2012 Olympics: The Brits Show NBC How It’s Done

Television networks on both sides of the Atlantic have big plans for the biggest sporting event of the year, but the BBC has a few lessons for its broadcast counterpart in the U.S.

Don’t Miss: Apple’s Rumored HDTV Already Has Buyers.

In the UK, the BBC plans to have twenty four high-definition Olympic streams that provide a total of around 2,500 hours of live coverage, up from 1,500 in 2008. BBC’s new video player will allow live action from London to be rewinded and offer live alerts for key moments. The network is also said to be working on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android apps, as well as a mobile website. A connected TV application will offer live and catch-up video to Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) Smart TV, its PlayStation 3, Virgin Media’s (NASDAQ:VMEDTiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), and other platforms.

BBC’s Phil Fearnley says content will be available on all the four screens — web, mobile, tablet, and connected TV. “We don’t know how people are going to consume it, but we’re going to make sure they get the best possible experience they can,” he said. “It’s the first time our audience gets total control.”

NBC, the joint venture between Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and GE (NYSE:GE) that has Games broadcast rights in the U.S., falls a little short, offering a live stream on its website before the time-delayed television broadcast in the evening. NBC is expecting viewership of the television broadcast to go up as the live stream builds up buzz.

NBC is not using its usual Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Silverlight technology for its web streaming, instead relying on YouTube. However, content will only be available on NBC’s own Olympic website. NBC is expected to air around 300 hours of content from the Games.

Investing Insights: Will Google Give iPad Users an Alternative to Safari?