Use of Twitter, Social Media Blamed for GPS Data Delay used in Olympic Bike Race Reporting

Olympic officials have blamed Twitter for a series of computer glitches that led to shambolic television coverage of the men’s road race yesterday afternoon. BBC presenters struggled to work out who was leading the nail biting race because GPS data containing the competitors’ progress was delayed.

Each competitor rides a bike with a GPS chip inside it which transmits vital data that charts their progress. But so many people turned out to see the race that the mobile network became overwhelmed.

IOC communications director Mark Adams called on spectators to think about how often they use their phones during popular events. “We don't want to stop people engaging in this by social media and sending updates,” he said, “But perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates.“

Many viewers complained that BBC broadcasts had been riddled with factual mistakes, suffered from poor audio quality and missed key Team GB moments.

I was watching live and it certainly didn't seem that the commentators were talking about what I was seeing on the screen. I don't think asking people to only send urgent updates will help.

- The Independent


Published Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Written by Adena Schutzberg