|Department of the BBC|
|Founded||1988 Olympics and separate division of the BBC in 2000|
Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
|Specific services for the United Kingdom and rest of world|
|Barbara Slater (Director)|
BBC Sport is a department of the BBC North division providing national sports coverage for BBC Television, radio and online. The BBC holds the television and radio UK broadcasting rights to several sports, broadcasting the sport live or alongside flagship analysis programmes such as Match of the Day, Test Match Special, Ski Sunday, Today at Wimbledon and previously Grandstand. Results, analysis and coverage is also added to the BBC Sport Website and through the BBC Red Button interactive television service.
- 1 History
- 2 Television Sports rights
- 3 Previous coverage
- 4 Radio sports rights
- 5 BBC Sport Online
- 6 Interactive services
- 7 Awards
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The BBC has broadcast sport for several decades under individual programme names and coverage titles. Grandstand was one of the more notable Sport programmes, broadcasting sport since the programmes launch in 1958. The BBC first began to brand sport coverage as 'BBC Sport' in 1988 for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, by introducing the programme with a short animation of a globe circumnavigated by four coloured rings. This practice continued throughout the next two decades. Upon the launch of the BBC News website in 1997, sport was included in the BBC's online presence for the first time.
In 2009, Mihir Bose and Roger Mosey both left to be replaced with David Bond as Sports Editor in December and with Barbara Slater becoming the new Director of Sport in April 2009. Bond left the BBC in 2014.
In May 2007, the BBC Trust approved plans for several BBC departments, including BBC Sport, to be moved to a new development in Salford. The new development at MediaCityUK marks a major decentralisation of BBC departments from London and a key investment in the north of England where BBC spending in the region had previously been low. The department moved into Quay House, MediaCityUK gradually in late 2011 and early 2012 with the first Sports bulletins being broadcast from the new BBC Sport Centre on 5 March 2012.
Television Sports rights
The BBC show highlights of the Premier League on Match of the Day which has been hosted by Gary Lineker since 1999. Match of the Day 2, and Match of the Day 2 Extra, are presented by Mark Chapman. The BBC also show highlights of the Football League and the League Cup on The Football League Show and The League Cup Show. Both programmes are presented by Manish Bhasin. Dan Walker hosts Football Focus every Saturday lunchtime before Jason Mohammad presents Final Score every Saturday afternoon. The BBC will also broadcast live coverage of the FA Cup until 2018. Pundits for Match Of The Day include Alan Shearer, Danny Murphy, Phil Neville, Robbie Savage, Ruud Gullit and Rio Ferdinand. Commentators for Match of the Day include Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, Jonathan Pearce, Simon Brotherton, Steve Bower, John Motson and Alistair Mann.
BBC Sport currently holds the rights to broadcast the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the Australian Open and the Queen's Club Championships live and in full on its television platforms. The Wimbledon contract has been held by the BBC since 1937 and the current contract lasts until 2017 making it the longest such contract in the world. The BBC produce over 900 hours of footage that is distributed to broadcasters in 159 different countries. The BBC Live coverage is presented by former British tennis player and 1976 French Open Champion Sue Barker. During the event, all matches are broadcast live either on BBC One, BBC Two or the Red Button service. Highlights are also show on Today at Wimbledon, hosted by John Inverdale. Commentators used for all tennis coverage include Barry Davies, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, John Lloyd, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, Virginia Wade, Sam Smith, Tracy Austin, Tim Henman, Andrew Castle, Lindsay Davenport, Pat Cash, Greg Rudsedski, Chris Bradnam, David Mercer, Mark Petchey, Simon Reed, Matt Chilton, Peter Fleming, Mark Cox, Liz Smylie, Jo Durie, Louise Pleming, Andrew Cotter and Ronald McIntosh.
The Australian Open Finals are also broadcast on the BBC. Significant matches and matches of interest to the UK population such as British Players were broadcast but they were cut in 2012.
