More BBC staff than athletes for Olympics


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The BBC has accredited 765 staff to cover the Olympics - meaning the corporation will outnumber the athletes expected to make up Team GB

The BBC's director of London 2012 Roger Mosey said staff numbers had increased from the 493 that worked on the Beijing games.

The number of athletes selected for Team GB has not been announced yet but is expected to be around 550.

Writing on his BBC blog, Mr Mosey said the increase was "inevitable" given the "massive increase in output - with four times as many TV channels and an extra radio station compared with Beijing, and double the overall number of hours" and the "predicted greater level of interest" in the event.

He said the BBC's coverage will include 24 digital channels covering different sports and reports on the build-up to the games and issues including security.

Mr Mosey said: "Big events require significant staffing levels.

"Our American colleagues at NBC have used over 2,800 staff at previous Olympics, while The Times reported that there were 380 staff working on Sky Sports' excellent host-broadcasting operation for last year's Champions League final at Wembley."

He said comparing BBC staffing levels with the number of athletes in team GB was a "very strange argument", adding: "We have to cover all the nations taking part in the Olympics; and our teams are driven by the scale of the overall coverage, not the number of British athletes competing."

Mr Mosey added that just under a quarter of staff would travel from BBC Sport's new base in Salford and said "many will be put up in low-cost student-type accommodation" if they stay overnight.