TVNZ will broadcast more than 800 hours of free-to-air Olympics action to New Zealanders this August, delivering LIVE coverage of the world’s biggest television event on TV ONE, TVNZ Sport Extra (Freeview Channel 20) and two dedicated on-line ‘channels’.
When the world’s elite athletes gather in Beijing, Kiwi viewers can expect expanded coverage, and new technologies that bring them closer to the drama and excitement than ever before. A library of Olympics highlights will be updated daily at tvnz.co.nz.
Beijing 2008 will also be the first Olympics broadcast in high definition. TV ONE’s coverage of the Games will be available in HD via the DTT Freeview platform, so that viewers with HD-capable televisions can get closer to the action than ever before.
TVNZ Head of Television Jeff Latch says delivery of the Games on multiple platforms is the most compelling example possible of TVNZ’s new guiding strategy – Inspiring New Zealanders on Every Screen.
“Nothing compares to the power and excitement of an Olympic Games,” he said.
“It is the world’s largest stage, and the world’s biggest television event – and I’m delighted that TVNZ can bring New Zealanders the whole dramatic spectacle Live, Free-to-Air, and on a choice of screens.”
TV ONE is the home of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, covering the Games as a whole, and moving between individual events to take Kiwi viewers to the best action as it happens. The three temporary Olympic Channels at TVNZ Sport Extra and tvnz.co.nz will be programmed by ONE Sport and will complement the coverage on TV ONE.
“To truly experience the Olympics as an event, watch TV ONE,” advises TVNZ Head of Sport, Murray Needham.
“TV ONE’s coverage is designed to capture the drama and competition of the Games as a total event. TV ONE will have all the big Olympic moments, and will follow the Kiwi competitors, but will also keep viewers up to date with the many different events taking place simultaneously in Beijing.”
“The digital and on-line channels are where viewers will be able spend extended periods of time watching individual sports, including some of the Games’ most popular events, as well as spectacular sports that rarely screen in New Zealand. TVNZ Sport Extra is going to be running 24 hours a day with full competition sessions, supplemented online by additional and alternative coverage.”
The Olympics is the world’s biggest television event. In 2004, the Athens Olympics broke all global TV viewing records, with nearly four billion people tuning in to Olympic broadcasts at least once during the games. In New Zealand, 85% of everyone aged five and over tuned into the Games on TV ONE at least once during primetime.
With Beijing a viewer-friendly four hours behind New Zealand, TVNZ’s coverage of the morning sessions will kick off at around 12.30pm and continue through the afternoon and evening. The afternoon session will be anchored by experienced TVNZ sports presenter Geoff Bryan. After a break at 6pm for ONE News and Close Up, the evening session will begin at 7.30pm, anchored by ONE News sports presenter Tony Veitch.
Sports broadcasters Toni Street and Lavina Good will work alongside Tony and Geoff as roving reporters, providing background stories and coverage from the sidelines.
TVNZ is the official rights holder and will have a full production team on the ground in Beijing, including a strong news and current affairs contingent, dedicated new media producers, and more than 20 expert commentators sourced from New Zealand, Australia, Africa, The United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
The Beijing Olympics will be broadcast via satellite to 18 stations in the Pacific region on the TVNZ Pacific Service, and TVNZ will also be producing Olympic coverage for delivery to South Africa, Asia, and North Africa, including the Arab States.
Games of the XXIX Olympiad
8-24 August on TV ONE, TVNZ Sport Extra, and tvnz.co.nz
A full television schedule for the Games will be released in July.