BBC To Offer over 2,000 Hours of Winter Olympics Coverage through the Red Button

--Will Also Offer Winter Olympics Social/Interactive TV Channels Online
--Huggers: Project Canvas to Feature App Store, Offer SDK

The BBC has unveiled its multiplatform/interactive TV coverage plans for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. According to the corporation:

  • Over 2,000 hours of coverage will be available through the red button (note: this compares to the approximately 160 hours of coverage that the BBC plans to offer on terrestrial channel, BBC Two). Digital viewers will be able to use their remotes to access up to six additional streams of coverage (four of them live), the BBC says, and BBC Red Button and the BBC iPlayer will also carry a daily highlights show that will be available from 6:00AM through the red button and from around 8:00AM through the iPlayer.
  • A dedicated Winter Olympics site ( will provide four interactive/social TV channels, which the BBC says will be "accompanied by the ever-popular live text commentary featuring text and emails from readers, as well as catch-up video highlights." In addition, the corporation says, the BBC Sport Web site will offer blogs, photos, medal tables, competitor biographies, and behind-the-scenes video and audio footage.
  • BBC Mobile will offer live streaming of the BBC's network coverage, as well as a selection of on-demand clips, including a Winter Olympics daily catch-up program.
  • A range of coverage will also be made available on a catch-up basis through the BBC iPlayer.

In other BBC news: In a speech at the Nations & Regions Media Conference in Salford, the BBC's head of future media and technology, Erik Huggers, stated that Project Canvas will feature an app store, if it receives final approval from the BBC Trust this spring. (Note: Project Canvas is an initiative on which the corporation is partnering with UK public service broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, and UK ISP's, BT and Talk Talk, in order to attempt to develop a common standard and interface for the delivery of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer, the ITV player and 4oD, as well as other Internet-based services, including VOD and interactive TV widgets.) According to Huggers, the Project Canvas partners plan to provide a downloadable SDK to third parties interested in developing content and services for the platform. "Our ambition is that small companies and individuals will create apps for the general public," he told Nations & Regions attendees. "I'm excited by the apps that we haven't yet thought of. It's about opening a new gateway for anyone to build apps and services."