Vidiprinter

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The vidiprinter is the name given to a sports scores and results ticker service provided to media organisations. It is familiar to football fans because the football version of the vidiprinter is seen on BBC One and Sky Sports News on Saturday afternoons and on Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday nights when a significant number of games are being played.

Versions of the vidiprinter are available online. However no internet site currently provides the full range of competitions of the scores and results feed provided and now none of the websites use the provided competition codes - the last to do so was Sportinglife. On 26 October 2013 Final Score stopped showing the raw data feed and opted to show its own edited version of the vidiprinter and BBC Scotland followed suit two weeks later. Therefore, people can now only access the full set of competitions provided by this service when Sky Sports is showing the vidiprinter feed on air.

Vidiprinter data supplier[edit]

Since its inception, the vidiprinter service was supplied by the Press Association, the UK's national and international news and sport agency. From the 2013-14 season, the contract was taken over by Opta Sports. The first day of the new Opta service on Saturday 3 August was marred by a failure of the vidiprinter service for around 15 minutes during the second half. Opta CEO Aidan Cooney issued a statement apologising to fans and customers and promised a "full and through investigation".[1]

Television history[edit]

BBC[edit]

The vidiprinter has been seen on BBC One as part of Final Score since the earliest days of Grandstand. Initially, it was known as the teleprinter and featured a live shot of the actual printer with the presenter standing next to the printer reading out and interpreting the results as they came in. By the 1980s, a live shot of the printer had been replaced by an on-screen computerised version and was renamed the vidiprinter but the letter-by-letter typing format continued until the end of the 2000–01 season.[2] The teleprinter/vidiprinter was on-screen for around eight minutes at full-time, from just after 4.40pm until enough of the major results were in to provide the full classified check at around 4.50pm. However, late goal flashes were omitted from the feed so that only results were shown. In January 1999, the BBC started to display the vidiprinter at the bottom of the screen during the half-time scores sequence although generally only during the first part of this sequence – i.e. just when the Premier League reports were shown. From this time, the late goal flashes started to appear in the full-time vidiprinter section of Final Score, which was now generally onscreen for more than ten minutes, from around 4.45pm until 5pm because by now half time intervals at Premier League and Football League matches had been extended from 10 to 15 minutes.

At the start of the 2001-02 season Final Score became a programme in its own right[3] and the on-screen format for the vidiprinter changed. The biggest change was the replacement of the typing format with a much faster ticker-tape style service and over the next two seasons, the vidiprinter was on screen for the entire half time round-up and also appeared well before the final whistles started to blow, appearing on the bottom of the screen for the final few minutes of the main Grandstand programme before Grandstand handed over to Final Score at between 4.30 and 4.40. In August 2003, the BBC started broadcasting the vidiprinter continually from 15 minutes before kick-off until the major full times were in. However, this service is only available on the Red Button until Final Score started on BBC One, which by 2003 had settled into its 4.30pm start time. In the 2003–04 season, this was merely an on-screen service and Grandstand played in a quarter-screen. This service was available from 2.45pm, although on occasions it started slightly earlier, until Final Score started at 4.30pm when this feed took the main Final Score programme. Interestingly, during this first red button season the vidiprinter feed often fed through team news as it became available to the Press Association for the period prior to kick-off. The following season, BBC Sport decided to broadcast a full scores programme in its own right. Called Score, it ran between 2.30pm and 6pm with the 4.30pm to 5.15pm segment simulcast on BBC One. However, the vidiprinter did not appear until 3pm and the team news feed was not shown. In around 2008, the entire programme was renamed Final Score

In November 2007 a midweek version of Final Score was launched. This is a simulcast of BBC Radio 5 Live with the vidiprinter shown on-screen throughout the transmission and is called Midweek Final Score. This was the first time that the BBC had shown the vidiprinter on midweek evenings. Midweek Final Score is shown on the BBC interactive service between 7.35pm and 10pm.[4][5] However, since October 2012 Midweek Final Score has been shown far less often due to the BBC deciding to broadcast just a single Red Button feed on all platforms as opposed to multiple feeds on the internet and cable and satellite.[6]

For many years BBC Scotland has shown its own football results programme. Originally it opted out of Grandstand at around 4.40pm when the Final Score segment of the programme began but when Final Score was separated from Grandstand in 2001, BBC Scotland launched its own separate programme called Sportscene Results. During the final few years of Grandstand BBC Wales also opted out of the final few minutes of Final Score to provide a round-up of the Welsh football and rugby results and also launched its own separate programme in 2001 called Wales on Saturday until it was dropped in 2008. Both programmes showed the vidiprinter from the start of the programme until 5pm. BBC Northern Ireland produces its own results programme but this doesn't start broadcasting until 5pm and the vidiprinter is not seen during the BBC Northern Ireland opt-out.

