BBC Sport

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BBC Sport
TypeDepartment of the BBC
Founded1988 Olympics and separate division of the BBC in 2000
Salford, Greater Manchester
, United Kingdom
Area servedSpecific services for the United Kingdom and rest of world
Key peopleBarbara Slater (Director)
ServicesTelevision broadcasts
Radio broadcasts
Online presence
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BBC Sport
TypeDepartment of the BBC
Founded1988 Olympics and separate division of the BBC in 2000
Salford, Greater Manchester
, United Kingdom
Area servedSpecific services for the United Kingdom and rest of world
Key peopleBarbara Slater (Director)
ServicesTelevision broadcasts
Radio broadcasts
Online presence

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[1] and through the BBC Red Button interactive television service.


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.[2] 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 2000 BBC Sport became a separate department of the BBC based at BBC Television Centre in London. As a result, the BBC Sport website was launched, although close ties were retained between the editors of the BBC Sport and BBC News websites. The website contained the details of several sports covered by the BBC, including key sports and other smaller specialist sports.

In 2006, the department gained Mihir Bose in the newly created Sports Editor position to improve the sports coverage. BBC Sport also began to experiment with high-definition television, namely broadcasting the 2006 Football World Cup on BBC HD, as part of larger experiments within the BBC.[3] Following the official launch of the BBC HD channel, BBC Sport expanded their HD coverage of sport, with Director of Sport Roger Mosey announcing in January 2009 that the BBC's aim "is for all our sport production to be in HD by 2012 at the latest".[4]

The BBC Sports Centre at MediaCityUK as seen on the BBC News channel, 2012.

In June 2008, an interactive service was launched by BBC Sport on the BBC Red Button service. Available on all major television platforms, the service relayed both sports results and other sport video feeds currently not allocated broadcast time. The best example of this is the BBC's coverage of Wimbledon, where matches on other courts are only broadcast as part of highlights or in full on the BBC Sports website and BBC Red Button.

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.

In May 2007, the BBC Trust approved plans for several BBC departments, including BBC Sport, to be moved to a new development in Salford.[5] 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.[6]

Television Sports rights[edit]


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.[7] The BBC Live coverage is presented by former British Tennis Star and 1976 French Open Champion Sue Barker. During the event, all matches are broadcast live either on BBC One, Two or the Red Button service and the highlights programme, Today at Wimbledon, is broadcast after each days play. The BBC coverage for Wimbledon starts daily at 11.30am in the first week and they show coverage of the outside courts before moving to the show courts at 1.00pm. The coverage starts on BBC One at 1.45pm after the News and continues there to 6pm while continuing on BBC Two until 4.20pm. After various programming, the coverage moves back to BBC Two until the end of the day where they highlights takes over with John Inverdale. The BBC will occasionally disrupt the normal schedule if a big match is being played, such as a match involving Andy Murray, by staying on BBC One and moving the BBC News and other programming to BBC Two, or if a big match is on Centre Court and the roof is closed, examples from 2012 include late matches for Murray, Nadal and Federer.

The BBC Wimbledon coverage is presented by Sue Barker with highlights presented by John Inverdale. Additional commentators used for all tennis coverage include Barry Davies, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, John Lloyd, Martina Navratilova, Virginia Wade, Sam Smith, Tracy Austin, Tim Henman, Andrew Castle, Lindsay Davenport, 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.

Former BBC Commentators include Jimmy Connors, Greg Rusedski, Chris Bailey, Dan Maskell, John Barrett, John Alexander, Ann Jones, Pam Shriver, Julian Tutt and Bill Threllfall. Former BBC hosts for Wimbledon include Steve Rider (who hosted twice when Des Lynam was hosting the World Cup for the BBC), Harry Carpender, Des Lynam and David Vine.

The Australian Open is also broadcast on the BBC, primarily through the BBC Red Button although significant matches and matches of interest to the UK population are broadcast on BBC One or Two however from 2012 the coverage has decreased and is now just coverage of the Men's Semi Finals and Final and the Women's Final on BBC One or BBC Two and their HD equivalents. Coverage in recent years has been anchored by Sue Barker, Andrew Castle, John Lloyd, Jonathan Overend, Sam Smith and Andrew Cotter. The French Open was broadcast by the BBC usually on the Red Button like the French Open up to 2011 with the finals on BBC Two but ITV gained the rights and covered the tournament in full on ITV4 with weekend coverage on ITV presented by John Inverdale. The BBC covers the Aegon Championships at the Queen's Club, London, and holds the rights up to 2017. Coverage is usually broadcast on BBC Two from 1pm to 6pm, with additional coverage on the BBC Red Button streams. Semi-finals and the final are usually broadcast live and uninterrupted on BBC One. Commentators in recent years have included Andrew Castle, John Lloyd, Andrew Cotter, Peter Fleming and Jonathan Overend with coverage presented by Sue Barker . In 2013, the BBC also broadcast coverage of the Aegon International event from Eastbourne on BBC Two between 1pm and 6pm showing live coverage of selected women's matches and highlights of men's matches played on the centre court. Coverage from Eastbourne was presented by John Inverdale with Andrew Cotter and Sam Smith providing commentary and analysis. 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. Commentary for the ATP World Tour Finals usually comes from Andrew Castle, John Lloyd and Tim Henman.

