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BBC Sport's route map for the future

Claire Stocks | 14:43 UK time, Friday, 1 December 2006

Roger Mosey, director of BBC Sport (ie the boss), made an interesting speech this week outlining how we are transforming what we do in response to the changing media landscape (such as phasing out Grandstand in place of on-demand services), and underlining our commitment to sport long-term.

It is posted on the BBC press office website so we haven't repeated it here, but feel free to comment on this blog.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:35 PM on 01 Dec 2006,
  • jenny wrote:

I don’t think I‘m the only licence payer who is getting a tad bored with the BBC’s obsession with ‘digital technology’. At the end of the day it’s just a medium of distribution - it’s the content that really counts and on that front the BBC’s efforts can leave at lot to be desired.

What are BBC Sport doing to improve journalistic standards?
What are BBC Sport doing to improve their feedback mechanisms?
What are BBC sport doing to reduce the number of errors on their website?

These are just some of the questions never raised on these blogs. Perhaps you could have a blog where licence payers can suggest subjects for future blogs instead of the BBC controlling the agenda, or perhaps blogs by people who don’t work for the BBC!

BBC Sport are doing some good stuff with digital technology (and some not so good) but they’re starting to sound like a stuck record.

  • 2.
  • At 06:40 PM on 01 Dec 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

Booorrrrrring! Honestly you lot are soooo obsessed about this stuff arent you? I can promise you, not that much is going to change! All we really want is to watch live sport on the box in the corner. Not watch it on broadband or anything else.... Dont lose sight of the most important thing you do. You lot really are over-egging the change. I know in ten years i'll still want to be watching the footie, or the cricket on the tv just like i do now.

  • 3.
  • At 09:06 PM on 01 Dec 2006,
  • MR ALAN GOWER wrote:

I notice that you need to send votes for the sports personality of the year award by Text only.

Might might I suggest that only the young have mobile phones & use text messagers.

Most Pensioners like myself, will never use or need a mobile or text - only the Phone or Email.

Most Regular Cricket supporters are retired.

A bit of market research is needed here.

  • 4.
  • At 10:07 PM on 01 Dec 2006,
  • Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport wrote:

Rob - er, thanks for the vote of confidence! Actually, as I hope I made clear, the BBC will still provide the very best sport we can on TV for many years to come. But the switch from TV to broadband is already happening. Among younger age groups, TV viewing is declining rapidly - and it's the use of mobiles, wireless devices and broadband that's often replacing it.

Jenny - I don't want you to have to read the speech again; but I set out in it the priority of improving journalistic standards, and part of our feedback mechanism is right here. I still haven't seen the place where other sports broadcasters host this kind of debate about their own output. But I'm pleased you think we're doing good stuff with digital technology.

If we do have an obsession, it's not with technology: it's with our audiences. Their needs are changing fast, and that's why we're changing too. No other reason.

  • 5.
  • At 08:52 PM on 02 Dec 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

Roger - sorry if i sounded a bit negative, what you do now is generally great. But I am actually part of that younger generation you talk about - I'm 20, and I can assure you that in terms of watching sport, mobiles, wireless devices and broadband is NOT replacing the tv.

The internet is just like tv is to radio. Im sure many people thought radio would die when tv came in but its stronger than ever. I use the internet lots and I probably use it at the expense of watching the tv and of course you need to use these technologies but as far as sports coverage is concerned, if you can't be there the next best thing is sitting on the sofa and watching it on a big screen - and that will always be the case. Not watching it at your desk or on your mobile.

  • 6.
  • At 11:02 PM on 02 Dec 2006,
  • Freddie wrote:

If Grandstand goes then I am assuming that sports such as Racing will be placed on Interactive.

How do you then solve two issues -

1. Us viewers never know what the 'interactive' schedules are as they are never published in papers, radio times etc. Therefore your viewing figures will drop rather fast.

