Twitter blamed for jamming Olympic information during cycle road race
Sunday, 29 July 2012
July 29 - In the first broadcasting controversy of London 2012, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pledged today that the problems which beset yesterday's men's cycle road race were "teething troubles" which would not be repeated.
The BBC and other broadcasters registered concerns with the IOC about a lack of key timing data that left millions of viewers baffled and unable to follow the race properly.
The IOC's broadcasting arm, Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), provides TV pictures to networks around the world.
But for large periods of time yesterday there was no information about the gaps between the various teams with OBS unable to supply crucial information to commentators.
With around one million people lining the roads for the race networks became jammed by too much tweeting, preventing organisers from receiving crucial timing and positional updates.
As a result, said IOC spokesman Mark Adams, crucial GPS data could not be received.
He said that OBS was now attempting to disperse its communications onto other networks so that information could be received.
"From my understanding one network was oversubscribed and OBS are trying to spread the load to other providers," said Adams.
"We don't want to stop people engaging in social media and sending updates, but perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates.
"Of course, if you want to send something, we are not going to say 'Don't, you can't do it', and we would certainly never prevent people.
"It's just [a case of] if it's not an urgent, urgent one, please take it easy."
Adams said talks had taken place late last night and early this morning in attempt to solve the issue.
"We are taking action on a number of things," he said.
"It's a network issue, teething troubles, and it is that which we are working on."