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London 2012: Twitter Blamed For Haywire Coverage Of Olympic Cycling Road Race

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International Olympics Comittee communications director Mark Adams said transmissions were jammed by Twitter | PA

Twitter has been blamed for disrupting the television coverage of the cycling road race.

Armchair viewers were left clueless about timing and positions during the men's and women's events in coverage branded "shambolic."


Kenny Pryde
Olympic journos, how about nailing the muppets responsible for the shambolic TV coverage of the road races? For 's sake!

The BBC blamed the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS) for the lack of timing information which left commentator Chris Boardman trying to make do using his own watch.

International Olympics Comittee communications director Mark Adams said around one million people had lined the roads with many using Twitter which effectively jammed transmissions of race information.

Spectators should only send "urgent" updates when the peleton passed, he insisted.

Mr Adams said: "From my understanding, one network was oversubscribed, and OBS are trying to spread the load to other providers. We don't want to stop people engaging in this by social media and sending updates, but perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates."

The timings are sent to organisers via tiny GPS transmitters in competitors' bikes and it was these messages that were not being received.

Former Olympic champion Boardman apologised to viewers after yesterday's men's race.

He wrote on Twitter: "Folks, got to apologise for issues today, gutted. Tomorrow we aim to have stuff like information and a monitor we can see for commentary!"

A BBC spokesman said: "The pictures are provided by the host broadcaster OBS to all global rights holders, these are not BBC-produced pictures.

"We have raised our concerns with OBS who have explained that there were GPS problems with the Locog and their suppliers' timing graphics, which resulted in a lack of information for the commentary teams.

"A number of tests were run by OBS this morning on parts of the course. However, as a precaution the BBC took a variety of measures to help improve the quality of the coverage for the viewers including relocating the commentators to the IBC (International Broadcast Centre) so they had access to additional data and putting a stop watch on time points so we would have a better idea of time differences between different groups."

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