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Good reasons to stay up late

Roger Mosey | 16:00 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I normally sleep soundly, but as director of sport I've found there are two exceptions to that rule. One is the night of Sports Personality where the buzz of the event is like drinking 23 cups of black coffee, and I find myself pacing round a hotel room in Birmingham or Liverpool at three in the morning. The other is when we have a Premier League rights deal in the offing and there's the late-night jab of awareness that we're at the once-every-three-years moment when the fate of Match Of The Day is at stake.

Well, we've just been through the rights process for Premier League highlights - and I'm delighted to report that the BBC has been successful. Match Of The Day will stay on BBC screens until at least the summer of 2013 in the current format: the main show on Saturday night, the repeat on Sunday morning, MOTD2 on Sunday evening - and then the occasional special, like tonight, when we catch up with a midweek fixture list.

BBC camera man, Old Trafford

Just listing that volume of coverage points to one reason why Match Of The Day is so important to us; and it also underpins our other football shows like Football Focus and Final Score. Every Premier League week we have all the goals from all ten matches, and Match Of The Day remains the place where most people in the UK see top league action.

A total of around 30 million watch at some point during the season, but weekly audiences for the main shows are rising too. In the last full season, 2007-8, the Saturday programme averaged 3.8m viewers - the highest since 2002-3 when the coverage was on ITV and partially in peaktime. Sunday night has had an even sharper rise: in 2004-5 it was watched by an average 1.5m, while so far in 2008-9 it's registering 2.5m. Not much evidence for the glum folk who claimed demand for highlights would fall.

The new contract from Autumn 2010 will allow us to put more of the content online too. For the last 18 months Match Of The Day has been simulcast live on this website, but the new deal lets us put MOTD2 on the BBC iPlayer. That means all the weekend goals will be on offer in the one show, and it will supplement our SPL online goals and the Football League service that starts this coming August.

As for the price: it's level with our current contract. But more people are watching; it has a richer mix of rights; and it's still below what ITV paid for Premier League highlights in 2000.

Now, I know some people will have another bash at us for not having enough live football on television. But later this year we introduce live Championship matches, live semi-finals and the finals of the Carling Cup - and the biggest tournament of all, the FIFA World Cup, will be just around the corner. Our live and online radio commentaries are still extremely popular too. We emphatically didn't want to lose the FA properties on TV, but we spent some of that money on the Football League and some on the return of F1 to the BBC.

John Motson, Gavin Peacock and producer, Fratton Park

That fits into a portfolio that's seen other major renewals in the past couple of years: most noticeably Wimbledon and the Six Nations, which are both guaranteed well into the next decade along now with MOTD.

So we'll continue to tell the story of the Premier League for millions of fans - and for everyone who just sees Match Of The Day as part of the British weekend. Love it or hate it, you have to admit Saturday night on BBC One wouldn't be the same without that theme tune...

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    First question - Why MOTD2 only on iPlayer and not MOTD?

  • Comment number 2.

    This news has made my day (yes not much has happened)

    The BBC crew are so much better than those on ITV, and the commentary on Virgin Media internet highlights are just plain dull.

    :D

  • Comment number 3.

    why is there no repeat of todays show tomorrow? and couldn't you have started it at 10 oclock? anyway nice to see you have retained the rights and its gonna be on iplayer

  • Comment number 4.

    Excellent news, i'm so happy that MOTD will still be with us, it was a sham when ITV did it and they look to be cocking up the FA cup this year.

    Its also good that MOTD2 will be on iplayer too, another excellent addition.

    With the league football, league cup and world club cup it will be shaping up to a good few years for football on the beeb.

    Well done!

  • Comment number 5.

    This is great news! Even with competition from the commercial and satellite channels, the BBC for me, still remains the benchmark for quality sports broadcasting, and offers the best coverage of events.

    Okay so it helps that you don't get ad breaks disrupting the analysis or the build-up to the game. There's nothing worse than the phrase, "...right after the break!"

  • Comment number 6.

    Will the online content be available to users outside the UK?

  • Comment number 7.

    If there is a Premier League match on a Monday then no highlights are shown (even on the website).

