AP announces coverage plans for 2012 Summer Olympics

July 12, 2012
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Broadcast facilities available overlooking Olympic Park
London Olympics 2012
The Olympic Stadium is seen behind tractors loaded with plants at the London 2012 Olympic Park in east London, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, as work continues to get the park ready for the summer games which begin July 27. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Robotic camera
One of the remote-controlled robotic cameras to be used at the London Olympics is prepared by staff photographer Morry Gash in the Excel Center at the weightlifting venue.
The Associated Press will use a wide array of digital tools and innovations to display its reporting strengths across all platforms at the 2012 Summer Games in London.

Here are the highlights of AP’s coverage plans:

  • AP’s Live Desk will offer a continuous flow of short-form color, updates and observations from the streets and Olympic venues in London. These brief "Eyes on London" reports will work in tandem with AP text stories and allow customers who check in regularly — especially on mobile devices — to see what’s happening at a glance. "Eyes on London" will be distributed on all major AP services, both news and sports, several times an hour.  

  • Remote-controlled robotic cameras at the swimming, weightlifting and diving venues will provide alternative angles, including under water, to supplement AP’s regular photo coverage. In addition to a selection of hand-placed remote cameras at a several other venues, such as those for gymnastics, track and field, AP photographers will use the latest Canon 1DX cameras and take advantage of new workflows and technology to move more photos faster than ever before. 

  • A white-label, customizable Summer Games microsite, complete with embeddable widgets, is already available on the websites of a growing number of AP member newspapers and broadcasters, such as Advance Internet’s NJ.com (http://summergames.ap.org/nj) and the Citizen Tribune in Tennessee (http://summergames.ap.org/citizentribune). Building on the success of similar AP sites developed for the 2010 Winter Games and the NCAA men’s basketball championships last March, the Summer Games microsite is expected to be featured on as many as 300 sites by the time the opening ceremony unfolds on July 27. State Farm and MetroPCS are the anchor advertisers on the AP microsite and member websites can also book ads into their branded versions of the pages. Responsive design ensures that the site will look as good on a tablet or smartphone as it does on a desktop.

  • AP’s popular news app, AP Mobile, downloaded by more than 11 million users across all mobile platforms, has expanded its offerings to provide a complete Summer Games section, including medal counts, athlete profiles, results, stories, photos and video. Fidelity Investments is the anchor advertiser for AP's coverage on the mobile app. You can download the app at www.getapmobile.com.

  • AP will capture Olympic news for the first time in high-definition video, now delivered to AP broadcast customers following a phased rollout begun eight months ago. AP has made an investment of $30 million over the past three years to convert all of its video ingestion, production and playout to HD.

  • HTML interactives – seamlessly viewable across platforms, from desktops to phones to tablets – will be provided by AP for the first time.

  • AP’s recently launched _@AP_Sports on Twitter will be among several accounts to follow during the games. The full list of Olympic-related AP staff accounts can be found at http://bit.ly/NmZZjt. In addition, AP will have its most robust social-media monitoring program to date, a 24/7 comprehensive operation engaged with news and user-generated content as it develops. AP will be harnessing Google Plus Hangouts to provide video conversations with some of its staff from the games.

“As the media landscape has rapidly changed over the years, we have innovated to ensure that we bring customers and consumers what they want during the Olympics,” said Lou Ferrara, the AP managing editor with oversight of sports. “Our staff is excited to cover these historic games – they will be some of the most watched and consumed ever. We are ready to provide what the world wants.” 

AP will staff the games with 91 text reporters and editors, 85 photographers and photo editors, 18 video journalists and three radio reporters, plus 21 technology staffers responsible for ensuring all of AP’s content reaches its customers. In addition, many staffers at AP’s London hub and New York headquarters will handle much of the material for digital and other distribution. 

Additional AP coverage plans:

  • A new daily text feature, “5 Olympic Things to Know,” will launch on July 24, three days before the opening ceremony, and run the duration of the games. It will move on AP’s wires and mobile platform each morning, Eastern time in the United States, which will be midafternoon London time, and underscore the top things that have happened or are about to happen in London each day and evening, from a global perspective. It will build on the AP’s “10 Things to Know,” a rundown of the top items of the day, which has become one of the more popular features among customers and readers – particularly on mobile devices.   

  • AP Images, the commercial photo licensing unit of AP, will make available thousands of new photos, shot by AP’s top photographers throughout the games. This new wealth of images will add to the more than 135,000 Olympic-related photos available on APImages.com, including several packages: inspirational and historical moments over the past century from the games, portraits and features of top athletes, Olympic venues and preparation in London. 

  • Global Media Services, AP's video production arm, will operate two facilities for the games, offering international broadcasters unrivaled views both of the center of London and the Olympic stadium. See video showing views from AP’s live standup position in the Olympic Park

  • GraphicsBank, AP’s videographic service, will expand the number of sophisticated animations and 3D and static graphics before and during the games. And for the first time during an Olympics, they will be in HD.

About the AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.org. 

For further information:

Paul Colford
Director of AP Media Relations

Heidi Tan

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