BBC Sport is the sports division of the
BBC. It became a fully dedicated division of the BBC in 2000. It incorporates programmes such as " Match of the Day", "Grandstand" (discontinued in early 2007), " Test Match Special", " Ski Sunday", " Rugby Special" and coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
BBC Sport's websiteCite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport|title=BBC Sport Website|accessdate=2007-03-30] is also the UK's biggest and most popular sport website and is increasingly adding video and audio coverage to its scores and text news services.
Due to the public status of the BBC,
advertisingis (officially) forbidden and as a result, sports matches covered by BBC Sport are not (strictly speaking) allowed to be sponsored, although the present commercialisation of sport makes this almost impossible in practice. In the face of increased competition from its rival broadcasters the BBC has softened its stance and is now contractually obliged to refer to certain competitions by their sponsored name under the terms of broadcasting rights deals.
BBC Sport launched a trial of the High Definition television format [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/4417202.stm BBC to trial high-definition TV] BBC News Online; 8 November 2005] of the 2006 Football World Cup in
HDTVas part of a wider trial of that format by the BBC. With the official launch of BBC HD, live football matches and golf have led the channel's sports output, and the BBC is rumored to be studying the possibility of airing Premier Leaguehighlights in HD.
BBC Sport Interactive was launched in June 2008 on
BBCi, it is available on digital cable, satellite and terrestrial by pressing the red button and selecting page 300.
ports which BBC Sport holds rights to show
One of the BBC Sport's most prized pieces of sport is the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. The BBC has televised Wimbledon since 1937 and today produces over 900 hours of footage for display in 159 different countries. [ [http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/about/tvschedule/tv_bbc.html Wimbledon Website - The Championships and The All England Lawn Tennis Club ] ] .
BBC Oneand BBC Twoshow coverage from 12 noon until 9pm each day. As well as this digital viewers have the option to view uninterrupted coverage of up to five alternative games on BBCi.
Coverage is presented by
Sue Barker, while the Wimbledon highlights, titled Today at Wimbledonare fronted by John Inverdale. Other commentators and analysts include John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Jimmy Connors, John Lloyd, Martina Navratilova, Virginia Wade, Sam Smith, Tracy Austin, Greg Rusedski, Tim Henman, Barry Davies, Andrew Castleand Chris Bradnam.
Furthermore, the BBC shows live coverage of both the French Open and the
Australian Open, each with the majority of coverage on BBCiand important games, including both finals shown on BBC Oneor BBC Two. It also provides coverage of all the British Davis Cup teams matches, Queen's Club Championshipsand Eastbourne as well as each Decemberthe Masters Tennisat Albert Hall.
The BBC currently holds the broadcast rights for Wimbledon until 2014.
BBChold joint rights to show the FIFA World Cupuntil 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 Oneor BBC Two, plus BBC HD. During those clashing games the game not shown on BBC Oneis shown on BBCi. There are also nightly highlights on and extensive interactive options. The African Nations Cuphas also aired on the BBC's various channels in recent years.
Some Scotland away games are shown live. The BBC also broadcast highlights of all other Scotland matches. This coverage is usually shown on
BBC Oneor BBC Twoin Scotlandonly and simulcast on BBCifor the rest of the UK. Similar highlights arrangements exist for some of the Wales and Northern Ireland games. Scottish Cupand CIS Insurance Cupcoverage is available on BBC Oneor BBC Twoin Scotland, and on BBCithroughout the rest of the country. Similar coverage exists for various Welsh and Northern Irishclub competitions.
BBCalso show extensive highlights from the Barclays Premier League. Match of the Dayshows highlights of each Saturday's games while the Sunday games are covered in Match of the Day 2. Football Focusairs each Saturday lunchtime to preview the weekend's games, followed later by up to the minute game reports in Score through the afternoon on BBCi. As the final whistles approach, coverage switches over to BBC Onein England, while Scottish viewers will be able to see Sportsceneat this time for special focus on the SPLand the other Scottish divisions. SPLhighlights are shown, also under the Sportscenetitle on Monday evenings. The late Saturday afternoon slot in Walesis filled by Wales on Saturday which features detailed reports on matches involving the Welsh football league clubs and the Welsh Premier League. In Northern Irelanda similar service is available, titled Final Score from Northern Ireland.
Beginning in 2009, the
BBCwill air ten Football League Championshipmatches live annually, as well as both legs of a Carling Cup semi-final exclusively live and shared live coverage of the Final with Sky Sports. It will also offer Football League and Carling Cup highlights shows.