    Is it not possible to have a 10 min slot after the 10 o'clock news to show some highlights?

  • Comment number 8.

    Get In !!! Result !!!

  • Comment number 9.

    Well thats good news indeed isnt it?

    Now if only we can sort out the farce that is England away games on setanta . . . .

  • Comment number 10.

    Good news. ITV coverage is not in the same league, with the possible excepton of the big Champions League matches.

  • Comment number 11.

    Well done the beeb - I'd happily cough up my license fee until 2013 if it meant I'd have MOTD to look forward to.

    It's just a shame you lost the FA Cup, and you don't have the Champions League.

    But hey.. Mustn't grumble

  • Comment number 12.

    if the BBC gets the FA cup back then were laughing. ITV is shocking, the guy from the Everest windows adverts was presenting FA CUP highlights on saturday night. i coudnt belive it. i would love to talk to CSO at ITV and ask him if he thought it would be a good idea to annoy every football fan in the country with shocking coverage

  • Comment number 13.


    Are there any plans of making the viewing of MOTD available for viewers outside the UK as well? If not why not?


  • Comment number 14.

    Great News.

    Do you think we could possibly get the Sunday MOTD to start later in the morning, say around 11am because boy am I hungoooooooveeeeerrrr most Sundays to get up in time.

    Cheers.

    Jeffs.

  • Comment number 15.

    Fantastic news.. The BBC coverage is second to none, and ITV is not even a shadow if it!
    Long live MOTD ON BBC!

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    All very good, but something has to be done, soon, about the FA Cup too. The ITV/Setanta coverage has been absolutely DIRE. Come to an agreement with them, do a deal, but get the FA Cup back on too.

  • Comment number 18.

    Good work with live Championship games and MOTD2 on iPlayer, will be a refershing change.

    Sky format is good, but the same old faces/ points of view. Setanta is just, well, Setanta!

  • Comment number 19.

    Thank heavens for that. ITV's coverage of the FA Cup so far has been dire, woeful, and a host of words that won't allow this post to be published, and that grating idiot Matt Smith is just the most annoying presenter around.
    Why....does he talk........and pause.........every......other.....couple of......syllables?

    Hurrah for Gary, Alan, Lawro et al, and MOTD!

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Brilliant news, i hate ITV football

  • Comment number 22.

    Good. MOTD 2 is the best football highlights show I have ever seen on telly. With the Championship matches that are going to be shown are they going to be on a bbc sport channel or has that not been decided yet??

  • Comment number 23.

    Roger - can I ask for a return to proper commentary for MOTD.
    I already watch ITVs visual outpourings with the sound down or 5live commentary if it is in sync.
    Therefore can we have an end to the terrible voice over re-recordings for key moments. They are an insult to more intelligent fans amongst ourselves.

    Football focus - can we go back to incisive debate and some hard nosed interviews where appropriate, rather than this matey, matey stuff. no-one says a bad word about anything - whether it be excessive money, bungs, bad purchases etc...
    I want to go back to watching this though can't as it is lightweight.

    Score - sorry mate I have Freeview so Skysports News wins hands down if I am not at a game. Merson is awful but entertainingly so, Garth Crooks is just awful on score - in my opinion

  • Comment number 24.

    Good news.

    I will also add that i think the beeb has the 2 best commentators in country right now... Steve Wilson and Guy Mowbray.

  • Comment number 25.

    #7 - not entirely right. They are shown on "Inside Sport", when it's on... But otherwise very good news, and putting MOTD2 on iPlayer makes sense to me rather than showing both. Putting MOTD on iPlayer too would just be double handling, showing a load of games twice - a sensible use of our licence fee. Now all we need is more live fitba!

  • Comment number 26.

    Fantastic. I watch Match of the Day even when i've seen the Liverpool match. And I watch MotD2 even when i've watched both sunday games live. Nothing beats it! :)

  • Comment number 27.

    sure this will be the same sentiment as all the other posts which have yet to appear (tut, tut moderators)....

    thank god itv didn't get it

  • Comment number 28.

    Good news about MOTD2 on th I -Player, although MOTD would have been better. Ridiculous that the technology works but the highlights cannot be shown, I always end up trawling through Youtube...