From 1998-2009, the BBC broadcast every British Davis Cup tie, with coverage of Friday's singles rubbers shown live on BBC Two, Saturday's doubles rubber live on BBC One and Sunday's singles rubbers live on BBC Two but as the British team have been losing more and Andy Murray refusing to play they gave the rights up and subsequent matches have been shown either on British Eurosport or the LTA Website. However this changed in 2014 when the BBC announced they were showing the Davis Cup World Group Match between Britain and USA live on BBC Three and BBC Two and since have signed a joint deal with Eurosport to show all of Britains matches for 3 years to 2017. For the win against the USA coverage was presented by Sue Barker with commentary by Jonathan Overend, Ross Hutchins & John Lloyd while the reporter was BBC Radio 5 Live tennis correspondent Russell Fuller.


International football[edit]

The BBC hold joint rights to show the FIFA World Cup until 2014 with ITV. A near equal split of group stage and knockout stage games are shown, including a semi final, and the final which is shown on both networks. A similar agreement exists for the European Championship. All games other than the final group games, which clash, are shown on BBC One or BBC Two, plus BBC HD. During those clashing games the game not shown on BBC One is shown on BBC Red Button or on BBC Three. There are also nightly highlights and extensive interactive options.

Currently, all Scotland away games are shown live on BBC Scotland. The BBC also broadcast highlights of all Scotland home matches. This coverage is usually shown on BBC One Scotland or BBC Two Scotland and simulcast on BBC Red Button for the rest of the UK, though similarly it can appear on the nationwide networks. Until 2008 all Northern Ireland games whether home or away were shown by BBC Northern Ireland on BBC One Northern Ireland or BBC Two Northern Ireland and these were shown from the 1980s right up until 2008. In 2008 the rights transferred to Sky Sports and these were the last of the Home Nations to be shown by Sky but highlights of all home matches are broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland and some away matches are still shown live but all matches are still broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster. The BBC won back the domestic England and FA Cup contract in 2001 from Sky Sports so showed the England matches until 2005 and then showed all home matches from 2005 until 2008 and all away matches on Sky Sports however the rights transferred to ITV and Setanta in 2008 and now ITV show all home and away matches including friendlys. The only England match that has been broadcast was highlights against Ukraine in 2009 on Match of the Day. Similar highlights arrangements exist for some of the Wales but these are made by BBC Wales for S4C and some away matches are shown by BBC Wales. No matches of the home nations are broadcast nationally now unless its a friendly or a tournament finals match because Sky hold all domestic live rights or ITV for the England matches.

In 2013 BBC covered the Confederations Cup for the 2nd time with coverage on BBC One & BBC Three, the coverage was hosted by Gary Lineker, Dan Walker and Mark Chapman. Pundits were Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen, Gianluca Vialli, Peter Odemwingie, Efan Ekoku, Robbie Savage, John Hartson and Pat Nevin. Commentators were Guy Mowbray, Jonathan Pearce and Steve Wilson. Co-Commentators were Mark Lawrenson, Kevin Kilbane and Martin Keown. The also covered the Women's European Championship which was hosted by Jacqui Oatley with punditry by Sue Smith, Faye White, Michael Gray and Toni Duggan. Commentary came from Guy Mowbray, Steve Bower and Nigel Adderley with co-commentary from Lucy Ward and Kim Little. Reporters were Sally Nugent and Tina Dahealy.

In 2013 it was announced all England matches from 2014-2018 whether Qualifiers or Friendlies would be covered by ITV with highlights on Sky Sports, ITV will also cover a non-home nations international live on ITV4 every matchday. while all other home nations of the UK would be Live on Sky Sports with highlights on ITV. It now seems likely BBC Scotland, BBC Wales and BBC Northern Ireland have lost their rights to highlights of their respective home nation to ITV from 2014 as rights are now sold by UEFA instead of by the respective Football Association.

BBC show extensive coverage of the England Ladies National Team as well as the FA Womens Cup Final and highlights of the FA Womans Super League, this coverage is presented by Jacqui Oatley with Sue Smith, Faye White and Michael Gray. The commentators are either Nigel Adderley, Jonathan Pearce or Guy Mowbray with Lucy Ward.

Domestic football[edit]

The BBC also show extensive highlights from the Premier League. Match of the Day shows highlights of each Saturday's games while the Sunday games are covered in Match of the Day 2. Football League highlights are shown on The Football League Show after Match of the Day. Football Focus airs each Saturday lunchtime to preview the weekend's games, followed later by up to the minute game reports in Final Score through the afternoon on BBC Red Button and BBC Red Button HD and later on BBC One. As the final whistles approach, coverage switches over to BBC One where Final Score continues in England and Wales, with Scottish viewers able to see Sportscene Results at this time for special focus on the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and the other divisions. SPL highlights are shown, also under the Sportscene umbrella on Monday evenings. In Northern Ireland a similar service is available, entitled Final Score from Northern Ireland which starts at 5pm after all the English and Scottish results are in with Gabby Logan and this is usually hosted by Mark Sidebottom or Gavin Andrews . In addition, BBC Sport also provides Scottish matches for the BBC Alba channel's strand, Spòrs. This includes delayed coverage of SPL matches and live Challenge Cup games.

Beginning in 2009, the BBC signed a three-year contract to show ten Championship matches live annually, as well as one leg of each League Cup semi-final exclusively live and shared live coverage of the Final with Sky Sports. It also shows Football League and League Cup highlights shows. The BBC has not renewed the contract meaning that live coverage will revert exclusively to Sky Sports but they kept the rights to the highlights shows so the Football League Show and League Cup Show continued after the 2012–2013 season.

