Citation Haynes R (2014) The Maturation of Olympic Television: The BBC, Eurovision and Rome 1960. In: Bolz D, Carpentier F (ed.). Olympism and International Sport relations. Stadion, 38/39, Bonn, Germany: Academia-Verlag, pp. 163-182.
Abstract For television, the Olympic Games are probably the most complex event to cover: athletes come from the entire world, competitions run simultaneously at several different venues, each country has interest in certain sports and less in others and, therefore, would desire tailored programming to suit the needs of domestic audiences. Rome 1960 marks a watershed in the televising of the modern Olympic Games, with the combination of internationalized multilateral feeds from the host broadcaster RAI, and unilateral feeds for a select few nations whose television services had reached a relatively advanced level of technological sophistication, that broadcast to a maturing domestic television audience. For the BBC, Rome 1960 represents a lift-off phase for a highly crafted, and strategically managed, coverage of sport which had the purpose of using a major sporting event to deliver institutional and public prestige back in the UK. Based on detailed research in the BBC’s written archives and memories of producers and senior managers of the period, this paper critically explores the planning and delivery of Rome 1960 to a British television audience. The paper will discuss the impact of the broadcasts on the BBC’s approach to televised sport, and future planning for major sporting events.