The BBC are showing the traditional warm up events to Wimbledon, they show Queens Club which takes place two weeks before Wimbledon, this tournament is hosted by Sue Barker with commentary by Andrew Castle, Andrew Cotter, John Lloyd & Peter Fleming. From 2013, the BBC also broadcast coverage of the Aegon International event from Eastbourne on BBC Two, this is hosted by John Inverdale with commentary by Andrew Cotter, Sam Smith, Chris Bradnam & Annabell Croft. The BBC also shares broadcasting coverage of the ATP World Tour Finals with Sky Sports, showing one match per day including one semi-final and the final which are usually shown on BBC Two. The BBC announced have signed a joint deal with Eurosport to show all of Britain's Davis Cup matches for 3 years to 2017.
The BBC holds exclusive rights to the Six Nations championship in the UK and does so until 2017. It shows all matches in the tournament live on either BBC One or BBC Two. Coverage of these games is complemented by an interactive service on BBC Red Button. The BBC hold the live rights to the Autumn Internationals for the Scottish and Welsh sides as well as highlights of the English team.
John Inverdale leads the BBC's rugby coverage. Gabby Logan and Jason Mohammad also present some of the rugby coverage. Jeremy Guscott, Sir Clive Woodward, Jonathan Davies, Martyn Williams, Chris Paterson and Keith Wood are the main pundits. The BBC's main commentators are Eddie Butler and Andrew Cotter who commentate alongside Brian Moore, Phillip Matthews and Andy Nicol.
The BBC show live coverage of the Challenge Cup including both semi finals and the final, the Four Nations and the Rugby League World Cup. Coverage is hosted by Mark Chapman and Tanya Arnold with commentary from Dave Woods, Jonathan Davies and Brian Noble. The BBC's Super League Show shows weekly highlights of the Super League, Magic Weekend, Super 8's, and the Grand Final.
The BBC covers Formula One, showing half of the races live each season and has highlights of all the races including the ones shown live. The BBC will always shows the British Grand Prix and the final race live. Coverage is presented by Suzi Perry with Eddie Jordan, Allan McNish and David Coulthard. Lee McKenzie and Tom Clarkson act as pitlane reporters. Commentators are Ben Edwards and David Coulthard. James Allen, Allan McNish and Jack Nicholls provide radio coverage with Jennie Gow as pit reporter though they also appear on BBC TV. McKenzie presents 'inside f1' for BBC News. Murray Walker continues to contribute to coverage across the BBC as he has done for over sixty years and Double world Champion and Merecedes driver Lewis Hamilton has a blog on BBC's website.
The BBC holds the exclusive terrestrial rights to show Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games and has shown live coverage of every Summer Olympics since 1960. This long-standing association between the Olympic Games has recently been extended to the 2020 Summer Olympics. For the 2012 Olympics in London the BBC had three stations showing live coverage of the games. BBC One with main coverage BBC Three with special extended coverage and BBC Two would show hours that BBC One cannot show. The same was done for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The BBC covered the 2014 Commonwealth Games with more coverage than ever before akin to their coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. The games began from 06.00am to 10.00PM on BBC One and ended a half hour earlier on BBC Three. BBC Two shown coverage when BBC One couldn't because of its news coverage from 01.00PM to 02.00pm 10.00PM to 10.30PM and 06.00PM to 07.00PM. Although BBC Two would not finish its 06.00PM coverage until 07.30PM.
The BBC covers events such as the Commonwealth Games, the European Athletics Championships, domestic British athletics and mass-participation events such as the London Marathon and the Great North Run. The BBC have the rights to show live coverage of each Diamond League meeting on the red button, with the two British rounds and final two meetings live on BBC Two and selected meetings on BBC Three. In July 2013, The BBC announced that they had extended their deal to broadcast British athletic events such as the British Championships/World or European Championship Trials and the upcoming Anniversary Games through to 2020. The BBC lost the rights to the 2011 and 2013 World Championships to Channel 4. However in November 2011 it was announced that the BBC has obtained the TV, radio and online rights to the 2015 and 2017 IAAF World Athletics events, It was also announced Channel 4 decided to hand the rights to the 2013 Championships to the BBC. This was down to Channel 4 saying they wanted to focus on Paralympic Sports. The BBC athletics presenting team consists of Gabby Logan, Colin Jackson, Steve Cram, Jonathan Edwards, Denise Lewis, Paul Dickenson, Brendan Foster, Andrew Cotter, Michael Johnson, Paula Radcliffe and Steve Backley.