Highlights and live coverage of the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup is also shown by BBC Sport Scotland, and on BBC Red Button throughout the rest of the United Kingdom. BBC Northern Ireland show highlights of the Carling Premiership, Co-Operative Insurance League Cup and JJB Sports Irish Cup on Final Score from Northern Ireland and show Live coverage of the finals of the Irish Cup and Irish League Cup on Match of the Day from Northern Ireland, these are hosted by Stephen Watson usually with Michael O'Neill, Jim Magilton or people from the local game and are commentated on by Jackie Fullerton or Joel Taggart

In July 2013 it was announced the BBC were gaining back the rights to the FA Cup from the start of the 2014-15 season in partnership with BT Sport regaining the rights from ITV having lost them in 2008. The BBC are resuming their history of covering the FA Cup having started in the 1930s on the BBC TV Service. The BBC covered the final with ITV jointly from 1955-1988 then with Sky from 1988-1997 and again with Sky from 2002-2008. The coverage was hosted by David Coleman, Des Lynam and Gary Lineker in these periods. Under the new contract the BBC will cover matches from every round live on BBC One & BBC One HD, with coverage on mobile, tablet, online and on BBC Radio 5 Live. The coverage will once again be hosted by Gary Lineker


BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport's main studios at MediaCityUK

Match of the Day began on BBC Two in 1964 and moved to BBC One in 1966, currently the programme is anchored by Gary Lineker as has been since 1999. Previous presenters were David Coleman who hosted from the late 1960s to 1973, Jimmy Hill (1973-1988) and Des Lynam (1988-1999). Occasional presenters include Dan Walker and Gabby Logan while former stand in presenters included Colin Murray, Ray Stubbs, Celina Hinchcliffe (who was the first female host of MOTD), Mark Pougatch & Jake Humphrey

Match of the Day 2 is presented by Mark Chapman. Previous presented of MOTD2 were Adrian Chiles from 2004-2010 who left to present football on ITV and Colin Murray from 2010-2013. Murray will continue as a presenter on BBC for Darts but is transferring to Talksport to host the 10am-1pm slot daily. Stand in presenters for MOTD2 were Gary Lineker, Mark Chapman, Gabby Logan & Jake Humphrey

Dan Walker hosts Football Focus having taken over at the start of the 2009/10 season. Former host of the programme Manish Bhasin presents The Football League Show, as well as the BBC's League Cup highlights programme The League Cup Show and has done so since 2009. Jason Mohammad is the current host of Final Score and he took over from Gabby Logan who stepped down from Final Score in May 2013 but she will continue to deputise for MOTD and MOTD2 and is likely to be part of the BBC World Cup team.

Manish Bhasin also presents occasional live international fixtures. Regular football hosts on BBC Radio 5 Live include Mark Chapman and Mark Pougatch.

Recent former hosts of football on the BBC include:


The BBC's main football pundits are Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Mark Lawrenson. Other pundits for the 2013-14 season include Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Danny Murphy, Robbie Savage and John Hartson. They use people for tournaments that they do not use for MOTD like Harry Redknapp, Jürgen Klinsmann and Clarence Seedorf. MOTD2 usually shuffle their pundits more than MOTD and have more current professionals and managers such as Alan Pardew, Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Phil Neville as well as using the BBC Pundits as mentioned above. For the 2014 World Cup it was announced Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry will be part of the BBC Team.

BBC Scotland use Pat Nevin, Billy Dodds and many others. BBC Northern Ireland use local Northern Ireland footballers like Chris Morgan for Irish Cup matches but for big International matches use Jim Magilton, John O'Neill, Michael Hughes and Keith Gillespie. Former BBC NI pundits are Gerry Armstrong who is now at Sky Sports and Michael O'Neill who is now Northern Ireland manager.


The BBC's main commentator is Guy Mowbray. Guy has commentated on the Football League Cup Final with Mark Lawrenson since 2010 and replaced John Motson as the main BBC commentator. He has since gone on to commentate on the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final and Euro 2012 Final, he also commentated on the Live England games on the BBC in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012. Their other commentators are Jonathan Pearce who was a leading commentator for Channel 5 from 1997-2004, Steve Wilson, Simon Brotherton who also contributes to BBC Radio 5 Live and recent addition Steve Bower. These are the BBC main men and usually commenate on World Cup and Euros for the BBC with matches being equally shared on MOTD, MOTD2 and International Tournaments up to the Final when Guy Mowbray is the main commentator. The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship saw the retirement of the long-standing and popular commentator John Motson from live television football commentary, though he continues to work on Match of the Day and MOTD2 performs frequent live radio commentary for BBC Radio 5 Live.

BBC Sport Scotland's main commentator used to be Paul Mitchell up to 2010 but since the big matches has been covered by Liam McLeod who covers Scotland Internationals, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup. In Wales it is Rob Phillips who commentates on Wales matches for BBC Wales and on BBC Northern Ireland it is Jackie Fullerton who has been their main commentator since 1992 when he moved from UTV, he commentates on Northern Ireland matches, NI Milk Cup Finals, Irish Cup and Irish League Cup Finals. The only Northern Ireland matches Jackie missed in recent times was in 2004 when he had a heart attack and was replaced by Radio Ulster's Joel Taggart and Michael McNamee commentated on a Northern Ireland match v the Netherlands in 2012 when Jackie was unavailable.


The BBC uses summarisers when broadcasting live matches. Mark Lawrenson is the usual choice for big games like the FIFA World Cup tournament or the Football League Cup Final, whilst also summarising on BBC Radio 5 Live for Premier League matches. Mark Bright used to commentate but left the BBC at the end of the 2013-14 season. Other summarisers are Martin Keown, Kevin Kilbane and Mick McCarthy.

Regional coverage[edit]

Scottish coverage is presented by Richard Gordon, Dougie Donnelly and Dougie Vipond. David Currie presents the Saturday afternoon results programme. Jason Mohammad presented Wales on Saturday until the programme was discontinued at the end of the 2008/09 season. He is now one of the reporters for Final Score. However, he continues to present other Welsh football.