Match of the Day and many other live games and highlights shows are anchored by
Gary Lineker, with Ray Stubbsalso presenting live games along with hosting Final Score. Manish Bhasinis the current host of Football Focus. Scottish coverage is presented by Dougie Donnellyand Dougie Vipond. Jason Mohammedis the host of Wales on Saturday and other Welsh football. The main pundits are Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer, Lee Dixon, and Mark Lawrenson. The BBC's main commentators are Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilsonand Guy Mowbrayand BBC Sport Scotland's main commentator is Paul Mitchell. Euro 2008 saw the retirement of the long-standing and popular commentator John Motsonfrom live football commentary, though he is expected to continue working on highlights programmes and BBC Radio 5 Live. Other football hosts and reporters include Gabby Logan, Adrian Chiles, Celina Hinchcliffeand Jake Humphrey.
The BBC holds exclusive rights to the Six Nations championship in the UK. It shows all matches in the tournament live on either
BBC Oneor BBC Two. Coverage of these games is complemented by an interactive service on BBCi. The BBC hold additional rights to the Autumn Internationals for the Irish, Scottish and Welsh sides, as well as highlights of the English team; coverage is again on BBC One or BBC Two.
The BBC holds exclusive rights to show the
EDF Energy Cupand shows some games across the UK and some on BBC Two in Wales only and BBCi for the rest of the country. The BBC holds joint right to show the Magners League, along with Setanta Sportsand S4Cwhich it shows on Friday evenings on BBC Two in Wales and occasionally in Northern Ireland and Scotland and across the rest of the UK on BBCi. Highlights from the Magners Leagueare shown in Scrum Von BBC Two in Wales and BBCi. It is also interesting to note that BBC Sport produces the Welsh language S4C's coverage of the Magners Leagueand EDF Energy Cupunder the " Y Clwb Rygbi" brand. This is because the BBC is obliged to provide S4Cwith several hours of programming a week. BBC Two in Wales often shows Wales national rugby union teamunder-20 Six Nationsgames, which are also shown on BBCi in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
BBC Sport's rugby union coverage is currently presented by
John Inverdale, Gabby Logan, Jill Douglasand Gareth Lewis. The main pundits used are Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies, Andy Nicol, Keith Woodand Stuart Davies. The BBC's commentary team includes Eddie Butler, Nick Mullins, Andrew Cotter, Brian Moore and Jonathan Davies. Bill McLarenwas the BBC's main commentator for many years before his retirement in 2002.
The BBC covers the
Challenge Cupfrom the round in which the Super Leagueclubs enter. The coverage is shown on BBC One and Two and will usually consist of two matches per round, one on a Saturday and the other on a Sunday. Highlights of the Super Leagueare shown under the Super League Showtitle is shown late on a Sunday evening on BBC Two. The show airs at an earlier mid-morning time-slot for viewers in some of the BBC's northern regions, where Rugby Leagueis most popular. The National Leagueplay-offs are also covered on the Super League Show. From 2009 the BBC will hold the rights to show one England international each year.
Rugby League coverage is presented by
Clare Baldingwith the Super League Showfronted by Harry Gration. Ray Frenchand Jonathan Daviesare the BBC's commentary team while Robbie Pauland Jeremy Guscottare amongst the pundits.
After losing the rights to
Formula Oneand the World Rally Championship, the BBC dabbled in British and World Superbikes for a few years — often showing the World Championship version live. In 2003 it also won the rights to the MotoGP World Championship. After a successful first season, coverage was expanded with more live races, and the contract extended until 2009. After dropping the World and British Superbikes, The BBC now shows all MotoGP races, with many qualifying sessions live. Suzi Perryis the host with commentary from Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish. Television coverage of Formula One will return to the BBC in 2009 after a five year deal was announced in March 2008, replacing ITV's existing coverage. [cite web |url=http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/3/7516.html|title=Formula One Administration Ltd announces new BBC Agreement|accessdate= 2008-03-20] Although no deal has yet been confirmed, Martin Brundleis expected to be confirmed as one of two commentators.cite news | url = http://www.autosport.com/news/grapevine.php/id/71018 | title = Brundle denies BBC deal is done | first = Jonathan | last = Noble | date = 2008-09-29 | accessdate = 2008-09-29 | work = Autosport.com | publisher = Haymarket Publications]
BBC Sport also covers the
Isle of Man TT.
The BBC holds the exclusive terrestrial rights to show
Summer Olympicsand Winter Olympicsand has shown live coverage of every Summer Olympicssince 1960. This long-standing association between the Olympic Gamesand the BBC will now include coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympicsto be held in London. Presenters for the Summer Olympicsand Winter Olympicshave included many of the corporation's sports presenters, such as David Coleman, Frank Bough, Des Lynam, Steve Riderand Sue Barker.
For many years, the BBC has covered the biggest events in athletics, stretching as far back as 1954, when
Roger Bannisterbroke the four-minute mile. Fronted for many years by David Coleman, until his retirement after the 2000 Summer Olympics, events such as the Commonwealth Games, the World Championships, the European Athletics Championships, domestic British athletics and mass-participation events such as the London Marathonand the Great North Runhave been and still are broadcast. The athletics presenting team currently (2007) consists of Sue Barker, Hazel Irvine, Colin Jackson, Steve Cram, Jonathan Edwards, Stuart Storey, Paul Dickenson, Brendan Fosterand Michael Johnson.
