The BBC is aiming to offer “the most complete digital coverage to date” of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi starting on February 7. Building on the success of the multi-platform coverage of the London 2012 Games, there will be 200 hours of broadcast coverage of the Russian Games in SD and HD, and more than 650 hours of live action delivered through six HD streams. Two streams of live content and highlights will be available via the “Red Button” interactive service on Freesat and Sky from the ASTRA 28.2°E satellites, while further coverage can be accessed on laptops, smart phones and tablets via the BBC’s app and website.
The BBC has now officially launched the new five high definition channels announced in July which have been recently test-broadcasting. HD versions of BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, CBBC and CBeebies are broadcasting free-to-air from ASTRA 28.2°E
The 50th anniversary episode of internationally popular BBC science fiction show, Doctor Who will be shown simultaneously throughout the world at 7.50pm (GMT) on November 23, in what is thought will be the world’s largest simulcast of a drama.
The BBC is launching five new free-to-air high definition channels next year. In early 2014, HD versions of BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC will be broadcast by satellite from the ASTRA 28.2°E position to the UK, alongside the existing BBC One HD and BBC Two HD channels. The new HD channels will broadcast unencrypted with the same schedule as the existing SD channels and join the EPG of the Freesat and Sky UK platforms.
When Andy Murray won the men’s singles in the Wimbledon tennis championships, satellite viewers could watch the final live in 3D free-to-air on a BBC ‘red button’ transmission on the Freesat platform.
Live coverage of the Wimbledon tennis championships (from June 24) will not only be available free-to-air on the BBC One and BBC Two channels in both SD and HD but also to satellite viewers in three additional live feeds via the BBC’s interactive ‘red button’ services.
A report from Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, has revealed that watching traditional ‘linear’ TV, such as the DTH satellite broadcasts from Sky and Freesat via ASTRA 28.2°E, is still the mainstay of UK TV viewing. In 2012 British viewers each day watched an average of 4 hours 1 minute of linear TV on a television screen (the third consecutive year the figure has remained above four hours a day), despite the growth in viewing on other devices and from other sources.
The BBC will launch an HD version of its BBC Two channel on March 26. Broadcasting free-to-air from ASTRA 28.2°E to the UK as part of the Freesat and Sky UK platforms, BBC Two HD will follow the same programme schedule as the existing SD version of BBC Two, upscaling those programmes not made in high definition.
The number of requests for programming from the BBC’s catch-up TV service, iPlayer has rocketed from 11 million in January 2012 to 40 million in January this year. The age profile of iPlayer users has also changed, with the number of people over 55 using the service up 24% in 2012.
Amsterdam-based club music channel Dance Trippin now broadcasts free-to-air from ASTRA 4A at 5°E to bring its 24 hours/day diet of DJ sets from top clubs around the world to all of sub-Saharan Africa. Dance Trippin first launched on satellite, on ASTRA 23.5°E, at the beginning of the year.
Visit www.dancetrippin.tv for more information