Sky Sports[edit]

Sky Sports launched a sports magazine programme – Sports Saturday – in August 1992 and the vidiprinter was on-screen during the results section of the programme, which was called Scorelines. The vidiprinter appeared at around 4.30pm, more than ten minutes before the vidiprinter appeared on BBC One. In August 1998, Sports Saturday was morphed into Soccer Saturday and dropped the actual sports coverage in favour of a continuous service of scores, comments, reports and results. From this point the vidiprinter was on-screen from 3pm until 4.55pm although the vidiprinter disappeared between 3.50 and 4pm for the duration of the classified half time round-up. In the 2004–05 season the decision was taken to keep the vidiprinter on-screen during the half time round-up and also during the full-time classified check and whilst presenter Jeff Stelling went through the updated league tables. This meant that the vidiprinter was now on-screen continuously on Sky Sports from 3pm until the first commercial break after the end of the day’s games.

ITV[edit]

ITV never broadcast a teleprinter/vidiprinter during the days of World of Sport or its replacement results programme Results Service. However, when ITV2 launched in December 1998, a football scores programme was broadcast, called Football First, which in August 2001 was renamed The Goal Rush to co-inside with ITV capturing the highlights package for the FA Premiership. The programme was simulcast on ITV from around 4.30pm. A live scores ticker featured as part of this service although it was never referred to as the vidiprinter. Also, the ticker only featured the top leagues in England and Scotland. Non-league football below the Football Conference and football in Wales and Northern Ireland did not feature on ITV’s scores programme.

Other broadcasters[edit]

The short-lived Setanta Sports News broadcast a vidiprinter on Saturday afternoons although some minor results, and for some reason, the Northern Ireland league results, were omitted. As opposed to the BBC and Sky Sports, the vidiprinter on Setanta Sports News would remain on-screen long after 5pm, sometimes until well into the evening for the duration of the teatime kick-offs.

ESPN UK did not broadcast a live scores programme when it had the rights to the Premier League and therefore did not broadcast an on-screen vidiprinter.

Current use by broadcasters[edit]

The BBC and Sky Sports show the vidiprinter during their scores and results programmes with both having the vidiprinter on-screen from the start of the 3pm kick-offs until Final Score begins its classified check at 5pm although Sky Sports keeps the vidiprinter onscreen whilst the channel broadcasts its classifled check and whilst presenter Jeff Stelling goes through the updated league tables meaning that the vidiprinter is shown on Sky Sports News from 3pm until around 5.10pm.

The vidiprinter is also seen when a lot of midweek games are being played. Since 1998 Sky Sports has broadcast a midweek version of Soccer Saturday – Soccer Special – and the vidiprinter is on screen from 7.45pm until around 9.45pm (later on English Cup nights). The BBC also occasionally shows a midweek edition of its scores service but since October 2012 Midweek Final Score has been shown far less frequently. Similarly both channels produce special editions of their scores programmes on Boxing Day, New Year's Day and Easter Monday as a full set of English games (plus Scottish games on Boxing Day) take place on those three bank holiday afternoons. However neither broadcaster produces a football scores service on Sundays even though all of the top Premier League clashes now happen on Sundays, as well as other Premier League, Championship, FA Cup and Scottish games and the entire women’s football programme. The only exception is the final day of the Premier League season due to the final set of fixtures being played on a Sunday.

BBC Scotland broadcasts its own Saturday afternoon results programme Sportscene Results and the vidiprinter is onscreen from the start of the programme until the start of the classified results at 5pm.

On 26 October 2013 Final Score stopped showing the vidiprinter feed as provided by Opta Sports and decided to create its own edited version. This has been common practice on the internet for many years but this is the first time that BBC Television chose to do this. Among the changes seen by viewers are the removal of all of the non-league information apart from the Conference leagues as well as women's matches and all other minor, reserve and youth league and cup competitions, the codes used have been replaced with the BBC's own codes, all goal flashes are accompanied by the competition in which the game is taking place and injury time goal show the number of minutes of injury time played at the time the goal is scored. Also goal flashes from the Welsh Premier League are omitted. Also some club names are given differently from how they are displayed on the raw feed and scores and results sometimes appear in a slightly different order. Prior to this date Final Score had always shown the vidiprinter feed unedited since the teleprinter was first seen on air during the earliest days of Grandstand. Two weeks later BBC Scotland did the same and its changes included the removal of all English non-League scores and using its own codes, prefixing all English games with the letter 'E'.

Since 2010 S4C has broadcast a game from the Welsh Premier League every Saturday afternoon and the vidiprinter, translated into Welsh, is displayed on the bottom of the screen during the actual match as well as during the build-up and at half time. However, the vidiprinter is edited to include only the matches in Wales and the major games in England. Scottish games and English non league matches are removed from S4C's vidiprinter service.