The BBC holds exclusive UK rights to live coverage to one of the four men's major golf championships, The Open and joint rights to the US Masters, covering Saturday and Sunday's play live and broadcasting highlights of Thursday and Friday's play. Sky Sports show all four days of The Masters live. The BBC's coverage of The Open Championships is extensive with coverage broadcast live and uninterrupted on BBC Two between 9am and 8pm on Thursday and Friday, and on BBC One on Saturday and Sunday. The BBC also have highlights of two other European Tour events held in Britain - the BMW PGA Championship and the Scottish Open. It also covers the Women's British Open. Hazel Irvine is the lead presenter with commentary from Peter Alliss, Ken Brown, Andrew Cotter, Paul Azinger, Maureen Madill and Wayne Grady. Rishi Persad is the reporter.
From 2017, Sky Sports will have exclusive UK rights to The Open with the BBC showing a 2-hour highlights program every night instead of their current live coverage.
The 1960s BBC2 programme Pot Black was arguably the reason for the sport's great popularity over the last 40 years. Snooker produced the largest ever audience for BBC2 with the 1985 World Snooker Championship final between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor pulling in 18.5 million viewers just after midnight. The sport always pulls in large viewing figures for the BBC through tournaments such as the World Snooker Championships, the Masters and the UK Championship. The coverage is regularly hosted by Hazel Irvine or Jason Mohammad. The pundits are often Steve Davis and John Parrott with the commentary team consisting mainly of former champions of the sport, such as Ken Doherty, Dennis Taylor, John Virgo and more recently Stephen Hendry. Other commentators are used for longer tournaments such as Willie Thorne, Neal Foulds and Terry Griffiths but they are usually only heard up to the Quarter Finals stage of tournaments. For the Welsh Open, Jason Mohammad or Rob Walker host with Darren Morgan as pundit for important games. Terry Griffiths, Willie Thorne, Dominic Dale and Darren Morgan are commentators. This is shown on the BBC Red Button and on BBC 2 Wales.
As well as all of this, BBC shows the BDO World Darts Championships, they have shown this from 1978 to 2011 and from 2014 exclusively and shared it with ESPN in 2012 and 2013. Hosts for this have included David Vine in 1978 Peter Purves from 1979–1984, Tony Gubba from 1985–1990, Eamonn Holmes from 1991–1993, Dougie Donnelly from 1994–1998, John Inverdale from 1999-2000, Ray Stubbs from 2001–2009 and Colin Murray & Rob Walker from 2010–present. Bobby George has presented as well from 2000–present. The current commentators are Tony Green 1978–2010 and 2012–present, Vassos Alexander 2011–present and Jim Proudfoot 2013–present, Scott Mitchell 2014–present and John Rawling 2014–present. Former commentators are Sid Waddell 1978-1994, David Croft 2003–2012 and John Part 1995-2007. The BBC also covered the BDO Winmau World Masters from 2001 to 2010 using the same presenters and commentators for the world championship but this coverage was lost to ESPN.
They also cover the Alpine Skiing World Cup under its Ski Sunday banner; and briefly covers sports such as road and track cycling, sailing, badminton, table tennis, squash, equestrianism, gymnastics and other minority sports in an attempt to publicise the type of sports that will make up the forthcoming London 2012 Olympics. Presenters for these sports include Jill Douglas and Phil Jones who often report for other areas of BBC Sport.
BBC Sport regained coverage of the Boat Race from ITV Sport who pulled out of coverage after the 2009 event. A five-year contract was signed by BBC Sport to cover the event from 2010 after last covering the 2004 race. Clare Balding hosts this and commentary came from Andrew Cotter from 2010-2011, 2013–present and from Jonathan Legard in 2012. The race is also broadcast on BBC World News. Former presenters for this were Harry Carpenter who also commentated and Steve Rider while Barry Davies also commentated on this from the 1990s to 2004.
BBC Sport also holds the rights to the Invictus Games which is presented by Clare Balding, Ade Adepitan, Johnathan Edwards.