BBC Northern Ireland coverage is hosted by Stephen Watson or Mark Sidebottom.

2012 European Championship coverage team[edit]

Gary Lineker was the main presenter of the BBC's coverage of the 2012 European Championship from Poland and Ukraine, fronting all major matches including games featuring England. The BBC's nightly highlights show was presented by Match of the Day 2 host Colin Murray. Manish Bhasin presented live games on BBC Three. These presenters were initially based in Salford before travelling to Poland and Ukraine from the quarter finals onwards . BBC reporters from both live matches and around Poland and Ukraine included Gabby Logan, Dan Walker, Jake Humphrey (He was not there 22–24 June due to his F1 presenting role) and Damian Johnson. The BBC brought five commentators to the Euros, these being Guy Mowbray, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson, Simon Brotherton and Steve Bower, who were partnered by co-commentators Mark Lawrenson, Mark Bright, Mick McCarthy and Martin Keown. The BBC's expert panel of Football Pundits included Jürgen Klinsmann, Clarence Seedorf, Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer, Lee Dixon, and Harry Redknapp

2014 FIFA World Cup Coverage[edit]

Gary Lineker will be the main presenter of the BBC's coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup being the main BBC host for the 5th World Cup. They will host the coverage from a studio in Brazil which they have done for every World Cup since France 1998. So far Rio Ferdinand, Phil Neville and Thierry Henry have been added to the usual BBC team to become pundits for the tournament alongside MOTD regulars Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen who is retiring from Television Punditry after the 2014 World Cup Final. Clarence Seedorf will again be part of the team. Commentators for the BBC for the tournament include Guy Mowbray, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson and Simon Brotherton. Guy Mowbray will commentate on England matches and the Final in his 3rd World Cup for the BBC and his 2nd Final for the Channel. Co-Commentators will include Mark Lawrenson, Kevin Kilbane & Martin Keown.

Rugby Union[edit]

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 additional live rights to the Autumn Internationals for the Scottish and Welsh sides to 2018 as well as highlights of the English team; coverage is again on BBC One or BBC Two. They held the rights for Ireland home internationals to 2013 but lost these rights to Sky Sports, it is unclear whether BBC will have highlights of Irelands matches yet to go along with their England highlights.

The BBC held exclusive rights to show the EDF Energy Cup until the 2009/10 season when these rights were acquired by Sky Sports. BBC Wales, BBC Alba and BBC Northern Ireland hold joint rights to show the Magners League, along with S4C in Wales and RTÉ and TG4 in Ireland. BBC Wales and BBC Northern Ireland show matches on Friday evenings and usually BBC Wales coverage is shown across the rest of the UK on BBC Red Button. Highlights from the Magners League are shown in Scrum V on BBC2 Wales and BBC Red Button alongside briefer highlights in Wales on Saturday on BBC One. BBC Sport Wales/Chwaraeon Cymru also produces the Welsh language S4C's coverage of the Magners League and EDF Energy Cup under the Y Clwb Rygbi brand. This is because the BBC is obliged to provide S4C with several hours of programming a week. BBC Two in Wales often shows Wales national rugby union team under-20 Six Nations games, which are also shown on BBC Red Button in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Sky Sports have the rights to the Pro 12 from 2014-15 but BBC are in discussions to keep coverage on BBC Alba, BBC Wales and BBC NI as Sky Rights are non-exclusive.

BBC Sport's rugby union coverage is currently presented by John Inverdale, Gabby Logan and Jason Mohammad. The main pundits used are Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies, Andy Nicol and Keith Wood. For the 6 Nations other pundits are used like Ian McGeechan, Clive Woodward, Martyn Williams, Shane Williams, Chris Paterson, Dan Parks, Serge Betsen, Carlo del Fava and Thomas Castaignede. The BBC's commentary team includes Eddie Butler, Andrew Cotter Alistair Bruce-Ball and Conor McNamara. Brian Moore, Phillip Matthews and Jonathan Davies, Andy Robinson was also used from the 2013 Autumn Internationals. Since 2013 the BBC have employed 3 men commentary teams therefore the likes of Martyn Williams and Chris Paterson are used for example in the Calcutta Cup match in 2014 Chris Paterson commentated alongside Brian Moore and Andrew Cotter. Pitchside reporters are Jill Douglas, Ross Harries and Sonja McLaughlan who usually have a former professional with them to add comments during the match. Former presenters for BBC Rugby were Steve Rider, Jill Douglas and Craig Doyle while Bill McLaren was the BBC's main commentator for many years before his retirement in 2002. Nigel Starmer-Smith is another former commentator who left the BBC in 2001. Alistair Ekeyn, Nick Mullins, Austin Healey and Lawrence Dallaglio used to commentate for the BBC before their move to BT Sport.

BBC Northern Ireland coverage is hosted by Stephen Watson or Gavin Andrews with pundits who used to play for Ulster such as Bryn Cunningham and Andy Ward, Commentary is by Jim Neilly and Ryan Constable. BBC Wales coverage is usually hosted by Ross Harries with pundits from the 6 Nations frequently used such as Shane Williams, Martyn Williams and Jonathan Davies alongside the likes of Tom Shanklin. Commentary comes from Gareth Charles but Eddie Butler occasionally features while the reporter is Phil Steele. Rick O'Shea hosts the Redzone commentary on the Red Button which would have fans of each club or pundits in an interactive commentary which is more relaxed and features comments from fans on text and twitter and the Red Button also features Welsh Commentary.

