BBC looks to continue collaboration beyond Olympics

The BBC is hoping to continue the culture of collaboration between internal departments and external companies it embraced around the Olympics and make that way of working the “norm” within the organisation.

BBC Olympics

Speaking at The Guardian’s Changing Media Summit in London, Ralph Rivera, BBC’s director of future media, said the scale and spirit of the Olympics allowed collaboration to become possible but said he is working to ensure it is the “norm” at the organisation, not the “exception”.

During the Olympics the BBC worked with other companies – such as O2, Sky, Virgin Media, BT and others – to deliver its round the clock coverage on linear TV, online and mobile as it looked to make “the Olympics for digital what the Coronation was for TV”.

Internally, Rivera said he is working to do more to “connect the boffins and the luvvies”.

He added: “At the BBC, when innovation and creativity come together, we produce amazing experiences. Just look at the groundbreaking filming and editing techniques for Frozen Planet, Sherlock, Africa and the interactive video for the Olympics.”

When Rivera joined the BBC in 2010 he said the organisation was operating in silos and even when it was planning its move to the new Broadcasting House there was initially going to be a “Future Media floor”.

Instead Rivera has distributed his team across radio, TV and news to ensure products, such as the forthcoming The Voice app to coincide with the first episode of the new series, are brought to market quicker.

He said: “I’m very focused on…bringing together editorial with product and engineering and [user experience development] as opposed to trying to carve off a team and work in a silo. When you have disruption [such as new technology] you have to recreate the machine and the best way to do that is to get the creative people together with the technologists.”

The BBC has got to the point where it has “mastered being digital”, Rivera believes, which means it needs to move to the next stage of becoming “converged”.

Rivera said: “Right now we’re focusing on executing being connected. I can’t say what being converged means yet but I do know it’s the point at which the lines between radio, TV and online start to blur. Unlike 12 years ago, the tech is able and the audiences – especially young audiences – are willing. The key question is are we [the BBC] willing? Are we ready to start using the internet as a creative platform rather than just a distribution platform?

“I intend to make sure that’s the case at the BBC. The privilege of the licence fee comes with the responsibility to move forward and to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here