2. How do you keep Sponsors of events happy when they now know that their event is not on BBC One network anymore and can be found hidden via a red button. Surely these events are not going to stay with the Beeb much longer

  • 7.
  • At 07:39 AM on 03 Dec 2006,
  • Chris Russell development editor wrote:

Rob - if I can join in here I think top class live sport is indeed one of the things that will continue to be consumed in large numbers on the big screen in the corner (even if sometimes it will come via broadband to that screen).

But increasingly it's not the only way people follow it.

I got up early today to watch the cricket on the big screen in the corner since I am lucky enough to be able to see our rivals' TV coverage. But, to be honest the buzz about the game on the TV was not enough, so I came online in search of other cricket fans' views.

Then I found a series of comments from people in different parts of the world desperate to follow the match via any means they can, (the third best thing after being there or TV?).

New technologies are opening up possibilities - enhancing the live TV experience and offering alternatives. The BBC would surely be wrong if it was not interested in this?

  • 8.
  • At 11:44 AM on 03 Dec 2006,
  • Jenny wrote:

Why should UK licence payers care what non-UK non-licence payers want? Surely the BBC’s first priory should be the people who pay for it, and on that front the BBC’s Ashes coverage has been hit and miss.

The TV highlights on BBC2 are on far too late. Is this because Sky won’t let the BBC put them on any earlier?

The ‘new media’ stuff is OK, but largely irrelevant.

The most valuable coverage the BBC provides in the old stager Test Match Special, and that’s delivered by the second oldest mass communication medium!


PS Had to laugh when the lass from Emmerdale turned up on here.

  • 9.
  • At 11:50 AM on 03 Dec 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

Chris - I'm not saying you shouldn't be interested in it. But if you did a survey and asked people what they want BBC Sport to spend their money on, I'm pretty sure that the answer would be live sport on the TV. And I'm sure the majority of the money you spend is on that right now.

But I just get a bit concerned when all I read from people at the BBC is about broadband and portals and wireless devices... I just don't want you to forget what the most important thing you do is. And it's also what the majority of the public judge you on.

You could also argue whether sending texts to mobiles, for example, however good that might be, is really part of what you should be doing - after all you're the British BROADCASTING corporation. Just don't spread yourself too thinly.

  • 10.
  • At 01:28 PM on 03 Dec 2006,
  • Dave Boyes wrote:

Rally Wales GB is the final round of the World Rally Championship. Coverage on Five Live is close to non existent. No coverage at all on TV.
Over a hundred thousand spectators will have spectated in poor weather conditions in mid Wales. Motorsport coverage has declined on all aspects of BBC. How do you continue to justify your blanket coverage of minority sports like cricket, golf, rugby, athletics and rowing?

  • 11.
  • At 04:26 PM on 03 Dec 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

Chris, sorry but I'm with rob on this one. 25 here, have a large group of friends, could probably command around 40 of us if we're all together, aged 21-28, teachers, buyers, programmers, artists, musicians. I'm the most "techy" of the lot of us and I have no intention of starting to watch TV on my phone. Phone calls, radio and mp3 is all that's for.
This recent fall in viewing figures fall in that ages is because there is very little I like watching in comparison to box sets being imported from America for the far superior top class US programming of drama's and comedies.
I want the money spent on sport, the autumn internationals, didn't miss anything. 6 nations, won't miss a thing. Any football on, I'm there (decent game earlier). However, since Welsh football has become PPV I haven't watched a game, I haven't seen any cricket (national or county) since it went PPV, i havent seen the ryder cup live since it went PPV.
And I can quite easliy get access to watch, I choose not to as I hate the whole sky "thing". Unless you PPV the champions league on a wednesday, you are unable to watch or listen(cant use radio, as signal for 5live, and radio wales FM is VERY poor here) to any game (know its not bbc, but thats what could start haoppeneing to smaller sports if they get shoved to interactive or the website)
"Then I found a series of comments from people in different parts of the world desperate to follow the match via any means they can, (the third best thing after being there or TV?)."
Different parts of the world. IE, they dont pay the license, what do I care if they get access to listen to ashes or not.

