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Answers to your questions on our Match of the Day repeat

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Paul Armstrong | 14:46 UK time, Monday, 18 September 2006

I've just returned from a few days away to a fascinating and heated online debate about the Match Of The Day repeat.

If I'd been around, I would have intervened earlier.

There's a simple explanation for why the show is repeated so early on a Sunday...

...namely, our contract with the Premier League.

Contractually, the repeat has to be off-air before 10.30am, so a "Goals on Sunday" or pre-"Sunday Grandstand" slot is not an option. Furthermore, BBC1 has a long-standing politics slot after 9am on a Sunday - formerly with David Frost, now Andrew Marr - so our repeat has been roughly where it is now, ever since its inception. The viewing figures are remarkably strong, though we are aware that the slot isn't ideal for some of you.

And unfortunately, the BBC has no interactive or online rights to Premiership action, so the various red button and broadband propositions some of you have suggested, while appealing, are just not contractually possible.

Personally - and irrespective of whether I've worked the previous night - I rarely surface before mid-morning on a Sunday. If I've been out the previous night, or more likely, have edited the show and want to review it, I generally have to watch a recording.

Obviously, that means not only owning a means of recording but also remembering to set it. However, certain older relatives, and friends who have children, tell me that the current repeat transmission time is ideal for them. Sorry if it doesn't work for anyone reading this, but it doesn't seem likely to change in the near future.

This last weekend highlighted the biggest improvement in our contract compared to the ones we (and ITV) had previously: that is, the ability to show a Sunday highlights show. The weekend's two biggest clashes - at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge - were understandably moved by Sky for live coverage on Sunday, and three Uefa Cup-affected fixtures also moved back by 24 hours.

So, five fixtures on Saturday, five on Sunday, and in the old days we'd have been unable to show any of the latter until the following Saturday's Football Focus. MOTD2 now saves us from that frustration. With Setanta also looking to schedule two fixtures a weekend from next season, there will probably be even fewer 3pm Saturday kick-offs, but at least we should be able to show highlights of all games played across the weekend.

A few answers to other points raised in your comments/emails:

The order of games in the titles is purely alphabetical, and the Villa badge really is included! Admittedly, it's rather subliminally hinted at on the pitch in a shot of one of the Villa Park stands, but it is there. I'm told it's called "art". When we got the contract back, we decided to dispense with opening sequences, menus listing the order of matches and full team graphics on every game, as a means of speeding up the programme and including more match action. However, we constantly review our approach.

And Sam Godden, I'm flattered that you've asked me for advice on your GCSE options, but it's much too much reponsibility for me to take! All I would say is good luck, and that English should be high on your list of priorities, particularly if you're interested in a career in the media.

Not that Match of the Day (and, indeed, this blog) doesn't occasionally break the rules of English grammar, but we do try to set a good example. Speaking of which, our commentaries are sometimes edited, but never post-dubbed, and I can assure Marc Q that the level of the various commentators' excitement does not determine the running order. If it did, we'd set off a competitive process which would end with match edits audible only to dogs!

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