This year's London Olympic and Paralympic games are set to provide the largest digital spectacle in history, with media personnel set to outnumber athletes by a ratio of two to one.
While 10,500 athletes will take part in the event, around 21,000 media accreditation passes have been issued to journalists, technicians, producers and cameramen - with the major broadcasters sending hundreds of staff to cover the games.
The BBC will deploy around 756 staff during the games, while US media giant NBC is sending a colossal 2,700 people in order to produce daily coverage. Agence France-Presse is said to be deploying a multilingual team of around 150 journalists, plus another thirty journalists from its German subsidiary SID, and US newswire Associated Press will have around 200 staff on the ground.
Whereas journalists covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics were constrained by onerous accreditation and coverage restrictions, this year's event is subject to far looser regulations - and the broadcasters are confident it will mark a milestone in the coverage of major public events.
- The London Olympics and Paralympics will bring 204 nations and over a million spectators to the UK's capital this year.
- There will be 21,000 "accredited" journalists reporting from the Olympic venues spread across London, while 6,000 to 8,000 of their colleagues will be covering the non-sport aspect of the Games, such as transport and security.
- British Telecom predicts that it will have to accommodate for some 60 gigabytes of information every second, equivalent to 3,000 photographs, during its busiest periods.
- NBC retained the rights in the United States, where they paid 32% higher than the 2008 edition broadcasting fee to International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is USD$1.181 billion compared to 2008's US$894 million.
- The Games will see 3D broadcasting from broadcasters around the world. IOC announced on June 6, 2012 that they will provide the livestream of the Games via YouTube for 64 territories across Asia and Africa.
- Two major cable television networks, ESPN and Eurosport, will broadcast the Games in Asia, South America and Europe. Eurosport will broadcast the Games throughout the continent of Europe, while ESPN feeds nine countries in South America and 22 countries in Asia.