  • 12.
  • At 09:24 PM on 03 Dec 2006,
  • Dave Boyes wrote:

The Rally Wales GB is on at present.

Like World Superbikes, Moto GP, Touring Cars this event will attract more spectators than the cricket, tennis, athletics, rugby and rowing you love to cover on five live. Motorsport fans pay TV licence fees but you ignore these major UK and World events. Incase you are unaware UK based Ford team have won the Manufacturers Championship.

  • 13.
  • At 10:57 AM on 04 Dec 2006,
  • Rob Reed wrote:

For a broadcaster that has been forced into developing it's digital channels (to remain competitive), it was somewhat ironic that we could not view the [show video] parts of the speech.

Does providing coverage via as many digital channels as possible make up for not providing TV quality coverage of live sport? No, but its much better than nothing.

  • 14.
  • At 11:36 AM on 04 Dec 2006,
  • joe bloggs wrote:

Mr Mosey's comment .."..if i do have an obsession....it's with our audience.." is so far removed from the reality ..( see pov/ 606/ today messageboard for evidence..and look at your deleted messages file for further evidence)

Obsess less and listen more x

  • 15.
  • At 01:55 PM on 04 Dec 2006,
  • Mark Evans wrote:

Regarding Dave Boyes and the Rally GB - ITV and S4C have the rights to the highlights of this. But i agree it should be brought back to the BBC where we used to have live coverage of some stages and nightly updates - remember Top Gear Rally Report? So i hope when the rights come up the Beeb will put in a bid and do some justice to a well watched event.

  • 16.
  • At 06:22 PM on 04 Dec 2006,
  • Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport wrote:

To reassure Freddie... What we're mainly doing with Grandstand is phasing out the title. We also want to reduce the number of afternoons when we have a mix of sports on a single channel. People tell us they'd much rather have the event of their choice at length and uninterrupted - and the technology now allows us to offer more of those options.

But there will still emphatically be sport on BBC One/BBC Two on Saturday and Sunday afternoons - and we expect the number of hours on terrestrial TV to be pretty much unchanged. However, we will also aim to offer MORE sport via broadband and interactive; so the total amount of sport from the BBC on TV, radio and online will continue to increase.

  • 17.
  • At 07:11 PM on 04 Dec 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

Roger - no doubt though that the less popular sports wil get shunted off to BBC2, or interactive, when Grandstand goes. I'd imagine BBC1 will only have the big sports events such as the Six Nations, the rest of the time being filled by Cash in the Attic/Bargain Hunt etc.

By the way what exactly do you mean by phasing out? I'd love it to stay, but really, if its going, why dont you just get rid of it right this second.

Im guessing that if this coming Saturday was 3 years in the future it might look a bit like this:
BBC1
12.10 Football Focus
1.00 Keeping Up Appearences
1.30 Bargain Hunt
2.15 Cash in the Attic
3.00 Murder, She Wrote
3.45 Monk
4.30 Final Score

BBC2
12.00 See Hear
12.45 The Sky at Night
1.05 Swimming
2.00 Snooker
4.25 What the Papers Say

On Interactive: Seniors Tennis.

Correct me if i'm wrong. But exactly how much sport will remain on BBC1 on Saturday afternoons? Will it be just the big things, or stuff such as the Swimming and Snooker too?

  • 18.
  • At 07:41 PM on 04 Dec 2006,
  • eddy wrote:

i hate 2 say this but i agree with rob.

  • 19.
  • At 08:20 PM on 04 Dec 2006,
  • David Shield wrote:

Roger - what is the exact time scale for the phasing out of Grandstand?

I don't want it to go at all so I'm in no hurry to push you but I found it rather strange that a programme soon to be axed has just got new titles and colour scheme.

Like some other people I'm worried about some of the sports only shown occasionally such as boxing and also the interesting features shown on Grandstand such as yesterday's feature on Carolina Kluft, where would something like that be shown by BBC Sport without Grandstand?