  • Comment number 29.

    Really glad to hear that MOTD is staying at the BBC for a good few years.

    As much as Lawro and Hansen sometimes do talk some piffle (and im a liverpool fan), they're a damn site better than the ITV team and Lineker is the only presenter in my eyes worthy to run the show (Chiles on a Sun is great also).

    MOTD 2 was a gread addition and glad that it is staying, when you've missed saturdays highlights after a night out or so and you sleept in the next day, you can sooth your throbing head with light hearted banter and those all important highlights.

    F1 should be interesting too, i didn't mind it on ITV but im lookin foward to hearing Murray Walker fluffing his sentences and making it all the more exciting to watch.

    Nice one BBC.

  • Comment number 30.

    What about us Brits abroad? Will we be able to watch online or on the iPlayer?

  • Comment number 31.

    I agree about the Sky Sports commentary comment being better than Score, although it is a decent enough programme for those who don't have access to Sky/Cable.

    And i also agree that Garth Crooks is a terrible pundit, he doesn't half talk some rubbish sometimes and Carlton Palmer just hasn't got a clue, in management, as a player or as a pundit.

    Sorry, after the first post of being all cheery i kinda had to set the balance right with a winge...

  • Comment number 32.

    Great news beeb. Here in Ireland we get the matches at 2100 on RTE's highlights show. However, I prefer the Beeb's coverage. With the Football league and cup besides South Africa 2010 the football coverage is stepping up a gear. Not too bothered about ITV Sport - just tend to ignore it except for the Champs League. Isn't it true the Beeb can't bid for Champs League because of all the sponsorship? What a shame. Five Live is a great port of call especially analysis and debate on Five Live Sport and 606. Setanta has been impressive with the Internationals, FA Cup and Premiership coverage. Great to see the Sky monoply broken.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    And comment 12, that made me laugh.

    He's been doing it for awhile and other presenting work but i do think he is better at the Everest adverts than the FA cup highlights.

  • Comment number 35.

    Excellent News!

    I believe that football highlights/goals should remain accessable to 'freeview' users.

    With the inclusion of Sky Sports News on Freeview you can now see all goals from every competition too.

    I would like to see more live football on terestrial freeview channels, but understand this is expensive.

    Hopefully one day we will see a few live Premier League games on freeview as well.

    The new system of Sky/Setanta is appauling for the consumer, as you now have to subscribe to Sky AND Setanta to see your teams games.

    Glad Formula One is returning as well as I was growing tired of the add breaks.

  • Comment number 36.

    #23

    Agree 100% with you RobVilla. Football focus hasn't been good to watch in a while. Soccer Saturday is far better as there is a bit more opinion and you have the likes of Paul Merson, Chris Kamara and Alan McInally, who are all funny to watch and can be serious sometimes!

    As for score, I don't actually know why the BBC bothers. Soccer Saturday is easily the best and when its on a break I'd prefer to watch Setanta's coverage.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    MOTD might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I dont think anyone would think that having no football on free television is a good idea.
    Well in BBC!

  • Comment number 40.

    Any plans to have MOTD in HD?

  • Comment number 41.

    Good news, but what I want to know is: Will you ever allow Alan Green to cover live games for TV? Even if it's just for the World Cup

  • Comment number 42.

    Great news that the beeb have kept the highlights, although I prefer soccer saturday on sky instead of score. You could probably save yourselves a few quid by just scrapping it and using the cash elsewhere.

  • Comment number 43.

    When can you save us from the hell that is the FA cup on ITV??????????????????

  • Comment number 44.

    MOTD is the God in the pile up of football highlights programmes, may it's reign be long and joyful.

  • Comment number 45.

    Great news there! Thank goodnes ITV haven't got it. Happy also that it'll be on the iPlayer as well. ;)

    @Cheesymunky (Post #29) - Murray Walker isn't doing commentary - dunno where you got that from. He's doing web blogs and stuff. Legard and Brundle are providing the commentary.

  • Comment number 46.

    Thank god, the ITV football shows are painful to watch.

