Taking no chances, BBC commentators had to use their own stopwatches and an app to cover Olympics women’s cycling Sunday after a technical problem disrupted coverage of the men’s Saturday race. A graphics failure during the men’s event meant that commentators were unable to provide details about the distance between riders, drawing ire from the cycling-obsessed British public — especially in the wake of Bradley Wiggins’ recent crowning as the only Englishman ever to win the Tour de France and given his teammate Mark Cavendish was at a crucial stage of the Saturday race. The BBC coverage was called everything from “appalling” to “shockingly bad,” but it laid the blame on the Olympic Broadcasting Services, which provides the pool feed to broadcasters around the world. In turn, the International Olympic Committee, which oversees the OBS, said it was fans sending Twitter updates during the race that jammed GPS transmissions meant to provide statistics. IOC communications director Mark Adams told media, “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.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.