BBC Breakfast to become Olympics highlights show for Rio 2016 as medals decided in the early hours

The time difference between Brazil and the UK means the TV schedules will look very different this August as both BBC1 and BBC4 are given over fully to Olympics coverage


The BBC Breakfast sofa is going to look very different this summer, with Olympics highlights taking over the morning news programme throughout Rio 2016.


The four-hour time difference between Brazil and Britain means that many events will not finish until 4am UK time, making watching every gold medal race live a challenge for even the most dedicated Olympic viewers.

The morning BBC Breakfast slot will therefore become in effect an Olympics highlights show, picking up the major stories from the night before every morning from 6th to 21st August.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a Games west of the UK in 20 years,” said Ron Chakraborty, the BBC’s lead executive of Major Events for BBC Sport. “It gives us the challenge of how to catch up with the overnight action. The Breakfast sofa is being moved two floors down into the heart of the BBC Sport centre in Salford.”


Throughout the Games, both BBC1 and BBC4 will be broadcasting full Olympic coverage from 1pm until 4am every day.

In addition, at 9:15am BBC2 will broadcast a four-hour replay of the BBC1 coverage from the night before – although there will also be a ten-minute highlights package available via the BBC Sport website.

Clare Balding returns to lead the BBC’s Olympic coverage along with presenters Gabby Logan, Hazel Irvine, Mark Chapman and Jason Mohammad.

BBC Radio 5 Live will also be broadcasting live Olympics coverage every day from midday to four o’clock in the morning.

“The BBC’s coverage of London 2012 was the most watched TV event in UK broadcasting history and we are committed to bringing the same high quality, in-depth coverage to Rio 2016,” said director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater.

“The incredible offering across all our platforms will deliver every moment of the Games through a truly interactive, personalised experience, while at the same time fully immersing audiences in this iconic sporting event just as we were so proud to do four years ago.”


Rio 2016 begins with the Opening Ceremony on Friday 5th August, and ends on Sunday 21st August.