    How about trying different people as the analyst's?
    Ex-footballers always tend to be chummy and never say anything derogatory, why not try people like sports journalists who could add a different kind of scrutinizing to the show.

  • Comment number 47.

    Great news. BBC coverage is of a much higher quality than ITV. Glad I'll now be able to watch MOTD2 on iplayer too, because that's one I often miss.

  • Comment number 48.

    .....I pay my license fee and all i get from it is Premier league highlights and Top Gear am i supposed to congratulate the BBC? yes it has the best presenters and commentators but there's not much to commentate on the rest of the listings is cooking programmes and house programmes neither of which are worth watching

  • Comment number 49.

    Those living outside the UK - the BBC does not have the rights to broadcast EPL highlights abroad, and of course should never bother acquiring them because they are expensive and largely useless. If those outside the UK can send the BBC the annual license fee, by cheque, then that would be a start.

  • Comment number 50.

    I very much doubt (and indeed hope) that the online content will be available outside the UK. The BBC isn't free- we have to pay our license fees over here, so it would be unfair if people who didn't pay the fees were able to watch the highlights online. You don't get anything for free in this world- I'd be fuming if people outside the UK got to see this stuff.

  • Comment number 51.

    Doesn't matter which station gets the fa cup and highlights, it will all be 'big four' blah blah as usual.

  • Comment number 52.

    Great news. Less football on ITV please, they should stick to what they are good at, which is... Harry Hill?

    And people complaining about Setanta - you don't need Sky. So at least that means people can watch live Premiership matches through VirginMedia, Top up TV etc, which doesn't cost as much as a Sky subscription. I can understand your frustrations if you're a SkySports subscriber, but take it out on Sky - if you're getting less coverage from them then ask for a reduction in your subs!

    But above all it means you don't have to give any money to Murdoch (I would get Sky if it had nothing to do with him). And if Sky hadn't come in and monopolised live English football we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    :D I love BBC Football!!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    This'd be better news if the BBC also cancelled Shearer's contract. He adds nothing to the programme but dreary, one-dimensional analysis that is a long way from 'insight' to even the most limited of footy watchers.

  • Comment number 56.

    Hello Roger,

    Great news about the deal but may i ask what is going to be done about external websites which offer BBC premiership highlights whenever you want them.

    This seriously devalues the deal because under the currenrt agreement premership highlights cannot be shown via iplayer yet a quick search in google leads you to many sites which screen BBC highlights

  • Comment number 57.

    A few questions that spring to mind, Roger:

    Do you think a factor in the BBC winning the new contract was the Premier League being happy with the MOTD coverage or was it solely down to you offering them the most money?

    Do you envisage any changes being made to the format of MOTD or MOTD2 under the new contract?

    Are you worried about the status of MOTD being "the first place to watch the day's football" being eroded as more and more people watch the Saturday games live on illegal internet streams?

    Does the above photo of Motty illustrate that he was watching a less-than-riveting game at Fratton Park that day?

  • Comment number 58.

    OK, that's a good bit of news. But why does MOTD have to be on so late at night? I know Sky have their (rubbish) goals programme that it can't go against but surely it can go earlier than 10.30 / 10.45 that is does some nights.

    I'm afraid I am one of those who will gripe about you not having the FA Cup, and the extent of your other sports coverage. There's just too many to go into here - but the overall impression is one that you don't really care so much for sport where it has been so much a part of your fibre in the past. I think this can best illustrated by the fact that Inside Sport is on past 11 o'clock on a Monday - totally absurd.

    To finish on a plus - great news about MOTD being on iPlayer.

  • Comment number 59.

    well i must be the only dissapointed football fan on here then...the article comes over as a success for the BBC..and maybe it is for them..for me it means watching all the live games we really want to see online in HD as i cant afford sky etc..

    Why cant the BBC concentrate on saving the national team and bringing back England to the BBC?

    the article also states that you will be showing the semis and final of the carling cup...well it may have escaped you but the semis have already passed you by!

  • Comment number 60.

    great news, condsidering ITV poor fA cup coverage.

    There highlights show was poor, Swansea, how many mins of highlights? not enough.
    And there camera view in that match, stupid.


    agian great news

  • Comment number 61.

