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London 2012 (Multi-Media Coverage)

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

4. What representations she has received on the provision of multi-media coverage of the London 2012 Olympics; and if she will make a statement. [Official Report, 2 February 2010, Vol. 505, c. 1-2MC.] (310882)

These will be the first games to be filmed wholly to high-definition standards. There will be access to information via additional channels and mobile devices, ensuring the games are accessible to everyone. The International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are responsible for global broadcast rights of the London 2012 games via many platforms, including multi-media platforms.

We all expect the games to be the most watched ever, but the introduction of multi-media coverage presents a huge logistical and technological challenge, particularly as it will come just after digital switchover. To what extent will an analogue signal still be available to those who want it?

The expectation is that the television switchover will have been completed by 2012, subject to any last-minute issues that might affect the coverage of the Olympics. In that sense, the analogue signal will no longer be available. However, much preparation is under way to ensure access to multi-media platforms, starting with ensuring the availability of spectrum. I thank Ofcom for the invaluable work that it has done, so early on, to ensure that that spectrum is available.