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Archives for June 2006

Thanks for taking part

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Chris Russell | 17:23 UK time, Thursday, 29 June 2006

I know we have been telling you about our big TV audiences, how sport can really bring the nation together in this wildly diverging media landscape. It's not just about England either but also those games which don't exactly keep all of us on the edge of their seats.

Personally I've been a bit of a loose end without football in the past couple of days (I loved some of your comments on that) so I have been looking at some other audience figures - to find out how many people have been "interacting" with the BBC around the World Cup.

Thousands of you are voting, rating, commenting, playing, sending and generally playing a massive role in the BBC Sport World Cup experience - which is really fantastic.

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Double Dutch (part deux)

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Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 11:04 UK time, Tuesday, 27 June 2006

There has been an entertaining, and educational, discussion on these pages about what we should call the Dutch team during the World Cup.

Obviously, this is no longer much of an issue, following the team's untimely demise in the second round (and incidentally, I was as gutted as anyone that they went out, as The Oranje have long been my second international team - my early years having coincided with all that total football of the '70s).

But the aftermath of the Dutch defeat to Portugal feels like a good opportunity to revisit the subject of names...

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Top Ten updated

Roger Mosey | 10:08 UK time, Monday, 26 June 2006

As promised, the latest audience ratings. The headlines are that England v Sweden is top of the chart for audience numbers though England v Paraguay is hanging in there with the highest market share. So first the top 10 and then some comments afterwards...

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Gelsenkirchen here we come

Roger Mosey | 20:18 UK time, Sunday, 25 June 2006

A quick update to confirm that the BBC will have exclusive terrestrial television and broadband coverage of the England quarter-final at 4pm next Saturday in Gelsenkirchen --- along with our usual radio service on Five Live.

People have asked again for the headlines of our agreement with ITV on the split of televised matches, and it's like this...

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That time already!

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Howard Nurse | 20:33 UK time, Thursday, 22 June 2006

>Amid all the mayhem of the World Cup in Germany, some of you may have noticed that the football fixtures for next season were released on Thursday.

Seems a bit mad, but fans back home are already gearing up for the new domestic season.

All the fixtures are on the BBC Sport website so you can all start planning for those ridiculous midweek trips down to the other end of the country on a freezing night in November!

You can read here how we work behind the scenes to get the fixtures to you on time.

TV Top Ten

Roger Mosey | 13:40 UK time, Tuesday, 20 June 2006

A lot of people have been asking about ratings and how different teams attract audiences.

Today seemed a good opportunity to update the Top 10 because ITV and the BBC have had one televised England match each so far - and ITV have England v Sweden tonight while we have England's 2nd round match at the weekend, both of which should do very well and change the overall picture.

So at the moment the state of play between the channels is that BBC matches have been watched by an average of 5.1m viewers (36% audience share) while ITV matches have attracted an average of 4.5m viewers (32% audience share). In terms of the top 10 matches, the current rundown is...

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The shape of things to come

Roger Mosey | 22:37 UK time, Tuesday, 13 June 2006

Just before the World Cup started I did a quick interview for The Guardian about our plans for the World Cup. It's traditional on these occasions to say we'll have some new whizzy camera or to dwell on the wonders of our tv studio, or I could have talked about our refreshed graphics package - which is, we think, pretty smart.

But I've tried to be clear from the start that this World Cup is not about new tricks in one medium: it's about innovation across the whole of BBC Sport and it's about offering choice on as many platforms as possible.

So how are we doing? Here are some snapshots of how audiences are responding to our multimedia World Cup...

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About Chris Russell

Chris Russell | 17:45 UK time, Monday, 12 June 2006

I'm the Head of Product Management for BBC Journalism. My job title is one of those BBC classics which means very little to the outside world, but my team of product managers provides a key role in the ongoing development of various BBC interactive services.

We study how our audiences' needs are changing, our editorial colleagues' priorities and what the changing technology can offer. We turn these ideas into services which our designers and technical teams can build, and which you - the audience - will want to use.

The "products" we manage include all of BBC Sport's websites, mobile services and interactive TV, their equivalents from BBC News and Weather and many of our local, regional and international services.

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It's all double Dutch to me

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Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 09:40 UK time, Monday, 12 June 2006

The Dutch have for a long time been one of the most popular teams at the World Cup - all that orange, Total Football tradition and terrace bonhomie seems to appeal to the neutral fan.

But this particular nation always poses a problem for any media organisation covering the football - what do you actually call the team?

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Let the games begin…

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Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 14:55 UK time, Friday, 9 June 2006

So finally, after what feels like years of planning, the 2006 World Cup is under way.

The gestation period for Fifa’s latest extravaganza seems to have been longer than ever – and I speak both as someone professionally involved with the event and as a football fan.

From the supporter’s perspective, it’s just fantastic to have arrived at this stage. Nothing in sport, in my view, comes close to the World Cup. With apologies to the Olympics (that other quadrennial staple of BBC Sport’s output), the sheer scale and undiluted passion of football’s big one simply dwarves every other sporting event.