Although the amount of horse racing on the BBC has declined in recent years, many big races are still to be found on the BBC. The
Grand Nationalhas for many years been 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 Ascotand the Epsom Derbyare also broadcast, with presenter Clare Baldingfronting 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 ITVand 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). However, many important races have disappeared from the BBC in recent years: the Cheltenham Festivaland other Cheltenham meetings went to Channel 4 in 1995, meetings from Newbury moved to Channel 4 in 2002, and after 50 years Glorious Goodwoodand 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 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.
The BBC holds exclusive UK rights to live coverage to two of the four
men's major golf championships, The Open and the US Masters. Led by veteran commentator Peter Alliss, the team also cover four other European Tourevents held in Britain - the PGA Championship, the World Match Play Championship, the British Masters and the Scottish Open, although live coverage of these will be restricted to the weekend's play from 2009 under the new contract negotiated with the European Tour. Sky Sports will cover Thursday and Friday play live. [cite web
title=European Tour announces new Television Agreement
PGA European Tour
2007-07-11] It also covers the Women's British Open. Highlights of the Ryder Cupcan also be seen on the BBC. Gary Linekeris the lead presenter of men's golf on the BBC and Hazel Irvinepresents the women's events.
The 1970s BBC2 programme "
Pot Black" was arguably the reason for the sport's great popularity over the last 30 years. Snooker produced the largest ever audience for BBC2 with the 1985 World Snooker Championship finalbetween Steve Davisand Dennis Taylorpulling in 19 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, the UK Championshipand the Grand Prix. The coverage is regularly hosted by Hazel Irvineand Ray Stubbs.
The BBC carried highlights of the 2007
ICC Cricket World Cup, held in the West Indies. It also carried some highlights of the 2006-07 Ashes series, including the five match test series and also the Commonwealth Bank Seriesbetween Australia, England & New Zealand. They are also expected to provide highlights of the 2009 ICC World Twenty20which is being staged in England. BBCioffered live audio commentary (a simulcast of Radio 5 Live) and scorecards through its " Test Match Special" programme for the World Cup, and continues to do so for all of England's matches.
In September 2007, the BBC acquired the exclusive UK
free-to-airrights to the Super Bowlthrough 2009. [cite web
title=BBC to show Super Bowl live
2007-09-13] The package also includes highlights from a featured NFL match each week on the BBC Sport website, and beginning in 2008, live coverage of games at Wembley Stadium [http://www.nfluk.com/news-display.php?id=3070] . Jake Humphreyis the BBC's American footballpresenter and the studio pundits are Mike Carlsonand Rod Woodson. Match commentators include Dick Stocktonand Sterling Sharpe; the BBC uses the NFL's international feed.
As well as all of this,
BBCshows the BDO World Darts Championships, coverage of the SkiingWorld Cup under its " Ski Sunday" banner; and briefly covers sports such as road and track cycling, sailing, badminton, table tennis, squash, equestrianism, gymnasticsand 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 Douglasand Phil Jones who often report for other areas of BBC Sport.
One of BBC Sport's major criticisms is that it no longer shows any live cricket games, having lost coverage of the Test Matches to Channel 4 and later
Sky Sports. Coverage was fronted by Tony Lewisfor many years. The BBC was also widely criticised for not even 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. That honour went exclusively (and rather controversially) to Sky, with nightly highlights on Five. BBC Radio Five Liveand BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extrado broadcast England matches and some county cricket (along with the BBC's various local stations); many of these radio commentaries are simulcast on BBCiwith live scorecards.
The BBC covered
Formula Onefor 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 Huntand Jonathan Palmer. Coverage was expanded in 1996, 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 continues to broadcast every race live on its radio services. It was announced on March 20 2008 that the BBC had regained the television rights to Formula One for five years starting from the 2009 season.
The BBC also broadcast the
World Rally Championshipsuntil 2001, when Channel 4 bought the rights. WRC is now shown on Dave and Eurosport. The British Touring Car Championshipwas another event the BBC lost when ITV took the broadcasting rights in 2002.
The BBC also hosts a sports forum. Named BBC 606. It covers a large variety of topics which include
cricket, football, rugby (league and union), tennis, athletics, motorsportand many more. Viewers can create their own account. Allowing them to write their own articles and the ability to comment on the topics of others. Members can also rate topics on a scale of 1 to 5 (the greater the number, the better the member thinks of it). Staff members can select topics from various catergories and label them 'Hot Topics', providing a link to the article from its sports homepage.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Broadcasting of sports events
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