BBC claims gold for Olympics iTV

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The BBC is claiming gold after its interactive television coverage of the Athens Olympics attracted a record 6m viewers.

Since the opening ceremony a total of 6.13m people have pressed red, beating the previous BBCi record for interactive Wimbledon of 4.1m, set earlier this summer.

Research suggests 80% of those who have entered the interactive service have spent more than three minutes in it, and 46% are in it for more than 25 minutes.

BBCi is offering up to four extra sports to watch during its main BBC One and BBC Two coverage of the Games.

Andrew Thompson, head of new media development at BBC Sport, said:

"These are fantastic figures and naturally we are delighted. The Olympics are perfect for interactive television because there are so many events happening at the same time.

"Before we had the interactive option, hundreds of hours of footage disappeared down a black hole. But now with interactive television, viewers have up to four extra sports to choose from and, judging by the initial figures, they are taking full advantage of that.

"These figures, which are only from the digital satellite service, are a tribute to our commitment to deliver the Olympics to viewers so they can enjoy the Games wherever and however they want.

"It's a service that really complements our terrestrial coverage."

Lovelace Consulting  |  23.08.2004

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