Inside the BBC’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic surfing coverage
After a couple of thousand years’ of experimentation with mainly pointless hobbies masquerading as athletic endeavours that will never catch on, like slow walking and dancing horses, the Olympics has finally come to its senses (had the wad of bitcoins pushed under the right IOC executive committee member’s hotel room door), and unleashed surfing on the global sports fan.
Where & how to watch it?
The BBC are hosting surfing on the Red Button, with the excellent Ed Leigh, host of Ski Sunday, heading up the coverage joined by WL podcast co-host Ben Mondy in the co-commentary position.
While the early round coverage was sporadic, Leigh & Mondy hit the red button’s airwaves at 01.20am BST 27/07 for the first women’s quarter final, and then broadcast for a non-stop 7 hours of Olympic surfing.
“It might even go live BBC2 early on” said Mondy, before offering an unfavourable and very much personal opinion about diving or other sports that may be being shown on the Beeb’s two live terrestrial channels, that in no way represents the official view of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
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Unlike WSL events that have ad breaks and VT’s running almost continually during the stream, Leigh and Mondy will be calling a non stop live feed out of Tokyo.
Comfort breaks could prove tricky for the pair, both well into their 40’s and thus not having the bladders of, say your Kanoa Igarashis (or your Amuro Tsuzukis).
“Otherwise it’s not too dissimilar to our usual (WSL QS broadcast studio)” said Mondy, who’ll be travelling to and from Salford’s Media City by Addison Lee people carrier, stocked with little bottles of both still and sparkling water (due to the unique way the BBC is funded).
BBC Sport’s YouTube channel will also host highlight packages and videos from the broadcast.
Outside UK/non BBC coverage
Complete coverage is also available via the Discovery+ app where live streams of each individual sports and highlights are shown via Eurosport. The app will coast you £30/year or £7/month.
NBC are the official Olympic broadcast partner in the USA, Seven Network in Australia and Globo in Brazil. 88 World Champ Barton Lynch is in Tokyo for the host broadcast live stream, by all accounts to glowing reports from Oz based viewers (or Australians overseas who’ve coughed$9.99 for a VPN).
For a different take, more in the watch along style, former world no2 Brad Gerlach is hosting his own commentary on his @waveki IG Live 7.45 PST Monday 27th / 12.45 AEST Tues 27th. “The gloves will be coming off!” says Gerr.