New Technologies Give Radio an Edge

Generally it is the television interests which command the biggest studios and the most amount of space at the Olympic Games. Television networks constitute the world's media leviathans, and they have often invested hundreds of millions of dollars in their coverage of the event and are by necessity aggressive about maximizing their opportunity. Journalists representing radio stations have traditionally had to accept less studio space, less-centrally located facilities, and less-desirable vantage points for their commentators within the arenas.

However, the advent of modern technology has recently given this contingent of the press an unexpected advantage. At the Barcelona Games radio broadcasters were able to rent and use mobile phones. This gave them great mobility within the sports installations, multiplied the points of interest they were able to cover, and increased the speed of reporting. Many of the broadcasters combined narration from their commentator position and their studio in the International Broadcasting Centre with on-the-ground reports from roving journalists via mobile telephone, achieving a distinctive style of report that had an edge over the kinds of commentary offered by television stations, which occupied fixed positions. The sophistication of modern mobile telephony systems meant that on-the-spot reports from a telephone could be integrated with other commentary while maintaining the highest sound quality.