BT Sport does not show the vidiprinter. Instead it shows a ticker of the latest scores on a league-by-league basis.

Competitions covered[edit]

The vidiprinter covers the following football competitions. Where known, the code used for the competition in which the game is being played is given in brackets:

ENGLAND - Leagues

Goals, sendings-offs, half time and full-time scores:

Premier League (PREM), Championship (FLC), League One (FL1), League Two (FL2), Conference National (FC)

Half time scores and full-time scores:

Conference North (FCN), Conference South (FCS), Northern Premier League Premier Division (NPL), Southern League Premier Division (SLP), Isthmian League Premier Division (ILP), FA Women's Super League (FAWSL), FA Women's Premier League Northern Division (FAWND), FA Women's Premier League Southern Division (FAWSD)

Full-time scores only:

Professional Development League (BU21PL, U21PDL2, BU18PL, U18PDL2), Central League (CL), Football League Youth Alliance (TFYLYANW, TFLYANE, TFLYASE, TFLYASWC)

ENGLAND - Cups

Goals, sendings-off, half time and full-time scores:

FA Cup – Round 1 to final (FAC1 – FACF), Football League Cup (LC), Football League Trophy (FLT), Community Shield (CS), FA Trophy – final only (FATF), FA Vase – final only (CVF), FA Youth Cup – final only (FAYCF)

Half time and full-time scores:

FA Cup – final qualifying round (FAC4Q), FA Trophy – final preliminary round to semi-finals (FAT3QR – FATSF), FA Vase – fifth round to semi-finals (CV5 – CVSF), FA Youth Cup - quarter and semi-finals (FAYC6, FAYCSF), FA Women's Cup (FAWC), FA Women's Superleague Cup (FAWSLCC), FA Women's Premier League Cup (FAWPLC)

Full-time scores only:

FA Trophy – first and second qualifying rounds (FAT1Q, FAT2Q), FA Vase – fourth round (CV4), Northern Premier League Challenge Cup – quarter finals to final (NPLC), Southern League Cup – semi-finals and final (DMC), Isthmian League Cup – round 4 to final (RYMLC4 – RYMF), FA Youth Cup – rounds 1 to 5 (FAYC1 – FAYC5), U21 Premier League Cup (BU21PLC), Central League Cup (COMLC), The Football League Youth Alliance Cup (TFLYAC), FA Women’s Cup (FAWC)

SCOTLAND - Leagues

Goals, sendings-offs, half time and full-time scores:

Scottish Premier League (SCP), Scottish Championship (SCC), Scottish League One (SC1), Scottish League Two (SC2)

Full-time scores only:

Highland Football League (HFL), Lowland Football League (TSLFL) - both listed in alphabetical order.

SCOTLAND - Cups

Goals, sendings-offs, half time and full-time scores:

Scottish Cup round 2 to final (TSC2 to TSCF), Scottish League Cup (SLC), Scottish League Challenge Cup (SLCC)

Goal scorers, but not sendings-offs, given as a list after full-time:

Scottish Cup first round (TSC1)

Full-time scores only:

Highland League Cup (HFLC), Lowland League Cup (TSLFLC) - both listed in alphabetical order

WALES - Leagues

Goals, sendings-offs, half time and full-time scores:

Welsh Premier League (LOW)

WALES - Cups

Half time and full-time scores:

Welsh FA Cup round 4 to final (WELSH4 - WELSHCF)

Full-time scores only:

Welsh League Cup (LWPLC)

NORTHERN IRELAND - Leagues

Half time and full-time scores:

Irish Premiership (IP) – listed in alphabetical order

Full-time scores only:

IFA Championship (SM1) – listed in alphabetical order

NORTHERN IRELAND - Cups

Half time and Full-time scores:

Irish Cup round 5 to final (IFAC5 - IFACF) – listed in alphabetical order

Full-time scores only

Irish League Cup (COCI) – listed in alphabetical order

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Leagues

Half time and Full Time scores:

League of Ireland Premier Division (FLOI), League of Ireland First Division (FLOI1) – both listed in alphabetical order

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Cups

Full-time scores only:

FAI Cup round 3 to final (FAISC), League of Ireland Cup (FAIC)

Half time and full-time scores:

Setanta Cup (SC)

EUROPEAN AND WORLD CLUB COMPETITIONS

Goals, sendings-offs, half time and full-time scores:

