Sochi 2014 Coverage

With 50 days to go until Sochi and our rather ‘ranty’ post a few weeks ago about the BBC’s coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics, we’ve done some research into the coverage for 2014 and found some pleasing results.

This is great news for anyone who has been wondering about how the coverage is going to shape up for Sochi – Oh its been giving you sleepless nights too?

The Ski and Snowboard Cross venue in the Russian ski resort of Rosa Khutor near Sochi. (Photograph: Joe Fitzgerald)

The Ski and Snowboard Cross venue in the Russian ski resort of Rosa Khutor near Sochi. (Photograph: Joe Fitzgerald)

But if you’re reading this and wondering what was the problem with the 2010 coverage, well from an alpine ski racing perspective, many fans in the UK were left angry when coverage of the Men’s Giant Slalom was cut with minutes to go until the runs of three British male competitors, with many left unable to watch the continued coverage on the red button as they did not have access to it.

And with more British competitors beginning to compete in WC events throughout the season, Eurosport are starting to see the criticism come their way too, as they are unable to broadcast the runs of all racers, usually stopping their coverage after around 30 competitors have been down. As this often doesn’t feature any British hopefuls, fans are encouraged to buy the ‘Eurosport Player’ and pay a monthly fee in order to watch the full coverage of a race. This has struck a nerve with many in the world of British ski racing however…

Christine Drake, mother of Olympian Ed Drake who was one of the alpine competitors in Vancouver says, “It’s so frustrating not to even hear when we have British people competing in a race, let alone see them. British television should be about supporting and covering British athletes, no matter where they are on the start list.”

The BBC have stepped up their game on this front, making extra coverage available on iPlayer of freestyle events such as Skier Cross through their Ski Sunday Extra programme, and we’re hoping to see even more British competitors feature in the main show as the episodes continue over the  coming weeks.

Gary Linekar was the bearer of good news on Sunday as he announced during the broadcasting of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year that full coverage of Sochi will be available across all platforms of the BBC, including online and the red button. There will be also be a daily highlights programme broadcast on BBC Two during the 17 days of the Games at 7pm, so no one will miss out on the action.

We spoke to Graham Bell, five-time Olympian and Ski Sunday presenter about how the coverage is shaping up…

“I’m going to be presenting out in Sochi for the BBC with Ed Leigh up in Rosa Khutor, which is the resort where the skiing and snowboarding will take place.  The main BBC studio will be down on the coastal cluster and Clare Balding and Hazel Irvine will be down there.

“We will also have Emma Carrick-Anderson on the mountain as well as Matt Chilton and Tim Warwood for the commentary of the skiing and snowboarding side of things.”

Graham Bell (Photograph: TV Choice)

Graham Bell (Photograph: TV Choice)

For more information about the coverage, see the BBC’s latest article on their website. (The organisation has secured the rights to broadcasting the Games up until 2020)

200 hours of coverage is looking promising and the excitement is building…

Only 50 days to go!

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