BBC to broadcast every single minute of London Olympics across 24 HD channels

The BBC is making its 24 separate HD-quality live video streams of the London Olympics available to cable and satellite broadcasters for the duration of the Games. That means the broadcaster is offering both Virgin Media and Sky the option to show every single minute of every single sport during the event.

Sky has already responded, saying that it will be adding 48 new channels to its EPG during the Games starting on 24 July; 24 high-definition feeds, 24 in standard definition. The HD channels will be broadcast in 1080i (like the rest of Sky's HD output). It will also be offering the BBC's red button Olympic's coverage.

Pocket-lint has contacted Virgin Media to see if it will follow suit, but is waiting to hear back (see update below).

As well as broadcast on pay-TV, all of the video streams will be available to view online, through the BBC Sport website. Tablets, smartphones and connected TVs will also be able to access the content.

All of the 24 live HD streams are to be offered in addition to the BBC's existing coverage on BBC One (in SD and HD) and BBC Three.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to cable and satellite providers to extend our online service to millions of TV viewers across the UK," said Roger Mosey, director BBC London 2012.

"BBC One and BBC Three will remain the flagship channels for the Olympics. But, as the London 2012 Olympic Games will be the first truly ‘Digital Games’, we wanted to offer an unprecedented amount of live sporting action to the widest possible audience through these 24 live streams, giving vastly more choice than ever before."

If you don't like sport, we suggest leaving the country for a month.

UPDATE: We've now heard from Virgin Media which has confirmed it will be offering all of its TiVo subscribers the 24 live HD streams through the new BBC Sport application we first wrote about at the end of last year. The app will be accessible through the proprietary BBC/TiVo Red Button service, and will aggregate all of the content so that it's selectable from the one place.

Individual broadcasts will also be found around the general user interface, such as in "Browse". We've been told that there's already an Olympics folder, for instance.

Pocket-lint has also heard from Freesat, which will be adding the 24 temporary new channels to its TV Guide too. In addition, it will be offering access to the live streams through its own BBC Red Button service. Naturally, these will all be offered subscription-free - with Freesat being the only TV service to do so.

Are you excited that every second of the London Olympics will be broadcast live? Let us know in the comments below...