London 2012 Olympics

This year's London Olympic and Paralympic games are set to provide the largest digital spectacle in history, with media personnel set to outnumber athletes by a ratio of two to one.

While 10,500 athletes will take part in the event, around 21,000 media accreditation passes have been issued to journalists, technicians, producers and cameramen - with the major broadcasters sending hundreds of staff to cover the games.

The BBC will deploy around 756 staff during the games, while US media giant NBC is sending a colossal 2,700 people in order to produce daily coverage. Agence France-Presse is said to be deploying a multilingual team of around 150 journalists, plus another thirty journalists from its German subsidiary SID, and US newswire Associated Press will have around 200 staff on the ground.

Whereas journalists covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics were constrained by onerous accreditation and coverage restrictions, this year's event is subject to far looser regulations - and the broadcasters are confident it will mark a milestone in the coverage of major public events.

The BBC, the official Olympic broadcaster, said "this will be the first truly 'Digital Olympics'", and promised to offer views "the most comprehensive coverage of an Olympics Games ever."

"This will be the first truly 'Digital Olympics', with the BBC offering viewers the most comprehensive coverage of an Olympic Games ever," said the official Olympic broadcaster BBC.

The US newswire Associated Press will have around 200 staff on the ground, and news articles and agency dispatch aggregator Yahoo! is set to more than double the amount of journalists being sent to cover the Games.

The London Olympics and Paralympics will bring 204 nations and over a million spectators to the UK's capital this year, but the sheer mass of journalists, corporate representatives and company employees set to attend the Games will demonstrate the most digital way the event have ever been covered in history.

After the Beijing Olympics put heavy restrictions on internet use and attendees, mainly from media outlets and across social media, the number of journalists, technicians, producers and cameramen are set to far outweigh the amount the actual amount of athletes competing for a medal.

Social media coverage is also set to explode.

While 10,500 athletes are set to compete in the Games, "media accredited attendees" have reached 21,000 over the course of the spectacle - around double of actual competitors.

TV and Print

Media outlets around the world have stepped up the number of the journalists attending the London Games, as the UK will not be burdened with heavy accreditation and coverage restrictions that were imposed on them at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

There will be 21,000 "accredited" journalists reporting from the Olympic venues spread across London, while 6,000 to 8,000 of their colleagues will be covering the non-sport aspect of the Games, such as transport and security.

IT Overhaul

Unlike the Beijing Olympics, where complaints were frequent about the poor and limited internet connection and IT services, the Games organisers constructed two huge press centres at the heart of the Olympic Park.

British Telecom (BT) has pledged to install a network capacity four times larger than that of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and will maintain all internet and telephone networks that the thousands of journalists will depend upon. Furthermore, wireless internet connection on key "hotspots" on the tube network have already gone live.

BT predicts that it will have to accommodate for some 60 gigabytes of information every second, equivalent to 3,000 photographs, during its busiest periods.

After slow Internet connections left many journalists frustrated in Beijing, BT have pledged a network capacity four times bigger than that of 2008.

Stepping up Social Media and 3D

In a previously unprecedented move, parts of the Olympic Games will be shown in 3D and social media is set to be utilised in a way that had never been done before.

The BBC will be stream the TV coverage live for the first time and viewers with 3D televisions will be able to watch the Games in this new dimension.

The BBC confirmed that it will show the opening and closing ceremonies in 3D, as well as the highlights which will be broadcast in the evening. However, the men's 100 metre finals will be the only sporting event shown live in the format.

NBC, the official Games' broadcaster in the US, will be following the BBC's lead as it plans to air more than 200 hours of 3D coverage with a next-day delay.

"This will be the most comprehensively covered event in television history," said Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Group chairman.

Copyright Minefield

While the London Olympics and Paralympics are set to be the most "digital Olympics" in recent history, IBTimes UK has highlighted the copyright minefield that non-officially affiliated corporates and media agencies face when covering the games.

With the BBC and NBC buying official rights to cover and advertise their coverage of the Olympic games, other media outlets will need to be careful about how they cover the event, how corporates brand their businesses and how spectators use social media to illustrate the time they are experiencing to the wider world.

Effectively, if you aren't a corporate sponsor, you are pretty much breaking a trademark rule in some way.

When companies pay buckets of cash to sponsor a major event like the Olympics, it is natural legal restrictions to trademark and exclusivity, in some cases in place.

However, the London2012 Olympics have taken it to a whole other level, making people weary and fundamentally fed up of the games already.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) insisted that legalities around the trademark, whether talking about it, taking pictures, the logo or even putting on a pub chalk board that "you can watch the London Olympics in here," is there to secure the big contracts and protect sponsors.

Subsequently, Locog and International Olympic Committee (IOC) have created a minefield for breaches of copyright.

According to new rules, "shops who have used the word 'Olympic' in the name of their business are exempt from policing by the LOCOG as long as the name was established before 1995, a decade before the 2005 London bid."

Now, even using one of the two of the following words in an expression, "Games, Two Thousand and Twelve, 2012, Twenty-Twelve," are likely to be considered a breach of the rules.

Expressions with words, London, medals, sponsors, summer, gold, silver or bronze is another likely breach. Even posting your pictures of you gurning with a thumbs up in Olympic Park could land you with a fine, although exact use of social media during the Games has yet to be finalised.