Rugby League[edit]

The BBC share the Challenge Cup from the round in which the Super League clubs enter with Sky Sports. The coverage is shown on BBC One and Two and this usually consists of one match per round for the BBC in the earlier stages of the competition with one on Sky, the BBC then show two quarter finals with the other two on Sky and show live exclusive coverage of both semi finals and the final with highlights on Sky Sports. BBC also show highlights of the Super League are shown in the Super League Show on Monday evenings on BBC One in the northern regions, which is repeated nationally the next day at 1pm on BBC Two. Formerly produced by BBC Yorkshire in Leeds, the show is now made at BBC Sport's new studios at MediaCityUK in Salford Quays. The National League play-offs are also covered on the Super League Show. From 2009, the BBC held the rights to show one England international each year and one non England rugby match per year, in 2013 it was announced the BBC were taking live coverage of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup Live with Premier Sports. Premier Sports covered all matches live and the BBC showed all England Group Matches, Italy v Wales, The England Quarter Final, The England v New Zealand Semi Final and New Zealand v Australia Final with highlights of the rest of the Tournament on Sunday nights after Match of the Day 2. The BBC will also cover the 2014 and 2016 Four Nations Tournaments and 2017 Rugby League World Cup meaning the BBC are now the home of England Rugby League taking the rights off Sky Sports.

Rugby League coverage was presented by Clare Balding from 2006 to 2012 but since 2012 has been hosted by Mark Chapman. Balding will continue covering sport for the BBC from 2013 but she is now with Channel 4 Racing and there is too many clashes between Rugby League and Horse Racing to continue with League. Ray French was the main commentator until 2009 when he decided to lessen his workload and stay commentating for the BBC but would be the number 2 commentator until his retirement at the end of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Dave Woods is the main BBC Rugby League Commentator. Jonathan Davies and Brian Noble are the BBC's commentary team while Robbie Paul is amongst the pundits. The Super League Show is fronted by Tanya Arnold. Dave Woods is the chief commentator for the Super League Show. Commentators for BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra include Stuart Pyke, Dave Woods and George Riley.

For the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, Mark Chapman was the main host for live action with Tanya Arnold on Highlights. Commentary came from Dave Woods and Ray French with Premier Sports Andrew Voss, Ian Ramsdale and David Woods also used. Co-commentary came from Jonathan Davies, Brian Noble and Robbie Hunter-Paul. Pitchside reporters were Tanya Arnold and Damien Johnson and analysis came from Jon Wilkin, Eorl Crabtree, Jamie Peacock and Jamie Jones Buchanan.

Motor racing[edit]

The BBC covered Formula One for many decades until 1996, initially covering the odd race on the calendar, before introducing in 1976 a programme which followed the entire championship. Formula One was shown under the Grand Prix banner, races were commentated on by Murray Walker, with many co-commentators including James Hunt and Jonathan Palmer. Coverage was expanded in the 1990s, when all qualifying and races were shown live - many with Steve Rider fronting the coverage. The loss of the rights to ITV was seen as an example of the BBC Sport department's decline in the late 1990s, although as with cricket, the BBC continued to broadcast every race live on its radio services.

2009 marked the return of BBC television coverage of Formula One after an absence of 12 years. A five-year deal was announced in March 2008, replacing ITV's existing coverage.[8] Jake Humphrey anchored the coverage with David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan acting as pundits. Martin Brundle and Jonathan Legard provided the commentary (with Brundle also replicating his famous grid walks seen previously on ITV), while Ted Kravitz and Lee McKenzie were the pit lane reporters.[9] Brundle and Kravitz were the only two members of the ITV F1 team who made the move to the BBC F1 team. Legendary commentator Murray Walker, who commentated on F1 for both the BBC and ITV for over 50 years, returned as part of the team, providing analysis and opinion on the BBC's Formula One website.[10] In 2011 there was a change in the BBC Team: Jonathan Legard was replaced by Martin Brundle as Lead Commentator and David Coulthard joined him in the commentary box.

The red button coverage offered alternate BBC Radio 5 Live commentary from David Croft, Anthony Davidson and Natalie Pinkham and for the 2009 season a CBBC commentary from Michael "Abs" Absalom, Dan Clarkson and Perry McCarthy was available. The red button also offers a split-screen (showing the main coverage alongside an onboard camera view and a rolling leader board) and a rolling highlights package. The Formula 1 Driver Tracker, provided by FOM, was introduced at the 2010 British Grand Prix and is available both online and on the red button. BBC Three plays a role in the Formula One coverage with a one hour highlights programme.[11] Friday and Saturday's free practice sessions are also shown on the red button.

In the middle of the 2011 season, the BBC announced that it had entered a new deal in which it would share the F1 broadcasting rights with Sky from 2012 until 2018,[12] including all practice and qualifying sessions in addition to the races. Sky would be able to show all the races live, and the BBC would be able to televise ten of the races live and show extended highlights of the all races even if shown live on a delayed broadcast.The British Grand Prix and last race must be shown live on BBC under the contract.[13] The announcement was controversial, with early promises that the races would be uninterrupted by commercials[14] doing little to quell the highly negative reactions from fans and observers.[15][16] Before the last race of the season the BBC and Sky announced the full plan for 2012, revealing the races which the BBC would be able to broadcast live.[17]

Sky launched a new channel in March 2012 called Sky Sports F1 and Martin Brundle, David Croft, Ted Kravitz, Anthony Davidson and Natalie Pinkham were poached from the team.