    Please, Please , get rid of the pundits. Hanson is depressing, Lawrenson smug, Shearer boring, etc. We need some new blood and it would be nice if we had someone from Man U. They have won the title on numerous occasions, so surely there must be someone who can give a non liverpool slant to the proceedings.

  • Comment number 62.

    Roger
    I have watched MOTD and its variants all of its years on the box.

    Your blog brings good news in the main.

    My message is - of course you are better at it than ITV but that goes for all sports not just football. But please take MOTD out of its comfort zone. 'Lawro' comes across as a bad case of boredom and Hansen is very predictable. Half of their input would make for a more incisive piece.

    Please don't sleepwalk into the usual BBC mentality (the've been on 25 years so they must be a public treasure), they are not a public treasure and they have nothing new to say. Need to freshen this up. Motd2 is good.

    Like previous posters I feel Sky is better than score.

    Good luck for in the negotiations, and remember we are all on your side as licence payers in the battle against the pay channels (I know we pay a licence fee b4 someone states the obvious).

  • Comment number 63.

    meh, its ok news but highlights would have been on terrestrial anyway its just the Beeb who have it. Whether it's on BBC or ITV or even Channel 4 ain't that important really.

  • Comment number 64.

    Why oh why is this good news???? why can't the BBC pay for some live games for crying out aloud.

    Yet again the media pats itself on the back for an average job. Can we not get rid of the TV licence and then let us deceide what sports we want to watch including football the most popular sport in the British Isles.

    PMSL at we are delighted in announcing we have won the rights to show highlights.

    Sounds like a Victorian peasant pleased to buy scraps for food.

    Why are BBC becoming so bad? writers included.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    #35

    Thats not right about having to have Sky to get Setanta. People with just a freeview box can get Setanta without all the extra stuff that must come with Sky. Setanta works out much cheaper alone.


    For Football Focus I agree with others about it being too matey. The pundits are so boring as well. Manish is professional but a little boring in my opinion.

    Fair play on MoTD though. Not much wrong with it although using Martin Keown more often is a bad idea I think. How about some more recent players who can put a sentence together, Setanta are very good at this.

  • Comment number 67.

    ITV coverage is awful. Cant stand the commentators. And there shows are blatent rip offs of MOTD. The pundits on ITV are poor, where as on MOTD i love the banter and the chemistry, its abit like the 3 presenters on topgear.

    BBC is where all football would belong if it was upto me.

  • Comment number 68.

    This is great news for all of us people who are too busy with our interests to sit all the way through a whole 90mins.
    MOTD is the perfect show; No "see you after the break" nonsense like the sponsered channels! (Isn't the FA cup ponderous this year because ITV are hosting it?) And anyway, I think that to sit and watch a whole live match on TV is boring. The only true way to watch 90mins worth is to go there in person. Please keep MOTD! But don't allow the BBC pundits to become complacent. Andy Gray is quite a knowledgeable and shrewd character, but so far, Lineakar, Hansen and co. provide interesting insight, but please don't let them think they can become 'untouchable' as far as analysis goes. Sometimes, the 'bite size' highlights programme is the odeal way to take in a game!
    Long may you deliver!

  • Comment number 69.

    Now that the BBC can, if they wish, rest in the comfort of this news, I hope they don’t and take a critical look at the current offering on Saturday night.

    The programme might compare favourably with others but this is not to suggest it produces quality viewing. To use a footballing analogy: the BBC’s competitors might be languishing in the Blue Circle Premier, but MOTD is going nowhere in mid-table in Football League Two - they have a lot to do to qualify for Europe.

    Am I not the only one who thinks the inane and repetitive input from the so-called experts is allocated far too much time in the programme. Yes, an alternative channel has unwelcomed commercial breaks, but what MOTD offers instead is the same old comments littered with clichés. How many more times does Alan Hansen have to say, “We’ve said it time and time again,” before he gets the minimum of a yellow card from OFCOM. While moderately exaggerating, is Alan Shearer capable of completing a sentence without using the phrase “Week in, week out”?

    I fail to see the point of showing the goals (or significant incidents in the game) once more along with the expert dross – yes, the goals that were shown at full speed and then repeated in slow motion from at least three different angles during the highlights themselves.