As a fan (and a father of an unbelievably expectant seven-year-old boy), the last few weeks have felt like the longest, most drawn-out Christmas Eve of all time. “Bring it on – please!” was the message. The anticipation was just becoming too much to take.

But from a professional perspective, the experience has been completely the opposite.

Every day that slipped by was a day’s less preparation time. The countdown clock on our World Cup homepage seemed to be running at twice the normal speed, as our ambitious (some might say over-ambitious…) plans for the BBC Sport website encountered a series of hitches and hurdles. “Don’t let it start yet – please!” was the message. If we could just get another couple of weeks, everything would be fine. But sadly June 9 was one deadline that simply couldn’t be shifted…

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Match of the Day (continued)

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Roger Mosey | 18:24 UK time, Thursday, 8 June 2006

So Match Of The Day stays on BBC One on Saturday night until at least May 2010. Today the FA Premier League awarded the new contract for highlights to the BBC in a deal which means we have four more seasons of showing every goal and all the key action from the Premiership.

We're obviously delighted. The day before the start of the World Cup it's good news for BBC audiences that we have not just the World Cup tournaments from now until 2014 but also a major stake in the success story of the Premier League. Around 7 million people each weekend watch either Match Of The Day on BBC One or the re-run on Sunday morning and MOTD2 on BBC Two on Sunday night. Over a season, well over half the UK population see some of the programmes.

But sports rights do come at a price...

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About Alex Kunawicz

Alex Kunawicz | 14:06 UK time, Wednesday, 7 June 2006

I am a journalist who helps run the Sport editors' blog on a daily basis. After working for a now-defunct sports website and Preston North End, I joined BBC Sport in 2001 as a sub-editor, writing news stories and checking scripts for the presenters of Match of the Day and Grandstand. I also helped research and write guidebooks for our TV production teams for big events such as the World Cup and the Olympics.

In 2004, I moved to TV sports news as an assistant producer. I put together edits of match highlights, cut sound clips from interviews and wrote cues and scripts for presenters.

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Why the World Cup is more than fantasy

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Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 14:49 UK time, Tuesday, 6 June 2006

I’ve had a few emails asking if we’re going to be running a fantasy football game for the World Cup. The answer is no we’re not.

As you may be aware, BBC Sport ran a Premiership fantasy game for a number of years and we also did a version for the 2002 World Cup. But we closed down our Fantasy Football Monthly last year after four successful seasons, as part of a new BBC-wide online strategy aimed at providing more distinctive content.

It was not an easy decision to take.

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You and BBC Sport - now and in the future

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Chris Russell | 16:36 UK time, Monday, 5 June 2006

Some of you will have read Roger's comments about the audience getting power and also seen reports of recent BBC announcements about the growth of user-generated content, and then wondered why we are therefore making changes to the 606 service.

I think it's fair to everyone - the few thousand people who actively contribute to 606 and the majority who don't - to try to explain more on this subject. I want to broaden the debate about what we should do and share as much with as many people as possible. This will hopefully also answer one important question people have asked on 606 and here. What is the real reason for change – cost-cutting or editorial quality or some other hidden factor?

This post is in three parts. Firstly I will quote from and discuss extensively BBC strategy documents, which I have linked to so you can go and make up your own mind. Secondly, I will describe in detail our main interactive World Cup features. Thirdly I will discuss a few ideas which we could do next season with 606 and other sport communities. This is in the hope that you comment on them and help decide which to go ahead with.

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Ian Wright - part II

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Claire Stocks | 09:47 UK time, Monday, 5 June 2006

Paul Armstrong, Match of the Day editor, will be posting regularly on our World Cup blog. Before he left for Germany he wanted to expand on some of the points raised by the Ian Wright "diving" controversy last week.

"In my initial response, I said that 'our audience is perfectly capable of making up their own mind whether they agree or disagree' with Ian.

"Judging by the response, I got that right, if nothing else! We do take on board all the comments and have in fact had our own internal debate about what is a ticklish subject.

"Most of us here would like to see no diving whatsoever during the World Cup, but we will not be censoring - or indeed censuring - our pundits if, as Ian did, they express an opinion during a live broadcast which is not universally popular.

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World Cup & Wimbledon on broadband

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Roger Mosey | 13:39 UK time, Thursday, 1 June 2006

A couple of major announcements in two days: first that Wimbledon will be available this year for the first time online - and now today we've secured the broadband rights to this year's Fifa World Cup.

This means a summer of unprecedented top-quality sport online from the BBC for users in the UK. At Wimbledon there'll be up to five live interactive video streams of action from around the courts, supplemented by a daily round-up of highlights that's available for our global audiences too.

From Germany 2006 there'll be all the BBC games streamed live in video; every single match streamed in audio; and then video highlights on-demand, again for every game.

This reflects us taking seriously what you've been saying to us.

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