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18/01/2002

INTERACTIVE WINTER OLYMPICS ON BBC

THE BBC is launching the first ever live, interactive Olympic Games from Salt Lake City, Utah in February.
For 17 days, from February 8 to 25, digital interactive viewers will have access to information and pictures on the events they want to see throughout the Games - without having to stay up to the small hours.
The BBC will have daily coverage from late afternoon when the day’s events commence in the US, which continues through the night. Digital interactive viewers will also be able to access highlights of all the days action through BBCi the following day as video or text.
During live broadcasts, Digital Satellite (Sky) viewers will be prompted to press the Red Key to access a multiscreen with the options of Grandstand, plus two additional streams of live events at the Games, such as the adrenalin of the Skeleton or the grace of Ice Dancing. Viewers can select the event they want, or even watch all three. An updated schedule of events and the medal table is available through the Blue Key. During non-broadcast hours the interactive service will be available through pressing the Text button on the handset.
Digital Terrestrial (itvDigital) and Digital Cable (ntl and Telewest) viewers will receive a text based service alongside a live screen with current BBC pictures. The service will include details of medal winners and overall medal table, the schedule of forthcoming action, a "Guide to the Games" explaining some of the more unorthodox sports and expert analysis from former Olympians and BBC pundits, Graham Bell and Robin Cousins.
Scott Gronmark, Head of Interactive TV, said: "The multi-event format of the Olympics is perfect for providing simultaneous picture streams interactively. It gives viewers the power to choose which events they watch, as well as adding to the appeal of the Winter Games for a greater number of winter sports enthusiasts. The other terrific service we’re offering interactive viewers is next day highlights of action which took place in the middle of the night. This way, viewers can catch up on key events when it suits them - it’s all about choice and flexibility." (SP)
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