I understand the point of Grandstand being too many things mixed together but the brand still remained strong. Six Nations Grandstand, Olympic Grandstand, Grand National Grandstand these events had a special BBC ring to them. Just Winter Olympics had something missing to me.

I will be in particular interest to see how the Six Nations are covered this year if it is not under the Grandstand brand. Rugby Union needs a traditional theme music such as cricket, athletics and golf and doesn't have one because you either had Rugby Special on Sundays or Grandstand on Saturdays. The coverage of England vs New Zealand was excellent apart from for me the introduction was poor without a strong theme tune.

  • 20.
  • At 10:50 PM on 04 Dec 2006,
  • Rob wrote:

I should just correct my previous post - i'm sure Swimming will also be on interactive, not on BBC2.

I know you keep saying how wonderful interactive is for broadcasting hours and hours of minority sports, but the fact is the only people who will see it are the die hard fans of, say, Swimming. The audience for it on interactive would be TINY compared to if it was on Grandstand.And thats very bad news for those minority sports.

Theres not a lot of point in talking about Grandstand again now as its gone, but i hope BBC1 has sport every single Saturday afternoon from lunchtime till teatime - even if it dosent get the 20% share or whatever it is required by ratings obsessed execs. However i very much doubt if this will be the case.

Also the disappointing thing about losing Grandstand is that there are many sports fans who dont only want to watch live sport, they want to know what else is going on, the football scores, rugby news etc.

If i was you i'd give Score a big fat revamp - for one thing it looks awful and everyone knows Soccer Saturday is better. The overhaul in the summer seems to be designed to make it look different to SS but really its just made it look rubbish. I would include all sports, so reporters at cricket, rugby etc. And after 5 a TV version of Sports Report, rather than the awful waffling you get just to fill up time at the end at the mo. For example, some quick highlights of the rugby which was earlier in Grandstand or going over to Australia for Manish Bhasin and Geoffrey Boycott to review the cricket. That would be a genuine alternative to Soccer Saturday.

And please get a better set - have you not noticed the big gaps youve got in it at the moment??!

There are loads of things i like about BBC Sport as well by the way!

  • 21.
  • At 08:21 AM on 05 Dec 2006,
  • Charlie wrote:

It is getting to the point that those of us who don't live in cities and so can't access all these wonderful digital services are feeling like 2nd class citizens.

The TV licence is universal for anyone who owns a TV anywhere in the country, your services should strive to be universal.

Stop this obsession with flogging digital and concetrate on your core services: BBC1, BBC2 and the NATIONAL radio services.

Everytime you bang on about digital I just see more of my TV licence being siphoned off to things I can't use.

  • 22.
  • At 10:18 AM on 05 Dec 2006,
  • Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport wrote:

Charlie: there will be just as much sport as ever on terrestrial television. In fact, at the moment there's more than usual: the Ashes is extra scheduling on BBC Two; the Cricket World Cup highlights will play on BBC One with a repeat the next day on BBC Two; there will be world skating on BBC Two early next year; our Sunday sport coverage will be extended to include the IRB Sevens events in the UK (another new signing); and we have another sport making a short but welcome return to prime time in the coming weeks.

However, terrestrial television will be switched off by the government between 2008 and 2012 - so it would be crackers for us not to think about the world in which everyone is a digital viewer. It's just around the corner.

On Rob's point: the other major factor for BBC Sport in the next six years is London 2012. A lot of sports that currently don't get a huge amount of airtime will have their chance in the limelight - especially as world championships and test events come to the UK. For instance, the World Gymnastics in 2009; and I'm sure swimming will also have major championships that we'll want to cover on our main channels. I should say plans are already in hand for the Worlds in Australia in 2007.

  • 23.
  • At 10:30 AM on 05 Dec 2006,
  • Pie Eater wrote:

I think Charlie is forgetting the fact that over the next couple of years you won't have any choice but to receive digital broadcasts! I think the first analogue turn off, if it hasn't happened already, is in the next couple of months.