BBC announced that Jake Humphrey, David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan, Ben Edwards, Murray Walker and Lee McKenzie would be part of their coverage team in 2012. Later, it was confirmed that Gary Anderson would be joining them as technical analyst. The BBC Radio 5 Live F1 team left for Sky but it was announced on 5 January 2012 that James Allen would return to the commentary box for BBC Radio in 2012 with Jaime Alguersuari and former Moto GP presenter Jennie Gow as pit reporter.[18]

On 18 September 2012, it was announced by the BBC that Humphrey would leave the BBC's Formula One coverage at the end of the 2012 season, due to personal reasons. He will host BT Sport's Premier League coverage in 2013.[19] It was then announced on 21 December 2012 that Suzi Perry would be filling the role for the 2013 Formula One season.[20] The other shortlisted candidates for the role were thought to be Mark Pougatch, current BBC Radio 5 Live presenter, and Lee McKenzie, current BBC F1 pit lane reporter and deputy host.[21] On 6 March, the full 2013 Team was announced. Tom Clarkson would join the team as the pit reporter alongside Gow and Mckenzie. Allan McNish would join BBC Radio 5 Live, Replacing Alguersuari at some races while Gary Anderson would commentate on others. Also, practices would move from BBC Red Button to BBC Two for live races.[citation needed] Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton joined the team writing a weekly column replacing Mark Webber.[22] For the 2014 season it was announced the BBC team would remain unchanged apart from Gary Anderson had left and Allan McNish would play a role for BBC TV and BBC Radio for the forthcoming season. Mark Webber also was added to the commentary team from 2014. For the first race of 2014 which was shown as highlights on the BBC McNish featured alongside Coulthard as pundits with Suzi Perry for part of pre and post race analysis while it was announced Webber and Jordan would join the coverage later in the season


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.[23] Jennie Gow replaced Perry for 2010,[24] but from 2011 former pitlane reporter Matt Roberts became host, alongside the original and unchanged commentary team of Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish.[25] 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.[26] None of the BBC Team were recruited by BT Sport for the 2014 season.

BBC Sport has also covered the North West 200 since 2007 on BBC Northern Ireland with coverage of race day live on BBC Sport Northern Ireland website and two highlights programmes shown on BBC One Northern Ireland after race day. These are available on the BBC iPlayer and sometimes are broadcast on BBC Two nationally. These are hosted by Stephen Watson who hosts from the paddock and race commentary is usually with Steve Parrish, Keith Huweun, Philip McCallan, Philip Moore and many others.


The BBC One and BBC Three 2012 Summer Olympics studio's at the Olympic Park

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.[27] The BBC has always used its top sports presenters to host Games coverage. Past presenters for the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics have included David Coleman, Frank Bough, Des Lynam and Steve Rider with the current presenting team including Jake Humphrey, Sue Barker, Clare Balding and Hazel Irvine.

For the 2012 Summer Olympics, the BBC broadcast live from a studio in the Olympic Park. The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Games attracted a peak viewing audience of over 27 million viewers (around half of the population of the United Kingdom watched BBC One live simultaneously). This is widely regarded as one of the largest television audiences of all time. 51.9m (90% of the UK population) watched at least 15 minutes of coverage on BBC One. 24.2m (42% of the UK population) also watched at least 15 minutes of coverage on the BBC Red Button.

BBC One provided extensive coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, shelving the usual BBC One schedule between 6.00am to 1.00am, taking a break at 1.00pm, 6.00pm and 10.00pm for the BBC News and the coverage at that time moved to BBC Two. Bill Turnbull, Hazel Irvine, Chris Hollins and Sian Williams presented Olympic Breakfast between 6.00am and 9.00am. Then Mishal Hussain anchored coverage from 9.00am to 11.00am, the mid morning from 11.00am to 1.45pm was presented by either Hazel Irvine, Matt Baker or Clare Balding. The afternoon slot from 1.45pm to 6.00pm was hosted by Clare Balding, Jake Humphrey or Hazel Irvine. Sue Barker hosted from 4.00pm to 7.00pm, before Gary Lineker took over presenting duties for the prime time slot from 7.00pm to 10.35pm. Gabby Logan hosted a highlights programme from 10.45pm to 12.00am followed by Olympic Sportsday with Dan Walker or Olly Foster featuring reports and news from the day's events.

BBC Three went 24 hours for the 2012 Olympics and had coverage from 7am to 11pm. The daytime coverage was hosted by Rishi Persad, Sonali Shah, Dan Walker or Manish Bhasin while Jake Humphrey hosted from 7pm to 11pm. BBC Red button also had dedicated coverage of 24 Olympic streams on Sky, Virgin and the BBC Sport website while on Freeview, there were two Red Button streams, one 24 hours and another from 7pm onward.

BBC London 2012 Commentary:

Winter Olympics[edit]

BBC Sport also provided extensive television coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from Sochi. Over 200 hours of coverage are planned with much of this broadcast on BBC Two and BBC Two HD. Clare Balding, Hazel Irvine and Jonathan Edwards anchored daily coverage starting at 7am and concluding at 7pm. In addition to BBC Sport's live coverage, Clare Balding presented a highlights programme on BBC Two at 7pm. BBC reporters, Matthew Pinsent, Nick Hope, Ollie Williams and Jason Mohammad complemented coverage with news, updates and interviews. Commentators and analysts

BBC Sochi 2014 Commentary:

Commonwealth Games[edit]

The BBC are covering the 2014 Commonwealth Games with more coverage than ever before akin to their coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. Clare Balding and Gary Lineker will anchor the BBC Opening and Closing Ceremonies with Hazel Irvine and Huw Edwards commentating. The BBC will anchor all their studio programming from BBC Pacific Quay studios in Glasgow while Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and John Inverdale will host onsite for Rowing, Cycling, Swimming, Diving and Athletics. BBC One will again be the channel for the games showing the action from morning to night with Commonwealth Breakfast from 6am-9am with Bill Turnbull and another presenter (was due Susanna Reid but she left the BBC to join ITV), Mishal Hussain will host from 9am-12`pm, Jason Mohammad hosts from 12pm-3pm followed by Hazel Irvine from 3pm-7pm and Gary Lineker during the evening while Mark Chapman will host the evening highlights. BBC Three is planned to be going 24 hours a day for the duration of the games like they did during the 2012 London Olympics with BBC Scotland Dougie Vipond, BBC F1 Pitlane Reporter Lee McKenzie, Manish Bhasin and Dan Walker set to host throughout the day.