UEFA Champions League – second qualifying round onwards (EUROQ1 – EUROCF) plus the first qualifying round involving British and Irish teams, Europa League – final qualifying round onwards (UEFAELPOL1 – UEFAF) plus the first three qualifying rounds featuring British and Irish teams, UEFA Super Cup (UEFASC), Club World Cup (FCWPO, CWCQF, WCC56P, WCCSF, WCC34P, WCCF)

Half time and full-time scores:

UEFA Champions League first three qualifying rounds for matches not involving British or Irish teams (EURO, EURO2), Europa League first three qualifying rounds not involving British or Irish teams (UEFAQ11, UEFAQ12, UEFAP1, UEFAP2, UEFAEL3QL1, UEFAEL3QL2)

GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS

Goals, sendings-offs, half time and full-time scores:

World Cup (WC), Confederations Cup (FIFACC), Women’s World Cup

Half time and full-time scores:

Under 20s World Cup, Under 17s World Cup (FIFA17), Olympic Games football tournament (OLY)

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Goals, sendings-offs, half time and full-time scores:

European Qualifying (FIFAWC), South American Qualifying Tournament (FIFASAT), Asian Qualifying (FIFAA followed by a number – group one is FIFAA1)

Goals, sendings-off and full-time scores (NOTE: Not half time scores):

African Qualifying (FIFAA followed by a letter – group one is FIFAAA), Concacaf qualifying (FIFACAC)

CONTINENTAL TOURNAMENTS

Goals, sendings-off, half time and full-time scores:

European Championships – qualifying (ECQ) and tournament (EC), Africa Cup of Nations – tournament only (ANC), Copa America – tournament only (CA), CONCACAF Gold Cup – tournament only (GC), Asian Cup – tournament only, UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship – qualifiers featuring England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Rep of Ireland (E21 followed by group number) plus main tournament (E21)

Half time and full-time scores:

Asian Cup – qualifying rounds (AFCQR), UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship (E21 followed by group number), UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship (Qualifying round: UEFAU19QG), UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship (Elite Round: UEFAER), UEFA Women's Championship (WEC)

OTHER MATCHES

Goals, sendings-off, half time and full-time scores:

International friendly matches featuring European countries (INTER), B International matches (BINT), Under-21 friendlies featuring home nations (U21F), Club friendly matches featuring England Premier League teams (FRIEND)

Half time and full-time scores:

International friendlies not featuring European nations (INTER), Women's international matches (WOMINT)

Full-time scores only:

International youth tournaments (TOULON, U17IT, U16IT), Youth international matches featuring home nations (UxxINT), Semi-professional international matches (SPI), Club friendly matches featuring non English Premier League teams (FRIEND)

OTHER COMPETITIONS FEATURED ON INTERNET VIDIPRINTERS

As mentioned earlier, there are various versions of the vidiprinter on the internet. These feature a different version of the vidiprinter seen on television. The Sporting Life and BBC website vidiprinters feature live league, but not Cup, scores and results from the top European leagues and the ESPN online vidiprinter features league and cup games from around the world. The Football Web Pages vidiprinter does not cover European and global domestic competitions but it does includes scores, results and scorers from steps 2, 3 and 4 of the non league pyramid. This is the only vidiprinter to include step 4 - the first divisions of the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues - and following a change to the BBC's online vidiprinter in October 2013 when it began featuring European league matches at the expense of non league, Welsh and Irish games, the Football Webpages vidipriniter is the only one to include scores from games below the Conference Premier but it does not cover Scottish non league matches or feature any competitions from Wales and Ireland.

Other sports[edit]

The vidiprinter seen on TV now only features football. However, until 2003 the vidiprinter shown on BBC TV occasionally broadcast rugby results, usually around half a dozen times each season, possibly in error apart from maybe on the rare occasion when there was one missing rugby score from a major competition after the rugby results were read out on Final Score. The last time that any rugby information was seen on the BBC vidiprinter was in November 2003 although on 7 October 2006, Wales on Saturday did broadcast the version of the vidiprinter which included rugby scores and results. However, this was a one-off as the following week the vidiprinter seen on Wales on Saturday was the football-only version.

The Sky Sports website did feature a separate vidiprinter on the rugby union and rugby league sections of the Score Centre section of their website until 2009. This showed that live scores were featured for the Rugby Union Premiership, the Anglo-Welsh League, the Pro 12 League, the Heineken Cup and all international matches. Full-time scores for the RFU Championship, National Leagues 1 and 2 were featured along with results from the Welsh National League Premier Division and Divisions 1 East and 1 West, the top three national leagues in Scotland and the All-Ireland League. Now, only the football section of the vidiprinter service is available and, as with the Sportinglife.com vidiprinter, does not feature non-league scores apart from the Conference National whereas prior to 2009 the Sky Sports Football vidiprinter did include non-league scores as well as Welsh and Irish soccer.

References[edit]

External links[edit]