The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will represent a “huge logistical challenge” for BBC Sport, director Barbara Slater has admitted.
The broadcaster today gave an update on its plans for the showcase sporting event of next year ahead of the main World Cup draw in Bahia in December.
Gary Lineker has been confirmed as the presenting lead for television, while Mark Pougatch lead coverage on Radio 5 Live. BBC News coverage will be headed up by sports editor David Bond, while BBC World Service will link up with BBC Brasil to cover the international angles.
And Slater admitted there was an additional pressure on the BBC after the huge success of London 2012.
She said: “The BBC’s broadcasting of the London 2012 Olympics set a new benchmark for digital coverage of a major sporting event – and audiences have told us they expect the BBC to raise the bar in the future.
“The World Cup is the highlight of the international football calendar and next year’s tournament will most likely be watched or listened to, by over three-quarters of the UK population.
“We believe the quality of our production must do justice to that level of national interest as well as the significant investment required to acquire the broadcast rights.”
The tournament will based in 12 cities, across two time zones in a country that’s 30 times the size of the UK.
And Slater added: “There are 48 matches in the opening 15 days, so it represents a huge logistical challenge for our planners – an effort outweighed only by the privilege and sense of pride that comes with covering a World Cup in Brazil.
“The good news for audiences in the UK is that nearly all matches will kick-off between 5pm and 11pm BST. All the matches will be shown live on TV by the BBC and our long-standing broadcast partners for the tournament, ITV.
“The BBC will be offering more content than ever for this World Cup, with an aspiration to deliver a ‘24-hour service’, personalised according to whatever device or platform that audiences want to use.”
The main television studio will be located in central Rio, in one of FIFA’s 10 international studio sets.