Without Wimbledon

Published on 25 June 2008 in , , , ,

So Wimbledon started on Monday, and not being a tennis (or indeed a sport) fan, all Wimbledon really means to me is that I miss out on most of my favourite TV shows. The ones that aren’t being disrupted by Euro 2008 anyway�

From a work perspective, it feels a little weird because Freesat is missing something that’s become a key part of the Wimbledon experience – the ability to choose which match you want to watch. Every year, Wimbledon Interactive draws in millions of users keen to choose their tennis court from up to six options. There’s many people who think that that’s all BBCi is.

So when you don’t have it on Freesat, naturally people ask questions like “Why isn’t it there!?!”, sometimes followed by “Couldn’t you have planned your work better?” or “Why is it taking so long? It’s only switching between different video options for goodness sake!?!”

The answer is, naturally, if we could have, we would have. Unfortunately nothing is ever as simple as it seems – templates have to be built, content feeds have to be plumbed in, servers configured, configuration systems have to be connected, it all has to be integrated into the existing service and codebases, and of course everything has to be tested thoroughly too. Oh and don’t mention the asimux changes (what asimux changes? – Ed I told you not to mention them�)

Although interactive sport will be available in time for the Olympics, there’s no doubt going to be a few more “Why?” questions as time goes on – there’s no denying that BBCi on Freesat is behind the other platforms – we’re trying to catch up with other services which have grown over years. The backlog of missing features and services is, well, rather long to say the least, but we’ll be adding more every couple of months.

Although that’s not much consolation to someone who really wants to use it now…