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Broadcasting the Olympics, 1948

July 24th, 2012 (02:53 pm)

A friend on Facebook is reeling at the disappearance of non-sport programmes from BBC1 for the duration of the Olympic Games, with an expanded BBC3 schedule being swelled by the Olympics. This inspired me to hunt down a broadcasting schedule for a random day in the 1948 Olympics, the last to be held in London. I thought I'd also share it here.

Friday 30 July 1948's BBC Television schedule consisted of a Demonstration Film from 11am-12noon, with Olympics coverage from 2.30-4pm, 5-6.45pm, 8-8.30pm and 8.45-9.15pm. The only other programmes were Newsreel at 8.30pm, Inventor's Club from 9.15 to 10pm, and News (sound only) from 10-10.15pm.

On BBC radio there were Olympics reports on the Home Service from 1.10-1.20pm, 6.15-6.30pm, 9.15-9.20pm, and on the Light from 12.55-1pm and 10.15-10.30pm. The Third, as might be expected, ignored it. So as close to blanket coverage on television as might be expected, with a token non-Olympics or news programme, but more absent than I had expected on radio.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/527720.html.

Comments

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: July 24th, 2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
Lemond / Hinault

I must admit that I was rather stunned, when flicking through the Sky guide last night, to discover that the BBC has no less than 48 Olympic Channels (BBC Olympic 1 through 24 in both HD and SD)!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 24th, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)

It's also odd to hear Sky News enthusiastically plugging the BBC Olympics channels, though given Freeview viewers can't see them this isn't that surprising.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: July 24th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
shaolin

I must admit, I think it is a good idea to separate channels into sports and non-sports - then at least the 2 won't constantly interfere with each other.

I might even end up watching some sport...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 24th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
Horace Walpole

I think that if you have the television on at all in the next few weeks it will be even more difficult than usual to avoid sport!

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: July 25th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)

I meant voluntarily :-D

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)

I admit to watching the first ten minutes or so of the Great Britain v New Zealand match this afternoon, before returning to work.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: July 24th, 2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
Marxist

Possibly you remember a Monty Python sketch where a preview of forthcoming BBC programmes ended every sentence with "... and of course there's sport." I quote that a lot and suspect I will be doing so even more over the next few weeks.

I am curious as to what Inventor's Club was; perhaps a less commercial predecessor of Dragon's Den or simply a bunch of eccentrics (all dressed in tweed and corduroy) showing their latest gizmos created for their own sake.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 24th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)

Indeed... and I suspect Inventor's Club was one tweed-clad eccentric, with the members of the 'club' being the 'lookers-in'.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: July 25th, 2012 12:40 pm (UTC)
Marxist

Ah, for the days when the viewing public knew their place and didn't try to get on reality TV shows (etc.) all the time!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2012 11:16 am (UTC)
RadioTimesRichardDimbleby

I've found a reference to Inventor's Club in a forum post at the foot of this page. It seems unsurprising for the BBC of the day that the broadcaster himself did not own a television set.

ETA: Though it seems from the relevant extract in this book preview that it did have a Dragon's Den element!

Edited at 2012-07-25 11:18 am (UTC)

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: July 25th, 2012 09:21 am (UTC)

Very interesting - thanks!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2012 11:11 am (UTC)

I'm tempted to investigate trends - 1952, 1956, 1960 onwards - though not in any great depth. I certainly remember Olympics coverage being shared between the two main UK television broadcasters.