Digital TV is available in most places in the country already.

  • 24.
  • At 10:54 AM on 05 Dec 2006,
  • Charlie wrote:

Mr Mosey,

there is a substantial difference between being prepared for the switchover and the endless enfuriating pumping up of digital services.

  • 25.
  • At 12:16 PM on 05 Dec 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

I think BBC Sport is now doing a much better job after a few lean years especially with sports that didnt have a big TV presence now getting more airtime thanks to the interactive button.

A welcome return to showjumping in a couple of weeks - is this just a yearly event or will there be more?

Also are there any plans for a BBC Sports channel which in my opinion is well overdue and one where you could use your vast archive as well as giving all sports worthy TV exposure.

  • 26.
  • At 07:21 PM on 05 Dec 2006,
  • David Shield wrote:

I really don't see why the BBC need a Sports channel.

Yes it would be good during snooker tourdaments and for events like the olympics and world cups. But what would they show the rest of time? Like today for example?

I think the BBC have got the right idea - using Interactive streams. These are availble when they need them during the snooker, olympics etc but they don't need filling when they have nothing to show. Plus they can have up to 4 streams covering different tennis courts or snooker tables etc rather than just one BBC Sport channel.

I do think however the BBC could make more sure of BBC3/4 to show some sports coverage in addition to BBC1/2.

P.S. Keep Granstand - its not too late!

  • 27.
  • At 09:11 PM on 05 Dec 2006,
  • John CB wrote:

I think this Creative Future business is a red herring. The old style Grandstand effectively ended in 2001 when Football Focus and Final Score were separated out. What has been kept is the name. If more use is made of the portal, inevitably the surviving use of the name is problematic. However dumping such a successful brand altogether is odd-like the decision to phase out the use of the successful brand Ceefax in favour of the obscure BBCi. However the BBC does occasionally do these things.
As for Rob's post at 17. I think such a schedule is all too possible. Even Paul Fox tried in the 70's to replace sport with cheaply acquired Westerns-that's when the name Final Score was invented.
I should say that I am very supportive of what you're doing generally Roger and I hope my criticism is seen in that spirit.

  • 28.
  • At 11:45 PM on 05 Dec 2006,
  • Chris Russell development editor wrote:

I appreciate there are lots of 20-somethings who want live sport. That's great news since it is indeed our core business.

But we are seeing big differences even between what people in their 20s and people in their teens are doing. Time will tell whether this will stay with people as they grow older but did you even imagine listening to recorded music on a telephone 10 years ago?

My point about cricket fans was not that they are around the world but that more and more people everywhere want different types of coverage. It was the same during the 2005 Ashes when more UK-based fans were taking part for two obvious reasons: We were winning and awake, while the Aussies were losing and asleep!

One other priority for us is making all the new stuff easier to use (so you don't have to be tech-savvy) and easier to find so that fans actually know when their favourite sport is on the BBC - interactive or otherwise.

That will probably involve using old media and new media channels to inform the audience of when what they are paying for is available but it will also run the danger that we'll be acccused of further over-promotion of digital services.

I must say how useful all this feedback continues to be as we plan our next steps in sport and interactivity. That's basically what you'll find me talking about here but in the past week others have discussed TV football and rugby coverage plus Sports Personality of the Year, sports journalism and lots more besides.

  • 29.
  • At 09:17 AM on 06 Dec 2006,
  • Charlie wrote:

"That will probably involve using old media and new media channels to inform the audience of when what they are paying for is available but it will also run the danger that we'll be acccused of further over-promotion of digital services."

Bear in mind that when you are informing people "when what they are paying for is available" what you are actually saying to a lot of people is "look at what you are paying for and can't get".

It is also the case (and this is particularly a problem with DAB) that the constant one-eyed propaganda, ignoring obvious problems, makes you look unreliable as an information source (in fact it makes you look like a commercial company with something to sell).

