130 for a single Premier League game. He admitted that 23% of BBC staff would have to commute to London from BBC Sport's new base in Salford. There was criticism of the decision to relocate to north-west England shortly before the Games, but Mosey said most staff covering the event would be based in the capital and many would require somewhere to stay regardless of where they lived. "Most of our people are London-based because they're either in our core 2012 planning team, which has remained in the capital, or in our news operation," he said. "For those who do travel down, there will be overnight stays; but we've always been clear that almost all of them would have qualified for it anyway given the need to start early, finish late and get to venues on time – and many will be put up in low-cost student-type accommodation." The BBC previously said it would supply accommodation for staff who live 45 minutes or more away from the Olympic Park in Stratford. He said it was "very strange" to compare the total number of staff to the number of British athletes competing at the Games. "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," he said. BBC Sport has increasingly focused its resources on covering major live sporting events such as World Cup football and the Olympics which, it says, fulfil its public service remit of bringing nations together. "At every stage of the BBC 2012 operation, we've been conscious of the need to run as efficient an operation as we can do and to spend our budget wisely," said Mosey. "But equally 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."  

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