Scotsport

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Scotsport
Scotsport.png
Genre Sport
Presented by Arthur Montford
Jim White
Jim Delahunt
Grant Stott
Andy Walker
Richie Gray
Country of origin Scotland
Production
Running time 60–90 minutes
(including adverts)
Production company(s) STV News
Release
Original network STV
(Scottish/Grampian),
ITV Border Scotland
Original release 18 September 1957 – 22 May 2008
Chronology
Related shows STV Sports Centre
Champions League Live

Scotsport was a Scottish sports television programme, broadcast on STV in northern and central Scotland, as well as on ITV Border in southern Scotland.

First broadcast in 1957 as Sports Desk and continuing until the end of its football highlights show in May 2008, it was officially recognised as the world's longest-running sports television programme, but has since been overtaken by Hockey Night in Canada.

History[edit]

Launching less than a month after the opening of Scottish Television, the programme first aired on 18 September 1957,[1] as Sports Desk. The Scotsport title was adopted a short time later and the vast majority of its coverage was of football, rather than sport in general, as the name might imply. The football coverage, in turn, concentrated mostly on the Scottish Premier League. The show also followed Scottish clubs in the UEFA Champions League via live matches and highlights programmes. Scotsport's main rival was the long-running BBC Scotland strand Sportscene, which continues to broadcast to this day.

Prior to the 2007–08 season, Scotsport faced competition for viewers of its SPL coverage. On 18 July 2007, it was announced that the SPL had signed a similar deal with BBC Scotland for non-exclusive television coverage of the league.[2] This did not affect Scotsport's production, although the programme lost ratings. Scotsport continued in its 10.40pm-11.40pm Monday night slot for the remainder of the 2007–08 season, with Sportscene's SPL offering being shown later in the week on Wednesdays at 10pm on BBC Two Scotland.

On Hogmanay 2007, STV broadcast 50 Years of Scotsport, a programme taking a look back at the shows best moments over the 50 years it had been on air. Featuring colleagues from past and present, one of the show's most recent presenters, Grant Stott presented the Hogmanay special. A month before the anniversary programme aired, STV decided to axe Scotsport, after BBC Scotland won a five-year deal to show SPL highlights. The programme aired for the last time on Thursday 22 May 2008.

A smaller-scale sports magazine show, STV Sports Centre was launched on Friday 5 March 2010 but axed fifteen months later.

The Team[edit]

Final hosts of Scotsport

Despite being one of the world's longest-running sports television programmes, there had only been five main anchors in its 51 years on air, largely due to the 32-year tenure of Arthur Montford, who retired in 1989. Subsequent main anchors of Scotsport were Jim White (now with Sky Sports), Jim Delahunt (who later joined Setanta Sports), and finally, the pairing of Grant Stott and Andy Walker, who also anchored STV's Champions League coverage.

Other key members of the Scotsport on-air team during its run included the likes of Ian Archer, Alex Cameron, Bob Crampsey, Jock Brown, Gerry McNee and Paul Cooney.

In 1984, Sally McNair joined the show and become the first female TV sports journalist in Scotland. Four years later, Hazel Irvine (who joined Scottish Television as a continuity announcer) became co-presenter of the Friday night preview show, Extra Time - she defected to the rival Sportscene programme in 1990. A controversial revamp of the SPL highlights show in 2004 saw the arrival of Sarah O'Flaherty (known as Sarah O), who co-anchored Scotsport SPL for two seasons.

In its latterday run, match commentators included Archie Macpherson (former Sportscene presenter), Jock Brown, Ian Crocker, Rob MacLean, Ken McRobb and David McKinney.

Spin-off shows[edit]

  • From 1979–1984, a short programme, Sport Extra, aired on Friday evenings at 6.25pm, following Scotland Today.
  • Between the 1988–89 and 1999–2000 seasons, Scotsport Extra Time (later renamed simply Extra Time) aired mostly on Friday nights and featured previews of the weekend's fixtures, interviews and other sports including ice hockey, rugby, snooker and golf. Jim White presented the programme - alongside Hazel Irvine for the first two seasons - until his move to Sky in 1998. Jim Delahunt took over with the programme moving to Saturday lunchtime.
  • During the seasons when Scottish Television owned the rights to Scotland's premier rugby league, live matches and highlights were shown under the Scotsport Rugby Roundup banner.
  • During the seasons where STV had the highlights rights for both the Scottish Premier League and the First Division, Scotsport was divided into two programmes. Scotsport First aired on Sunday mornings and retained a traditional highlights format, while Scotsport SPL, expanded into a magazine show on Monday nights, featuring three presenters, a live studio audience and features. The Monday night show was heavily criticised by viewers and latterly returned to a more traditional format for the 2006-7 season.
  • Scotsport Fanzone aired during the latter half of the 2005-06 season on Thursday nights, taking in a forum format encouraging Scottish football fans to have their say on the week's news.

Scotsport Rugby[edit]

Scotsport Rugby Sunday was a short-lived spin-off, specifically focused on rugby union in Scotland. Richie Gray presented the series, featuring news and highlights, including coverage of Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors, lower league club rugby and women's games.[3]

STV Rugby, an hour-long Magners League highlights show was launched in September 2009, and continued on and off until the end of the 2011-2012 season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Scotsport's debut". STV. July 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2007. 
  2. ^ "Two new major broadcasting deals for the SPL". Scottish Premier League. July 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2007. 
  3. ^ "Scotsport Rugby Sunday". STV. November 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2007.