For many years, the BBC has covered the biggest events in athletics, stretching as far back as 1954, when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. Lead commentator for many decades was David Coleman, until his retirement after the 2000 Summer Olympics. 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. From 2010 following a shake up by the IAAF the BBC won the rights to stream 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.[28] 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,[29] It was also announced Channel 4 decided to hand the rights to the 2013 Championships to the BBC and will not cover 2013. This was down to Channel 4 saying they wanted to focus on Paralympic Sports and being the home of Horse Racing for 2013. 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.

Former presenters include Sue Barker, Desmond Lyman, Hazel Irvine, Roger Black, Sally Gunnell, David Coleman, Stuart Storey & John Inverdale while occasional contributors include Dean Macey, Steve Backley, Ron McIntosh & Mike Costello.


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 cover two other European Tour events held in Britain - the BMW PGA Championship and the Scottish Open, although live coverage of these will finish in 2012 under the new contract negotiated with the European Tour where Sky Sports will hold exclusive coverage but the BBC will continue with highlights of these tournaments.[30] It also covers the Women's British Open. Highlights of the Ryder Cup and live coverage of the Walker Cup can also be seen on the BBC . Hazel Irvine is the lead presenter on the BBC with Dan Walker the relief presenter. The BBC commentary and analysis team includes Peter Alliss, Ken Brown, Maureen Madill, Wayne Grady, Frank Nobillo, Mark James, Phillip Parkin, Andrew Cotter and Sir Nick Faldo. Reporter is Rishi Persad. Jim Nantz has also provided some guest commentatary for The Open Championship in recent years.


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.

David Vine was the main host when BBC first showed Snooker in 1978 until 2000 when he retired, David Icke was his deputy when he was unavailable. Icke was replaced by Dougie Donnelly in the early 1990s and Donnelly became main presenter after Vine's retirement for 2 years. Matt Smith was deputy from 2000 until 2002 until his move to the ITV Sport Channel. In 2002 Ray Stubbs and Hazel Irvine took over, Ray Stubbs left in 2009 and was replaced by Rishi Persad who only joined when Hazel missed the 2009 championships because she was on Maternity Leave and Rishi left in 2013 after the Masters and will be replaced by Jason Mohammad at the 2013 World Championships. Ted Lowe was the BBCs lead commentator from the first time the BBC showed Snooker until his retirement in 1996. Clive Everton was then main commentator until his role was reduced in 2009 and has left the BBC in 2012.

Other sports[edit]

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 was Harry Carpenter who also commentated and Steve Rider while Barry Davies also commentated on this from the 1990s to 2004.

The BBC also have rights to highlights of the Equestrian 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.

The BBC have coverage of amateur boxing with coverage presented by Manish Bhasin with commentary by Jim Neilly, Ritchie Woodhall & Ron McIntosh. They show Gymnastics with coverage hosted by Matt Baker or Gabby Logan and commentary by Matt, Christine Still & Mitch Fenner. They show Ice Dancing with Sue Barker & Robin Cousins and Rowing World Cups with coverage hosted by Rishi Persad or John Inverdale with Garry Herbert, Steve Redgrave, Matt Pinsent & Dan Topolski commentating.

Previous coverage[edit]

Horse racing[edit]

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 who then lost to Sky Sports in 2005. 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 when the next set of rights between 2006 and 2009 went up for sale, a decision which it also took for the next contract running until 2013 with the corporation claiming it could neither afford the cost of the rights or fit into their schedules. At present, coverage is by Sky Sports and highlights on Channel 5.

The BBC has previously broadcast highlights of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

The BBC covered Cricket in black and white until switching to colour for the 1970 "test" series between England and the Rest of the World. This coincided with a change in the commentary team. Broadly speaking, the following were very much "the voices" of English test Cricket for at least two generations: Richie Benaud - 1964-1999 Jim Laker - 1967–1985 (Laker died in 1986) Peter West: 1956-1984 Jack Bannister: 1984-1994 Tony Lewis: 1985-1998 David Gower: 1994-1999 Summarisers were: Ted Dexter: 1969-1988 Denis Compton: -1975 Tom Graveney: 1980-1991 Ray Illingworth: 1978–1993 (also commentated during the 1987 season) Geoffrey Boycott: 1990-1999


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.

After losing the rights to Formula One and the World Rally Championship, the BBC dabbled in 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, presently picked up by Eurosport with highlights on Channel 4 and ITV4 respectively.

It no longer broadcasts Moto GP after losing the rights to BT Sport and ITV in 2014.


In 2012 ITV picked up the rights from the BBC for the French Open, a tournament that the BBC has shown for many decades.

American football[edit]

The BBC held the rights to highlights (primarily broadcast on its web site) and live radio coverage of the NFL. From 2007-2013 the BBC has also broadcast the Super Bowl live on television.[31]

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[edit]

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.