    Please remove the analysis from the sofa and show more action.

    Is anyone else with me?

  • Comment number 70.

    fantastic. now if you could just get rid of lawrenson that would be perfect

  • Comment number 71.

    Where's the cricket, then?

  • Comment number 72.

    This is reasonably good news, although the BBC could learn something from ITV. That is to give your audience some respect by showing MOTD at the same set time every week instead of moving it about at the whim of some meaningless drivel.

    By moving it about, the BBC is showing how low a priority the program is. MOTD has some of the largest viewing figures so it should be given the priority for the 10:30 slot.

    This has been a bugbear for years and about the only thing that ITV got right.

  • Comment number 73.

    As technology has moved on, and what with the interactive red button, is it not possible for the BBC to broadcast football without the commentator's drone but keep the crowd noise (and therefore atmosphere)?

    Now, that's what I would call an improvement.

    (Note to me - Ref#69 - don't copy text into this comment pane as there are some translation issues with some characters!)

  • Comment number 74.

    great news!!


    the BBC provides best coverage of sports. its a shame that the FA Cup and England games arn't on the BBC anymore.

  • Comment number 75.

    #9, DevilinRed said: "Now if only we can sort out the farce that is England away games on setanta . . . ." while #59, England1957 asked: "Why cant the BBC concentrate on saving the national team and bringing back England to the BBC?"

    Why would the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation have anything to do with "saving" the English football team? If you want that, I'll be wanting my license fee back and I suspect most Scots, Welshmen and viewers in Northen Ireland might feel the same.


    Totally agree on score - you can only get it on the reb button, which means you have digital TV. Since all digital TV platforms carry Sky Sports News and the far superior Soccer Saturday.

    Glad it's going to be retained, but don't think you should rest on your laurels either. Especially where pundits and commentators are concerned. Lawrencon always looked bored, Shearer always defends the English players even when they dive or make bad challenges, Dixon tries to be funny but isn't and Keown seems constantly nervous.

    But I had to laugh at the comment about Matt Smith being "just the most annoying presenter around.
    Why....does he talk........and pause.........every......other.....couple of......syllables?" (ArgieWizard, #19). Have you never watched MotD2 with Adrian Chiles and his amazing stop-start, erm his amazing, stop-start sentances?

  • Comment number 76.

    Very pleased to hear it as I loathe adverts.
    Perhaps adrian chiles could be promoted and freshen up the presentation team, which has become very tired.

  • Comment number 77.

    On MOTD/MOTD2 can we please remove from the showing of substitutions taking place, it ruins watching the highlights.

    A simple on screen graphic eg. Off: Ryan Giggs, On: Carlos Tevez, would suffice.

    When we actually see footage of the substitution, it instantly tells me Carlos Tevez will a) score or b) get sent off.


    Also can we get some of the money being spent on all these sports, sent up to Scotland, so we can get SPL highlights of a decent length?

    The current format of 2-3 minutes per match (including replays) we see on BBC/Setanta currently doesn't really give us much.

  • Comment number 78.

    Perhaps he could also ensure that the codec used to compress the live stream on the BBC Football website is capable of handling motion instead of producing an unwatchable blurry mess. Oh and the audo being in sync with the video would also be a plus!

  • Comment number 79.

    I would love it if BBC took on the La Liga.

  • Comment number 80.

    Thanks for this blog Roger. This is great news.

    Contrary to other posts on here I like the punditry on MOTD and the relaxed format and is part of the fabric of Saturday evenings as you say. As a freeview user I also prefer Score to Soccer Saturday. I do agree though that the loss of the FA Cup has meant, in my opinion, diabolical coverage on ITV. The decision not to show the Merseyside derby at the first opportunity was a disgrace.

    I recently posted a comment on a previous blog about how I wished for the old-style MOTD, and was grateful for your response Roger. I know I'm falling into a familiar trap by wanting to believe something I've read on the website of a newspaper, but is it true that from 2010-11 MOTD has the right to show up to 30 minutes from each game? If so, it would be great to give the game of the day lengthier coverage.

