Public Readings - Olympic Games 2012: BBC apologises for 'appalling coverage' of men's cycling. Poor audio and commentary mistakes cause enraged viewers to slam TV bosses on first day of the Games
The BBC had to apologise for its coverage of the Olympic cycling yesterday after it was savaged by viewers angry at repeated mistakes, poor audio and lack of graphics.
It also appeared that the commentators believed Colombian Rigoberto Urán was winning the race, only for Kazakhstan's Alexandr Vinokourov to comfortably take the gold.
Presenter Jake Humphrey apologised for background noise during his links, claiming that the problem had been out of the corporation's control. Gary Lineker, who is presenting much of the Games, also apologised for the camera work, tweeting: "This is the Olympics. The coverage is from a pool of broadcasters from across the world. I'm afraid that's how it is regardless of who hosts."
The quality of coverage triggered an avalanche of derision on Twitter. One viewer wrote: "BBC cycling commentary and coverage absolutely appalling … no time checks and misidentified riders!" Another wrote: "The #olympics2012 cycling road race coverage contained literally the worst commentary I have ever heard. Embarrassingly bad coverage."
However, the Paralympic pursuit and time trial world champion, Colin Lynch, from Ireland, pleaded with people new to the sport not to be "put off". He tweeted: "If you're watching cycling for the first time today on TV, I promise – it usually has much better coverage and commentary. Don't be put off."
A BBC spokesman said: "The pictures are provided by the host broadcaster OBS to all global rights holders, these are not BBC produced pictures. We have raised our concerns with OBS who have explained that there were GPS problems with the Locog supplied timing graphics, which resulted in a lack of information for the commentary teams.
"A number of tests were run by OBS this morning on parts of the course. "We've been assured that everything is being done to try and resolve this ahead of tomorrow's Women's Road Race."