|Presented by||Matt Smith
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Original run||August 2004 – May 2009|
|Preceded by||Football League Extra|
The Championship (formerly known as Championship Goals between January 2008 and May 2008) was a British football television programme featuring highlights from the Coca Cola Football League. It was almost always shown on Sunday mornings on ITV, presented by Matt Smith. Despite its name, it also covered Football League One and Football League Two matches, albeit to a lesser extent than Championship matches.
The show included various additional features since it began in August 2004 and had its format changed due to widespread criticism of the number of commercial breaks. Link scenes usually involved Smith speaking to camera from various parts of the stadium of the featured match, such as the dressing rooms, the referee's office, the boot room, the pie stand and so on.
Matt Smith was the presenter from the start and very rarely absent. On the rare occasions he was absent, Andy Townsend, Robbie Earle, Craig Doyle and Dave Beckett deputised. Angus Scott previously had filled in before he left to work for Setanta Sports.
The pundits (who often reported too) were Robbie Earle and Andy Townsend. They gave their analysis on some games but usually reported in depth on one particular game in the Football League. As of the 2007–08 season, pundits were very rarely used on the programme.
The main reporters were Ned Boulting, Gabriel Clarke and Dave Beckett. There were also many occasional reporters such as Richard Henwood, Tom Skippings, Mike Hall, Andy Kerr, Mick Conway and Gary Bloom.
Commentators on The Championship were Peter Drury, Jon Champion, Clive Tyldesley and John Rawling. Others included Phil Duffell, Tony Jones, Bob Symonds, Martyn Dean, Trevor Harris, Donovan Blake. Angus Scott was also a regular commentator before his move to Setanta.
End of the show
The show came to an end in May 2009 when ITV's Football League and League Cup highlights package expired. As of the 2009–10 season, the BBC have taken over the highlights package and broadcast a similarly formatted programme called The Football League Show on Saturday nights after the existing Match of the Day. Highlights are also available online at the BBC Sport website.
- "Football League coverage on the BBC". BBC Press Office. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009.