The BBC also have rights to highlights of Equestrianism from Badminton Horse Trials and Burghley Horse Trials. The coverage is hosted by Clare Balding and if she is unavailable Rishi Persad hosts with commentary by Mike Tucker. The BBC have also showed the World Indoor Bowls for a long period of time, currently this is presented by Richi Persad with commentary by David Corkill with commentary by current players such as Greg Harlow & Andy Thompson. Former presenters of this include David Icke and Dougie Donnelly.
Horse Racing coverage on the BBC had declined in recent years and finished altogether at the end of 2012 after Channel 4 won the rights to the Grand National, Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby. The BBC had lost many tracks over the years such as the Cheltenham Festival and other Cheltenham meetings went to Channel 4 in 1995, meetings from Newbury moved to Channel 4 in 2002, and after 50 years Glorious Goodwood and other Goodwood meetings were lost to Channel 4 in 2007. Also, in 2007 the Irish Derby, which had been included in Grandstand and later Sunday Grandstand for decades, was only shown on At the Races.
The Grand National used to be one of the biggest attractions on Grandstand with audiences around or often in excess of 10 million for the race on a Saturday afternoon. Coverage of other events such as Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby were also broadcast and presenter Clare Balding fronted the coverage. The Derby was won back after many years in 2001, when the BBC also gained rights to the Epsom Oaks, which had only ever previously been shown by ITV and Channel 4 (until 2001, the commercial broadcasters had always held the Epsom contract, but from 1960–1974, in 1977, and in 1979 the BBC had shown the Derby simultaneously with ITV, because it was a protected event which could not be exclusive to either channel).
The most famous BBC TV racing broadcaster was Peter O'Sullevan, who became one of the first ever TV sports commentators in the immediate post-war years, and stayed with the BBC until 1997.
Two of BBC Sport's major criticisms is that it no longer shows any live cricket games, having lost coverage of the Test Matches in 1999 to Channel 4. Coverage was fronted by Peter West or Tony Lewis for many years. The BBC was also criticised for not bidding for the rights to show home Test matches. At present, coverage is by Sky Sports and highlights on Channel 5.
The BBC broadcast highlights of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. These were hosted by Sonali Shah, Rishi Persad and Manish Bhasin. They also had highlights of the 2006-07 Ashes Series with Manish Bhasin. The BBC take the world feed for these tournaments which all broadcasters take including Sky Sports and this comprises commentators from broadcasters all over the world, examples of which are Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton and David Lloyd from Sky Sports as well as Mark Nicholas and Michael Vaughan from Channel 5 / Channel 9.
The BBC also broadcast the World Rally Championship until 2001, when Channel 4 bought the rights. WRC is now shown on ESPN. The British Touring Car Championship was another event the BBC lost when ITV took the broadcasting rights in 2002.
BBC Sport had coverage of the British and World Superbikes for a few years — often showing the World Championship version live. After acquiring the rights to the MotoGP World Championship in 2003 coverage of the World and British Superbikes was dropped, however it was picked up by Eurosport with highlights on Channel 4 and ITV4 respectively.
In 2003 the BBC won the rights to the MotoGP World Championship. After a successful first season fronted by Suzi Perry, coverage was expanded with more live races, and the contract was extended to the end of the 2013 season. The BBC now shows all MotoGP races, with all qualifying sessions live via the BBC Red Button. From the 2009 season, more coverage became available on qualifying and race days again through the use of the Red Button service. Jennie Gow replaced Perry for 2010, but from 2011 former pitlane reporter Matt Roberts became host, alongside the original and unchanged commentary team of Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish. Azi Farni replaced Roberts as pitlane reporter. From 2013 Qualifying moved from BBC Red Button to BBC Two. In May 2013 it was announced that the rights to MotoGP coverage had been awarded to BT Sport, in a five-year deal starting in 2014. None of the BBC Team were recruited by BT Sport for the 2014 season.
However BBC Sport still gives comprehensive coverage of the Irish Road Racing Championship, the International North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix together with other Road Racing meetings within Ireland together with the Southern 100 Motorcycle Races on the Isle of Man. These programmes are produced by BBC Northern Ireland.
