Sports Report is one of the longest-running programmes on British radio. It started in the first week of 1948, and has always been aired from 5.00 to 6.00 p.m. on Saturday evenings during the football season, although commentaries on evening matches kicking off shortly after 5pm on Saturdays had often curtailed it in recent years, however, it regained its full hour for the start of the 2010-11 football season after 5 Live lost the Saturday evening Premier League radio rights to talkSPORT.
Originally produced by Angus Mackay it went out on the BBC Light Programme, where it stayed until 25 April 1964. On 22 August 1964 it became part of Sports Service and moved to the wavelengths of the BBC Third Programme (used for other purposes during daytime hours), where it initially started at the earlier time of 4.42 p.m.. On 4 April 1970, however, it moved back to what had by then become BBC Radio 2, where it stayed until 25 August 1990 (throughout this time it was part of Sport on 2). From 1 September 1990 to 26 March 1994 it was on the original BBC Radio 5, and since 2 April 1994 it has been heard on BBC Radio 5 Live (on both of these networks it has been part of Sport on 5 then renamed 5 Live Sport in 2006).
Presenters have included Raymond Glendenning (1948–55), Stephen Grenfell, Eamonn Andrews (1955–64), Robin Marlar (1964–68), Peter Jones (1968–70), Des Lynam (1970–80), Mike Ingham (1980–85), Renton Laidlaw (1985–87), John Inverdale (1987–94), Ian Payne (1994–2000) and Mark Pougatch (2000-) among many others.
The programme, almost uniquely, has used the same theme music since its inception - "Out of the Blue", written by Hubert Bath. This already sounded old-fashioned in the early 1970s, and it is said that Lynam prevented it from being dropped. Now, the theme has the status of a charming anachronism, a very British institution, amid the fast-paced modern style of the rest of Five Live.
On Saturday 5 January 2013, FA Cup Third round day, the Sports Report theme music was inexplicably changed, prompting a string of furious tweets and key presenter Mark Pougatch to tweet within four minutes that: "For clarification. The Sports Report music has not been axed...."