A conversation with...
Peter Campbell, Director of Sports & OIympic Games, Foxtel
The scope and scale of Foxtel’s coverage of the London Olympic Games is monumental. Is it the biggest broadcast subscription TV (STV) has ever endeavoured to deliver?
In a word, YES! We will broadcast almost 3200 hours of television over the days of competition, with 1100 hours live. Our aim is to provide our customers with the best possible Olympics experience. We will have a highly experienced, passionate crew of 160 working for us and we first started working on the Games almost three years ago!
What are some of the learnings from the 2010 Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games that will be applied to the London Olympics broadcast?
It isn’t so much about learnings but the new opportunities and technology available to us. We are lucky enough to have the rights to stream our broadcast over the internet and via mobile devices, and in July will be launching the FOXTEL LONDON 2012 Tablet app that will allow Foxtel Sports subscribers to watch all eight channels on either their iPad or Android tablet (using 3G or wireless technology), from anywhere in Australia. Tablet consumption continues to grow at a rapid rate, so we are proud to be at the forefront with this offering for our subscribers. And the best part is that it is free to existing residential Sports customers, so it’s a huge value add to subscriptions.
The broadcast of all medal events across eight channels in high definition and being fully presented and controlled out of London could possibly be the most comprehensive television coverage in the world. How is your broadcast team preparing for the event?
This has been a massive undertaking for our progammers, who have mastered the schedule incredibly well. How the Games are broadcast overseas or whether what we are doing has or is being done by others isn’t of much consequence to us at Foxtel. We only ever judge ourselves from an Australian standard, as that is who we are broadcasting to. We didn’t set out to break any records for the sake of it, we simply want to deliver the most comprehensive, groundbreaking coverage in Australia to our customers. There really is no better way to see the Olympics than on Foxtel.
What are some of the Foxtel innovations viewers will experience?
For a start, for the first time ever we will be broadcasting over eight, dedicated LONDON 2012 channels in both High Definition and Standard Definition, which means we are able to broadcast every single Gold Medal event live and in full, as well as every single hour of many sports including swimming, gymnastics, equestrian, diving and athletics – track. Our online TV Guide is available to be viewed on the FOXTEL LONDON 2012 website now (www.foxtel.com.au/london2012), and will be available on TVs from July 21. This is a day by day, hour by hour sports schedule across every day of competition, and viewers have the option of filtering by channel, day, sport and gold medal event. This means that viewers will always be able to find out what is on and when. We will also provide our viewers with on-screen alerts to inform them when Gold medal events are happening across our channels or Australian athletes are scheduled to compete in a particular sport on another channel. Our plan is to make it as easy as possible for people to navigate their viewing experience so it is personally catered to every subscriber and of course there is the new tablet App, which gives viewers the freedom to watch whatever they want, wherever they are.
Do you have a favourite event that you will be watching?
I cannot wait to see the Dream Team (US Men’s Basketball team) in a playoff for the Gold medal – hopefully they will be up against our Aussie team, the Boomers.