The last few years the BBC have had more competition when it comes to Radio Sports Rights from Talksport and Absolute Radio. talksport outbid 5 Live for Live Exclusive Coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup and 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour, incidentally this meant every Lions match was available on the radio for the first time as 5 Live would miss the Wednesday match due to Prime Minister Questions. Talksport also have held official radio rights to the premier league since 2007 initially talksport had a 3pm kick off every Saturday afternoon since 2010 but since then talksport have held the rights to Saturday evening and Sunday lunchtime kick offs. Absolute Radio hold rights to a Saturday 3pm kick off since 2010 and in 2013 took over the BBC radio NFL rights to a live match or matches every sunday night and radio coverage of the Superbowl. Talksport also share coverage of the FA Cup, League Cup, FIFA World Cup, European Championships and England Friendly Internationals with 5 Live while 5 Live have England International Qualifiers Live and Exclusive.


Although the sport 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. BBC also have highlights coverage for the Cricket World Cup in 2007 and 2011 and these were hosted by Sonali Shah, Rishi Persad and Manish Bhasin. They also covered the 2009 World Twenty20 which was held in England. 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.

Talksport also briefly competed with 5 Live for coverage of cricket taking live exclusive coverage of England overseas test matches from BBC in 2002-2004 covering matches in South Africa and West Indies. They also covered Twenty20 Finals day from 2006-2009 and the ICC World Twenty20 which was held in England in 2009 alongside the BBC however this coverage was not as popular as the BBC coverage and was subsequently dropped.


While television coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games was held by Channel 4,[32] 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.[33]

Channel 4 holds the television rights to the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games from Sochi. However, radio rights are held by BBC Sport, and regular updates and reports from the Winter Paralympics in Sochi will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live.

BBC Sport Online[edit]

BBC Sport website as it appeared in May 2012.

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.[34] 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.[35] In January 2013, the BBC Sport app was launched on the iOS app store. An Android version was launched in February that year.[36]

Sports forum[edit]

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.[37]

Interactive services[edit]

BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy.

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.[38] 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.[39]


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.[40] 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.[40]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BBC Sport Website". Archived from the original on 28 March 2007. Retrieved 30 March 2007. 
  2. ^ Piercy, Robert. "BBC Sport Idents". TVARK: The Online Television Museum. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "BBC to trial high-definition TV". BBC News. 8 November 2005. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Mosey, Roger. "Plenty to look forward to in 2009". BBC Sport Editors Blog. BBC. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "BBC move to Salford gets green light". BBC Press Office. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sport news bulletins start in Salford". Ariel. BBC. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Wimbledon Website - The Championships and The All England Lawn Tennis Club[dead link]
  8. ^ "Formula One Administration Ltd announces new BBC Agreement". Archived from the original on 23 March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008. 
  9. ^ Coulthard, Jordan & Brundle join BBC BBC Sport, 24 November 2008
  10. ^ BBC/Murray Walker. "Murray Walker Blog". 
  11. ^ "Formula 1 on the BBC". BBC News. 17 February 2009. Archived from the original on 22 February 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2009. 
  12. ^ Beer, Matt (29 July 2011). "Sky and BBC to share UK F1 television coverage from 2012 to 2018". Autosport. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Gallop, Ben (29 July 2011). "New F1 deal explained". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  14. ^ O'Leary, Jamie (29 July 2011). "Sky Sports says it won't show adverts during grands prix next year". Autosport. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  15. ^ Strang, Simon; Noble, Jonathan (29 July 2011). "Bernie Ecclestone says Sky pay-to-view TV deal will grow F1's audience". Autosport. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  16. ^ Collantine, Keith (29 July 2011). "So much for keeping F1 free-to-air". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  17. ^ Collantine, Keith (25 November 2011). "BBC reveal free-to-air live F1 races for 2012". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "Formula 1: BBC announces its 2012 commentary team". BBC Sport. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "BBC Sport - Jake Humphrey to leave BBC for BT Vision". BBC Online. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "F1: Suzi Perry replaces Jake Humphrey as BBC presenter". BBC Sport. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  21. ^ "Perry set to replace Jake". Planet F1. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  22. ^ "Lewis Hamilton joins BBC Sport's Formula 1 line-up as a columnist". BBC Sport. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  23. ^ MotoGP 2009 on the BBC BBC Sport Editor's Blog
  24. ^ "Jennie Gow replaces Suzi Perry in BBC line-up". Crash.Net (Crash Media Group). 17 March 2010. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  25. ^ "Matt Roberts will front MotoGP on BBC television". BBC Sport. 8 February 2011. Archived from the original on 10 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "MotoGP: BT Sport secures TV rights from 2014 in five-year deal". 9 May 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  27. ^ BBC Press Release
  28. ^ "BBC Sport Website". Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "BBC to show World Championships". BBC News. 24 November 2011. 
  30. ^ "European Tour announces new Television Agreement". PGA European Tour. 11 July 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007. 
  31. ^ "BBC to show Super Bowl live". Digital Spy. 13 September 2007. Archived from the original on 16 September 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  32. ^ "How to watch the Paralympics". Channel 4. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  33. ^ "BBC Paralympic coverage details". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "BBC News Online and BBC Sport Online are re-launched". BBC Press Office. 18 February 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  35. ^ "Changes to the BBC Sport website". Sports Editors Blog. BBC. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  36. ^ "BBC Sport launches smartphone app for Android". BBC Sport. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  37. ^ "BBC to cut online budget by 25%". BBC News. 24 January 2011. 
  38. ^ "BBC Red Button Schedule". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  39. ^ "What's On BBC Red Button 20th June - 4th July". BBC Internet Blog. BBC. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  40. ^ a b "Sports Personality facts and figures". BBC News. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 

External links[edit]