The BBC, Austerity and Broadcasting the 1948 Olympic Games



Haynes R (2010) The BBC, Austerity and Broadcasting the 1948 Olympic Games. International Journal of the History of Sport, 27 (6), pp. 1029-1046.

Based on original archive research, including papers held in the BBC Written Archives Centre, and interviews with those involved, this paper analyses the historical importance for the BBC of the 1948 Games as the first publicly televised Olympics. In particular, the paper addresses the management of operations by the Head of Outside Broadcasting at the BBC, Seymour Joly de Lotbiniere. De Lotbiniere had been an important figure in the development of outside broadcasting commentaries during the inter-war period and was given the task of organising the radio and television coverage of the London Games in 1948. The paper examines the technical, operational and ideological issues raised by the event for the BBC and its legacy for the development of live televised outside broadcasts from sport. The analysis suggests the BBC’s ability to host international broadcasters became a matter of prestige and its forays into television a sign of its emerging post-War modernity.

BBC; Olympic Games; Austerity; Broadcast Sport; Mass media Social aspects; Television broadcasting of sports; History, Modern 1945-1989

International Journal of the History of Sport: Volume 27, Issue 6

Publication date30/04/2010
Publication date online09/04/2010
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)

People (1)


Professor Richard Haynes

Professor Richard Haynes

Professor, Communications, Media and Culture