    Anyway, good news.

  • Comment number 81.

    Fantastic news.

    After watching Portsmouth v Swansea from an over-zoomed camera on ITV, I am delighted the beeb get to keep the Premier League.

  • Comment number 82.

    All I can say is, what a relief! I was dreading MOTDless Saturday nights! I have watched the FA cup highlights on ITV so far this season and it just cannot be compared. The commentators are second rate, the pundits talk for much too long (30 minutes analysing Chelsea-Southend a day after the match!) and the commercial breaks just annoy everyone.
    Thank God we will all still hear that tune on a Saturday night!

  • Comment number 83.

    Blimey - more than 80 comments already! So apologies for not picking up individual points as I normally do. But taking up some of the main themes:

    Why can't the digital content be accessed by people abroad? Like almost all rightsholders, the Premier League sells its content country-by-country. So we're required to geo-block our online services to the UK.

    Why MOTD2 on the iPlayer not MOTD? That's because of other live and online rights packages, but the virtue of having MOTD2 available is it includes all the weekend's goals from all the games.

    Are we going to freshen up/change the programmes? All shows develop over time, and MOTD2 was a deliberate attempt to bring a different Sunday night style into our football coverage. We'll keep looking at innovations, but obvious point: we shouldn't tamper too much with something that's demonstrably successful.

    Will the live Championship games be on a BBC sports channel? No, they'll be on BBC One/BBC Two.

    Finally for now - comments positive and negative have been read not just by me but by the MOTD team. And we're really grateful for all the support shown, and for the people who've taken the trouble to say they like what we do.

  • Comment number 84.

    Thats a real shame. I'm fed up of the beebs obvious bias towards the larger teams particularly Liverpool. By any chance are the people at the top Liverpool supporters?

  • Comment number 85.

    Roger,

    First of all, I think it's great that the BBC has retained the premiership highlights rights. After the unforgiveable act of surrendering the FA cup rights to ITV, it would have been terrible if the premiership had gone that way as well.

    Secondly, what are the chances of getting the guys to stop calling Mark Lawrenson "Lawro"? Just makes him sound ridiculous.

    Thirdly, I know that John Motson is a British institution, but I think we all can agree that he's had his day...give the main matches to Simon Brotherton and the like.

    Fourthly, why do we see 5-10 minute highlights of each match nowadays? There's no way to get a real feel for how the game was going. How about reverting to how it was 10 years ago, showing extended highlights of 3 games and just having the goals from the rest?

    Finally (forgive the length, but to be honest I wasn't aware that you existed until I read this blog), may I suggest you rename Football Focus "Premiership Focus"? That's all that seems to be talked about 95% of the time unless it's FA cup weekend. There are 72 football league clubs you know. Maybe a couple of features on them wouldn't go amiss?

    Oh, (look at that, I found something else to be grumpy about? :D) maybe the pundits could all do a referee's course and ref a few sunday league matches? Maybe then they'd realise just how hard a job it is (don't expect everyone else to agree with that one...)

    Cheers.

  • Comment number 86.

    I do find it ironic that a picture of a Villa - Fulham game is used fr this piece when Fulham are usually last on MOTD!

    That aside, great news. Hopefully you can get the FA Cup back soon as well.

  • Comment number 87.

    I must lend my weight to the praise given to MOTD. Although I thoroughly enjoy MOTD and MOTD2 I didn't realise how good and polished it was until I saw ITV's FA Cup MOTD equivalent ... it was god damn awful.

  • Comment number 88.

    And will we see an interview with the manager of Manchester United on the BBC by the time this new contract runs out?

  • Comment number 89.

    Just need to get Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football (NFL) Along with Mike Carlson to continue the sport into the night and live would be perfect!

  • Comment number 90.

    Regarding numerous posts on the subject of online coverage for viewers abroad: I'm sure I'm not alone in being a Brit who is abroad much of the time but who also pays a full license fee in the UK. I cannot believe it is beyond the wit of man or the Beeb to enable license payers like me to have a secure login so that they can enjoy the programmes they help fund. Please, please have a serious look at this. As traditional broadcasting disappears, online/streamed content becomes the norm and markets are deregulated, the BBC would be well served in being one step ahead. Think how many people globally would be happy to pay the license fee to access the BBC's quality content if they had the chance...