  • 30.
  • At 11:56 AM on 06 Dec 2006,
  • joe bloggs wrote:

the problem is that everything you and your colleagues have done within the bbc suggest you do not listen to anyone (see 606/today messageboards etc for thousands of examples).

the bbc have lost the trust of many of its customers and all the bland, management speak blogs provided by bbc middlemanagement wont regain a shread of credibility. x

and to say..." a priority is making things easier to use and easier to find "almost defies belief...have you been on the new 606 ??!!??

  • 31.
  • At 06:23 PM on 06 Dec 2006,
  • stevecase wrote:

I think I might be in the minority when I say that I'm not all that bothered about Grandstand departing. Times change, things move on, Saturday afternoon is no longer the most convenient time for sport on TV.

However, I have to agree with Rob in post #20 regarding his comments about Score. Much as I usually prefer the BBC Sport way, I'd always choose Sky's Soccer Saturday over the dire Final Score.

A proper, polished TV version of Sports Report - presented by someone like Mark Pougatch - is just the sort of thing that would get me back watching BBC1 late on Saturday afternoons.

And re: David's point in post #18, Roger, what is going to be the fate of the features and profiles that occasionally pop up in Grandstand?

  • 32.
  • At 09:40 PM on 08 Dec 2006,
  • Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport wrote:

The features and profiles will in many cases transfer to the new Sports News show planned for BBC One next year.

  • 33.
  • At 12:40 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • TheManFromWirral wrote:

I love the Red Button and find quite a lot of good stuff on there. The FA Cup goals this season have been very good.

But I'd like to see this expanded upon as I think there is a lot more potential benefit to the Red button.

I often watch Score on a Saturday afternoon - but I'm more interested in League One than the Premiership. Could us lower division fans have our own version of Score, with the presenters going to the lower division games more often instead of the Premiership. It seems all the technology exists, there are reporters at the games so you would only need one presenter in a studio reading out the scores (which are shown in the main bit anyway) and telling us which game we're about to listen to.

Also, in athletics it would be nice to be able to watch the field events live on the red button, rather than getting highlights in between the track races. There is obviously pictures being taken throughout the day so why can't these be broadcast live. I'm a big fans of the decathlon and hepthalon (probably Britain's strongest event at present) so being able to see all of this live would be much better than having to 'watch' it on the IAAF website.

I also think there is a great opportunity to put a highlights package of women's football on there. Even if we only saw the goals (like the FA Cup rounds) it would be an excellent addition - there must be cameras at all the games anyway. The same could be true of the Premiership Reserve league - something a minority of loyal fans would love to see which I doubt would be too expensive to get the rights to.

At the Great North Run and the London Marathon it would be nice if the Finish Line cameras could be repeated, on a constant loop for a couple of days. It would be nice if we could turn the tv on the day after the race and be able to work out when we'd be able to see ourselves crossing the finish line.

  • 34.
  • At 04:12 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • David Shield wrote:

Thanks Roger for your reply number 32.

That makes sence, I now see part of the reason for introducing this new exciting sounding BBC Sport programme.

I believe it is still in the early stages of planning but could you give any indication as to a time slot and when the lauch is expected?

If you want any suggestions - John Inverdale.

  • 35.
  • At 07:10 PM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • john wrote:

I think the red button stuff is great, personally I don't want to watch telly on a computer screen or have my PC hooked up to my TV.

But I loved the red button stuff this week I was able to dip in and out of the sports I wanted to. BUT and this is a big but I think you are wrong very wrong to Scrap GRANDSTAND, what is wrong with having Grandstand Interactive, nothing thats what nothing at all.

You see Roger I am one of those who likes the red button stuff but believes that the scrapping of Grandstand, just like the loss of Glorious Goodwood is plain daft.

It seems that you are just trying to impose your stamp on BBC Sport.

It also seems that your arguments about broadband seem to fall flat, those who have turned away from the TV are not going to watch sport on the internet they would watch on the telly and not a PC. T

hey have found other thing to do, and those that enjoy sport as ROB (post 5 ) want there sport on the telly.

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