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BBC deploys 609 staff to cover Glasgow's Games 2014

MORE than 600 BBC staff will be on duty to cover the Commonwealth Games as the broadcaster strives to ensure viewers are given a "front-row seat" to the action.

The Corporation revealed yesterday an army of employees and freelancers would be deployed to document the 17 sports taking place at 14 venues during the 11 days of competition, with coverage extending across TV and radio.

Bruce Malcolm, Chief Operating Officer at BBC Scotland and the corporation's Head of Commonwealth Games, said the 609-person strong operation will be among the biggest and most complex to have been delivered from Scotland with live streaming of every sport online and continuous coverage on both BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Scotland.

Additional footage will also be shown through the red button feature while BBC Breakfast will also be hosted at the broadcaster's Pacific Quay headquarters on Clydeside for the duration of the Games.

The BBC is the domestic TV rights holder for Glasgow 2014 and has a duty to provide coverage for the UK.

Mr Malcolm said: "The eyes of the world will be focused on Glasgow from July 23, when the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow takes place at Celtic Park.

"It's the first time the Games have been back in the UK since Manchester in 2002, and the first time they've been back in Scotland since the Edinburgh Games in 1986.

"Since then audience expectations for coverage of major sporting events have increased hugely, with the BBC's coverage of the Olympic Games setting a new benchmark. The standard has been set very high when it comes to broadcasting Scotland's largest and highest profile event for many years - both in the sporting field, and through our cultural output."

The BBC team is 20 per cent smaller than the one deployed to cover the 2012 Olympics in London, but more than double the number of staff sent to Brazil for the World Cup and includes representatives from BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland, Gaelic, the 12 English Regions and BBC News.

BBC Scotland's Pacific Quay HQ has been designated "mission control" for the operation, although some coverage will be also be provided from Quay House in Salford, Manchester.

Free events to visitors will be staged at the Scottish studio, including a string of BBC programmes including The One Show, Radio 2's Ken Bruce, BBC Radio 5 Live, Mastermind and A Question of Sport.

Mr Malcolm added: "There are fewer sports and days of competition at a Commonwealth Games but instead of a singular Team GB, we must tell the stories of competitors from all four nations of the UK plus the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

"We've worked hard to identify ways of reducing our staffing requirements for Glasgow 2014, leading to a significant reduction in the number of staff working on the event while still ensuring we can deliver all of the action.

"And for the sake of doubt, let me assure you every member of staff has a clear role to play to bring the unparalleled coverage we're bringing."

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