The BBC is the largest broadcasting organization in the world. Its mission is to enrich people's lives with programmes that inform, educate and entertain.
It is a public service broadcaster, established by a Royal Charter and funded by the licence fee that is paid by UK households.
The BBC uses the income from the licence fee to provide services including 8 national TV channels plus regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and an extensive website.
In a unique collaboration between the BBC, the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) and UK local authorities, the BBC Big Screen project was conceived as a way to bring life to the public spaces of cities across the UK.
The BBC Big Screens, mostly 100 inch LED's, display a combination of major broadcast events including news, sports, music and movies. The screens are also interactive, allowing an audience to text comments, submit photos or play interactive applications.
Each screen is customized to reflect the life of the surrounding community with a wide range of local content including news and upcoming event listings through partnerships with local organizations.
During the London 2012 games the screens and areas around them will become “live” event sites with news and live coverage related to the Olympic and Paralympic games on display.
The Audience software platform provides the master control for the BBC Big Screen network and is responsible for the scheduling and management of content, audio level control, data automation and also provides viewers remote access to the screens over the internet.
The BBC operates the master control centre from Birmingham, while the Audience platform enables operations in each town to provide local input. Each screen is connected to the BBC's global broadcast network, and exploits internet technology to deliver a 24-hour-a-day schedule, simulcasting BBC 1, 2, 3 or 4 video programming.
The BBC Big Screens have become a popular and powerful tool for urban regeneration and promoting community involvement. The model has now been rolled out in 20 towns and cities including Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Swindon, Derby, Dover, Manchester, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Middlesbrough and Leeds, with plans to expand to 40 locations by 2012. Some of the special events displayed on the BBC Big Screens have included live coverage the World Cup, the Beijing Olympics, and the London Opera.