Entertainment & Arts

BBC announces 3D Olympic coverage

Usain Bolt wins the men's 100m finals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing
Image caption Usain Bolt's victory in the men's 100m finals was one of the most-watched events of the 2008 Olympics

The BBC has announced its plans for 3D broadcasts from the 2012 Olympic Games.

The broadcaster says the extravagant opening and closing ceremonies will be shown in the format, as will nightly highlights from the games.

The only sporting event to be shown live in 3D will be the men's 100 metre finals on 5 August.

Roger Mosey, BBC director of 2012, said there had never been plans for a dedicated 3D channel, and that consumer demand was lower than expected.

Recent research by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom suggests just 6% of UK households have television sets which are 3D ready.

"The BBC's overall approach to 3D has been very much on the lines of an experiment around special events like Wimbledon and Strictly Come Dancing," Mr Mosey wrote in a blog post about the plans.

He added that the decision to limit 3D broadcasts had been taken to ensure there was no interruption to live coverage of major events.

"If we had, for instance, decided to do a whole night of athletics in 3D on Friday 3 August, then we'd have lost swimming and other sports from BBC HD," he wrote.

Generally speaking, the BBC HD Channel will be a high-definition version of BBC Three, which will provide live Olympics coverage between 09:00 and 23:00.

The 3D broadcasts will follow after the live action has finished.

Mr Mosey first announced plans to show the Olympics in 3D in 2009. However, this is the first time there has been confirmation of which events will be covered.

More events may be filmed in the format - and the new super high-definition (Super HD) standard - for archival purposes.

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