Jake Humphrey presented their play-off highlights show for the first 2 years with Matt Roberts taking over duties in 2010. Both featured in the Super Bowl coverage for 2010 with Humphrey hosting again in 2011. Current studio pundits include Mike Carlson, Rod Woodson, and Jerry Rice. Since 2012 the BBC aired live weekly radio coverage of the NFL on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and air the Super Bowl on BBC TV and BBC Radio 5 Live in 2012 but Jake Humphrey stepped down and was replaced by Mark Chapman. For the 2012/13 season, the BBC broadcasting Monday Night Football on the iPlayer and via BBC HD (commencing with the Giants at Redskins game on 4 December 2012; prior to this the broadcast was only available through the Red Button or online). USP Content produces the UK broadcast and simulcasts the ESPN Monday Night Football feed but have since added in 5 Lives Darren Fletcher as host and Mark Chapman hosted the 2013 Super Bowl. The BBC gave up their NFL Coverage on TV and Radio in 2013 and Channel 4 took over as the terrestrial home of NFL on British TV showing a Sunday Night game, the two London games and their first Super Bowl in 16 years in 2014 after last covering the Super Bowl in 1998. Absolute Radio took over the BBC Radio rights.
Radio sports rights
BBC Sport had monopolised the sports commentary market on British radio since the BBC's conception but since 2000, has lost coverage of some sporting events to competitors including TalkSPORT. The majority of BBC Sport's radio coverage is broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra however coverage is also broadcast on BBC Radio 4's longwave frequencies, BBC Local Radio and the BBC World Service. Highlights are also reported on the BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 news bulletins. Although cricket is not covered on television, the sport is fully covered by the BBC on its radio platforms, primarily BBC Radio 5 Live, 5 Live Sports Extra but also on Local Radio and BBC Radio 4 Longwave. This commentary is repeated and expanded on the BBC Sports website and on the BBC Red Button, overlaid with live scorecards. While television coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games was held by Channel 4, the BBC retained the radio rights to the event and plans to broadcast events on radio stations 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.
BBC Sport Online
BBC Sport operates a sub-site of BBC Online which supplements the television and radio services of the department. The website features scores and analysis from a variety of sports including those not broadcast by the BBC. The site also includes news stories related to teams or particular sports and live broadcast coverage of some sports.
The website launched c. 2000 and was relaunched in 2003 to accommodate bigger screen sizes, with a sidebar to incorporate more sport and to parallel the relaunched BBC News website. The current look was implemented in February 2012, featuring the bold colour scheme of the logo, the new horizontal navigation bar across the whole of the site and design characteristics being implemented across the BBC website. The new look gave more prominence to live sports, programmes and events as well as news on the individual teams. In January 2013, the BBC Sport app was launched on the iOS app store. An Android version was launched in February that year.
Until 2011, the BBC Sport website hosted an online sports forum entitled 606, named after the original start-time of the radio programme – six minutes past six. It covered a large variety of topics which included cricket, football, rugby (league and union), tennis, athletics, motorsport and many more. Sporting teams usually had their own individual pages where members could post and comment on any news or topics relating to that team. Users accessed through an account system and could comment and rate their opinions. The forum was moderated by the BBC and any posts deemed to have broken the 'house rules' was not posted.
As part of the reduction in BBC Online's budget of 25%, all non-essential services that did not focus around core products were closed. As all posts had to be post moderated, and as conversations were increasingly being done through social media websites that BBC Sport were a part of, the site was closed on 31 May 2011.
BBC Sport also offers a service on the BBC Red Button interactive television service. The service offers a sports multi-screen service covering sports news stories in addition to five streams that can broadcast sport through the red button. This is often used for uninterrupted coverage and scores over a commentary, or for an alternative sport event unable to be covered on the main BBC TV or radio services. A key example is of the broadcasts of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships as matches on other courts may be displayed through the red button while a higher ranking match on a main court is taking place on the main TV service.
BBC Sport also award several awards in recognition of the sports community. The mainstay of this is the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, created in 1954 and awarded in a high profile ceremony in December of each year. There are several other awards given around the same time that focus on different areas of the sports industry, for example youth performers and coaches and trainers.
The awards also include the BBC Nations and Regions, who often present awards at local ceremonies for similar reasons; the winners of these local awards are therefore frequently put forward for the national awards themselves allowing all areas of the country to be represented at the national awards.
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