The BBC continues to be at the forefront of delivering television online. The catch-up, on-demand iPlayer has been a huge success, and while YouView may end up being a turkey, at least it’s an attempt at forging the future. As is a new Facebook app from BBC Sport.
The BBC Sports app went live on Facebook a few days into the Wimbledon tennis championships, with up to six simultaneous streams from the All-England Club at any one time. At the time of writing only the finals remain, with Andy Murray exceeding expectations by making it to the men’s singles final.
However, the app will really come into its own when the London 2012 Olympics begins on Friday July 27. For the fortnight of the Games the BBC Sports app will play host to 24 streams showing live coverage of individual events.
BBC Sports App
The BBC Sports app is currently only in beta, but that status may change in time for the live-streaming Olympics coverage. Either way the app allows all those resident in the U.K. (and those outside the U.K. proficient in using proxies or premium VPNs) to watch sporting coverage right from within the social network.
The app is a BBC Sports service but it runs completely within the bounds of Facebook. This means there are adverts running alongside BBC programming, but they will disappear for the Olympics due to IOC (International Olympic Committee) rules.
The advantage of the Facebook app, as explained in a BBC blog post, is the social functionality and enhanced experience it offers. You can see who is watching what within the app, and switch streams if you notice most of your friends are viewing one different to you.
This feels like a good move from BBC Sports, and one that could result in more BBC departments offering live streaming through Facebook. Sporting events are perfect fodder for this multi-channel approach, because not everyone wants to watch the same thing at the same time. My only wish, as always, is that geo-blocking wasn’t used to limit this to just one territory.
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