SuperSport is aiming to go higher, faster and further than ever for the broadcast of the 30th Olympic Games, which are starting in London this month with eight dedicated channels on DStv.
Given the scale of the event – 39 disciplines spread across 26 sports over 17 days – SuperSport will not only have eight dedicated channels, four in High Definition and four in Standard Definition, but included will be a new HD channel which is being launched by SuperSport on DStv specifically for the London Games.
This means that Olympic programming will feature on four High Definition and four Standard Definition channels, giving viewers with DStv HD PVR decoders an unsurpassed television experience of London 2012.
“We aim to be bigger and better than ever,” said Happy Ntshingila, CEO of SuperSport. “The Olympics demand excellence from athletes, but for us it also demands excellence as Africa’s leading sports channels. We have channeled considerable resources, time and energy into our Olympic offering for our subscribers. London 2012 is sure to delight them.”
Among the many top analysts on the SuperSport team will be Olympic icon Carl Lewis, a nine-time Olympic champion. Apart from the wall-to-wall live action, SuperSport will have two riveting magazine programmes: London Calling, a weekend breakfast show, and Mind the Gap, a daily 15-minute programme. The popular Blitz channel will provide rolling coverage and live updates.
The Olympic Countdown studio show will be broadcast until July 26. It will be presented by Thomas Mlambo and Leigh Anne Paulick. The 24-hour channels launch will take place on July 27. Olympic Memories and Olympic Dreams, featuring Olympic vignettes with famous winners and medal aspirants, will broadcast throughout July.
DStv Premium subscribers will have access to all Olympic SD channels. The Olympic SD channels will be branded SuperSport Gold (ch 204), SuperSport Silver (ch 205), SuperSport Bronze (ch 206) and SuperSport Spirit (ch 207). DStv HD Premium subscribers will also have access to the HD channels – HD2, HD3, HD4 and HD5, which will also be named Gold, Silver, Bronze and Spirit.
These will each offer 24-hour programming, giving viewers an unprecedented level of coverage.
Additionally, SuperSport 3 will feature football on certain days, ensuring that the jam-packed calendar – 58 matches in 18 days – can be accommodated on the World of Champions.
Apart from supplying two Outside Broadcast engineers and award-winning commentator Gerald de Kock to Olympic Broadcast Services, SuperSport will have four reporting teams covering Africa and general news. Reporters will be Carol Tshabalala, James Wokabi of Kenya, former Miss SA Nicole Flint and Udo Carelse.
Additionally, four Olympic champions will provide regular Olympic updates from famous London venues. Apart from Carl Lewis, the line-up will be 2004 Olympic relay swimming champion Ryk Neethling, Dame Kelly Holmes, 800m champion in 2004, and reigning 800m champion Wilfred Bungei.
London Calling will be broadcast on weekends (08:00 – 09.30 CAT), with an additional show on August 9. Mind the Gap will be a daily 15-minute show hosted by Neil Andrews and former Olympic football champion Daniel Amokachi. This will be broadcast before and after the Olympic evening sessions.
Broadcast schedules and new media
Supersport.com has a dedicated Olympic section spread across Web and Mobi and available as a SuperSport app. Supersport.com will include information on venues, athlete profiles and guest profiles. Additionally, SuperSport’s Facebook and Twitter presence will link to magic Olympic videos, interesting Olympic re-tweets and current news, all using the hashtag #ssolympics.
The Paralympics start on August 29 and conclude on September 9. Coverage will be broadcast on SuperSport 6 throughout each day, with an emphasis on African contestants. For the finals, which run from 18:00 – 23:00 (CAT) daily, coverage will be live and will include the day’s best moments.