NBC Olympics crew dwarfs Beeb contingent

Broadcasters prep for London games

LONDON — While the BBC will have 765 staff covering the Olympic Games in London, which bow July 27, it’s less than half the 2,700 personnel NBC is sending to Blighty for the event.

The BBC crew will be responsible for 2,500 hours of live coverage being prepared by the pubcaster. At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the BBC fielded 493 people.

In an interview with U.K. listings magazine Radio Times, Dave Gordon, BBC Sport’s head of major events, defended the number of staff involved in covering the games and said it was not excessive.

He said, “We’re pretty lean and mean. I look on it as a reminder of how passionately the audience cares what the BBC does and the way we do it. We’ve a hard-earned reputation for doing the Olympics well.”

For the duration of the games BBC1 and BBC3 will be devoted to broadcasting the Olympics 24/7, while another 24 digital interactive “red-button” channels, so-called because they are accessed by pushing a red button on the TV control box, cover individual sports.