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Best And Worst Of BBC's Olympics Coverage

Updated on August 20, 2012
John McEnroe
John McEnroe
Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker

I was watching the recent London Olympic coverage by the BBC and I was on the whole very impressed with it all.

Normally I don’t watch a great variety of sports and just tend to stick to watching big popular sports and tournaments such as football,rugby,major tennis matches such as at Wimbledon or big athletics events. But the coverage here allowed viewers to watch lesser known and covered sports in a lot more detail. Normally you would see the really main events but there would be a lot of coverage and interviews with British athletes. While the main channels still had this there were a variety of channels if you wanted to follow a particular sport. Before they would have maybe followed a snippet of a sport and this few minutes wouldn’t have allowed me to either appreciate or even get to know the rules in certain events but staying on a channel for a while I was able to watch and enjoy a great deal of sports I would normally not have bothered with.

It was good to watch events such as cycling,rowing and boxing in this way and continue watching for as long as you ,the viewer wanted.

Some sports that Britain are not too good in such as basketball,volleyball and handball wouldn’t normally have been shown too much but the more I watched of these the more I enjoyed them and it got me thinking that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them on TV at other times than just at the Olympics.

There were a lot of channels and a lot of hours going into covering these Olympics and therefore there was a need for a lot of presenters,commentators and experts. While some were very good it’s fair to say that a few were just annoying.

A lot probably fall into a sort of middle ground where they were okay. These would be people such as Sue Barker,Colin Jackson,Denise Lewis,Steve Redgrave and Mark Cavendish who gave good information and were steady in their roles.

Some of the standouts were Hugh Porter and Chris Boardman for their enthusiastic and knowledgeable cycling coverage likewise Steve Cram and Brendan Foster for athletics. Gabby Logan and Hazel Irvine always done well in their presenting stints. There was a lot of praise for Clare Balding for her presenting and even though she wasn’t known for covering swimming events she done a great job along with ex-swimmer Mark Foster. Ian Thorpe was another good expert on swimming and helped things along with his knowledge and humour. The Australian done well here and it seems to be that some of the best and more outspoken pundits in recent years have come from abroad and here again John McEnroe was always good to watch and listen to and probably the best was Michael Johnson with his expert athletics analysis. It really is amazing that the BBC have been able to keep him at the main events for so long.

The way I would think of the top presenters or experts is that they encourage you to listen to them and to watch the sports they are describing even if you didn’t have a real interest in that before.

By contrast there are those who put me off watching something because of their boring or rude commentary or presenting.

Football seems to be really lacking in people who are able to talk sensibly about their sport for more than a couple of seconds and again here, especially against a lot of top broadcasters, they were shown in a particularly bad light. The worst would have to be Robbie Savage and Mark Bright. It only takes one or two or their inane mutterings and I have to turn them off. Gary Lineker is another who didn’t show himself in a good light. Known mainly for presenting footballs ‘Match of the Day’ he acted as if it was a football tournament with all his references to football when discussing other sports. Also his interviews are extremely cringeworthy and he seems unsure what to ask when it isn’t footballers he is questioning.

Other terrible presenters were Reggie Yates Helen Skelton and Trevor Nelson. They had small roles and seemed to be in to try and be cool and youthful but just kept coming across as rude as stupid.

Some of the experts weren’t really up to the job. You would think in this time with access to media training there would be no excuses. Surely some of these people can turn down some TV work if they don’t feel they are ready for it.

Amir Khan was a terrible boxing pundit as he would just repeat whatever anyone else said. He also talked of the ‘English’ boxers rather than British despite the fact the particular boxer he was discussing was actually Welsh.

Kelly Holmes was a great runner but on TV she always looks as if she wants to run away. She always looks panic stricken as if that is the last place she would rather be. On occasions here she just stared into the camera or couldn’t think of words to say for what seemed an eternity.

But all in all a very good showing by the BBC. A lot of great coverage of a variety of sports with a lot of quality presenters and commentators. It’s just a few that I,personally think aren’t Olympic standard.

What did you think of the coverage? Was it Good. Did you watch new sports? How about the presenters. Are there any you thought did a particularly good or bad job?


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    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Yes it's rotten when commentators/presenters can be a bit offputting. In saying that i really enjoyed watching a lot of sports myself,even stuff that i hardly knew what was going on!

      I suppose the football/soccer commentators here are just a personal preference. I always think they could do a lot better but just get the same old faces. I really think they were shown up badly by the commentators from all the other sports.

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 

      6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      Very interesting hub. I was watching in the States where NBC was the broadcasting company and they did a fair job. There were things they did that were annoying, and much of the time they seemed out of touch with technology, but I had a good time watching a wide variety of sports, and even events I wouldn't call a sport. It is surprising to me that there were such poor soccer commentators over there, I would have thought England would have the best. Good hub, voted up.

    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for commenting sabrebIade. Doesn't sound too good. Seems as if i should be grateful for the coverage in this country overall even if some is a little annoying.

    • sabrebIade profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      The BBC coverage was incredibly better than the inane prattling the NBC commentators were doing here in the US.

      The opening ceremony coverage was horrible and would have been better had Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Bob Costas been bound and gagged rather than allowed to talk.

      So yes...the BBC did a GREAT job!


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