The Olympic Games came and went faster than anyone could say “Did you see that?” With such a momentous occasion in full view of a vast number of Olympic supporters, SuperSport had a massive undertaking to ensure that the production went off without a hitch. We had an extensive, dedicated team who ensured that every single aspect of the broadcast and the online and offline offerings operated smoothly without any hiccups.
How did we accomplish this?
SuperSport transformed one of the DStv breakaway rooms into an Olympics Hub – or as most saw it, the ultimate TV room for any sports fan. With 25 screens working concurrently to broadcast every incoming and outgoing Olympic feed, it was easy to get lost in each record attempt, breath-taking dive, victory lap and all the tears that were shed. The Olympic Hub was, however, more than just a glorified viewing room – it allowed everyone involved in the Olympics to be right in the centre of the production and know first-hand, exactly what was happening or changing at any time.
Olympics gone social
Social media played a major role in SuperSport’s Olympics offering, and will continue to do so with popular sporting events and shows in the future. By broadcasting tweets and Facebook comments on air, we were able to integrate viewers and the actual broadcast, allowing them access to what others were thinking, as opposed to simply hearing views from the commentators or announcers.
Being so close to the producers allowed us the opportunity to act on viewer feedback immediately. We passed our viewers’ feedback straight to the team, ensuring that any positive or negative opinions, comments and suggestions were considered and implemented on the spot during the broadcast. Not only did this improve our broadcast, but it also improved interaction with the public and enhanced viewer satisfaction.
Our proudest moments
One of the most enjoyable aspects of working on the social media team during the Olympics was experiencing the euphoria that followed the participation and success of our athletes. The flurry of patriotic tweets and comments was heart-warming and always brought smiles to our faces. I had the opportunity of speaking to some of our gold medallists about the stir they created on social media and from what I gathered; all the tweets and comments certainly meant a great deal to them.
It’s awe-inspiring to see how much social media is being integrated into our productions, and lives in general. Although we’re still testing the waters, it’s exciting to think about what we can be doing from an integration perspective for future sporting events. Interacting with the audience and giving the public the opportunity to determine the content you are producing is – for me – the future of broadcasting.