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    Roger - just to confirm what I read elsewhere, that you have the rights for up to 30 minutes of highlights of each match, as opposed to just 10 now? And I assume you will only use the extra time for the big top four matches? Thus will MOTD be the same length as now?

    I also agree with above posters that La Liga is worth bidding for - a truly fabulous league.

  • Comment number 93.

    OTM about MOTD, especially the news that it'll be available on iplayer. How long will it be available for?
    I agree with EVERYONE that ITV is pants, but has anyone seen the Setanta version of Score? It's worse than any football programme I've ever seen, including the travesty that was the John Barnes C5 fiasco.
    Lastly, is the producer seriously called 'Fratton Park', or is your punctuation misleading me?

  • Comment number 94.

    Great news but but for Brits and i'm a Scot, can you please make it possible for us to watch MOTD & SPL when your abroad. I'm now living in the States and have to download it every weekend from certain websites which takes a age. Please make this possible and not just for UK users only. Cheers

  • Comment number 95.

    I'm out of the country (oz) right now, makes you really appreciate having the bbc and the license fee, I can only get footie on satellite here, and not even bbc radio online broadcasts football because of the rights, saturdays are just dull without football - and I need my fix of MOTD

    But anyway, great news about keeping highlights til 2013 - the ITV coverage was an expensive shambles, and their FA cup coverage is awful - I don't quite understand what you got in the league instead of that, and I would rather it back than F1 but that's just my personal opinion - Everybody seems to agree on the FA cup front, but the only way we can get it off ITV is if they get low viewing figures, so we have to stop watching all together

    If you wonder why MOTD2 is getting higher viewing figures, it's probably because it's better! It's much funnier and has a better format, even if it is on a sunday and usually has worse games, you get all the goals and Adrian Chiles is much better with the banter than Lineker, and 2good2bad is great - MOTD is quite dull in comparison

    Likewise football focus is probably being steamrollered by Jeff Stelling and soccer saturday - now available to pretty much everyone on freeview and online, I tried to watch FF one week and it was so boring, soccer saturday is much more lively and exciting with lots of banter

    I do like the introduction of Martin Keown, he's pretty eloquent for a footballer, but you could do with livening up the pundits - does anybody actually like Lawro?

  • Comment number 96.

    FANTASTIC NEWS!!!!!!!!

    Like everybody else, i can't stand any sport on ITV!!

    Please dont ever let MOTD go back to ITV!!

    However, could you do a small program of highlights for Division 1? There have been some cracking games this season!!

    Also, what about allowing the games on 5live & Sports Extra to be heard abroad.

    I live abroad, and for "Contractual Reasons" i cannot listen to live commentary.

    Keep up the Good Work!

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    The crime was letting the FA Cup live games go. I just cannot forgive that. ITV are killing my interest in the great cup with agonisingly dreadful coverage (in particular the highlights). I know it's up to them to get their act together but all the same I worry that the BBC let it go without a proper fight. Please give us a chink of light that it'll be back on the BBC before long. Please.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    Great news! As well as the great football coverage continues on the bbc but the subtitles will continue being 2 seconds behind the commentator rather than 2 minutes behind like ITV and Sky. Setanta don't even have subtitles. Maybe its time for the BBC to take things a little further? Extra score is great on the interactive button, however how about if we have another interactive program building up to the MOTD program with Adrian standing on a screen giving out detailed team news and facts about previous team meetings etc


    Can I make a couple of suggestions?

    The Studio is looking a little dated.... maybe changing the studio into a pub scene as the usual pundits are looking too relaxed for the current scenery.

    Also, a weekly friday evening program interviewing players/managers/news headliners as well of Football Focus as some of us work on Saturday. I would like to see more of the Scottish Highlights and perhaps some Welsh football? This could bring/encourage the unknown teams into the spotlight.

    You've got the contract til 2013, show the world what you guys can do and put the other channels into shame. Show us what you can do for our licence fee!

    Well done and good luck on the hard job in making BBC Football better!

 

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