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Archives for January 2007

FA Cup fifth-round picks - an update

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Claire Stocks | 19:58 UK time, Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Thanks for all your feedback about the FA Cup fifth round draw.

There's a fair amount of agreement that the four best ties of the round are Preston v Man City, Fulham v Spurs, Arsenal/Bolton v Blackburn and Man U v Reading.

We'd have liked Preston to be our 5.15 Saturday game - but, as Roger Mosey mentioned in one of his earlier postings, we always have to take police advice. In this case, Lancashire police have requested a lunchtime kick-off.

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FA Cup fifth-round picks?

Roger Mosey | 13:08 UK time, Monday, 29 January 2007

So the fourth round came and went, and we can't really be accused of not spotting the shock result - because there weren't any, with the possible exception of Bristol City's plucky home draw with Middlesbrough.

I know some people will disagree (that's the beauty of sport) but we were pleased with the Man U-Portsmouth game because it had the best moments of the round: Wayne Rooney's appearance as a substitute and one particularly memorable goal. Audience figures reached a high of 7.4m.

However, we wouldn't pretend that Chelsea-Forest will live forever in the memory...

Best thing then is to look forward. Our replay choice, you won't be surprised to know, is...

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Grandstand farewell - an update

Claire Stocks | 11:47 UK time, Monday, 29 January 2007

Grandstand came off the air for the final time on Sunday after 48 years of sports broadcasting on the BBC.

The show's passing was cause for plenty of comment and debate in the media over the weekend.

By and large the general mood was similar to how one might mourn the death of a fine old great aunt, with affection and sadness but some resignation that its time had come.

We highlight some of the views here.

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Farewell to Grandstand

Roger Mosey | 09:57 UK time, Friday, 26 January 2007

This weekend will see the final appearance of Grandstand.

We announced last year that we were going to phase out the Grandstand title as part of our ambitious plans for the future of BBC Sport, and I confirmed the timing in an interview with The Guardian in December .

There's an endearingly bizarre piece in this morning's Daily Mail that claims we didn't want people to notice - which would be odd considering the publicity around the original announcement and the fact that we'll be broadcasting an on-air tribute to Grandstand at the end of Sunday's programme.

Yes, we so wanted to keep it secret that we're marking the fact on national television after it was first made known in announcements to the entire BBC staff and on the front page of the Daily Mirror.

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Thanks for your sports news show ideas

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Amanda Farnsworth | 11:21 UK time, Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Hi everyone,

What an overwhelming response to my blog post of two weeks ago - we're up to about 180 comments now.

It's been interesting and indeed useful to read your views.

There are a lot of good thoughts and ideas and I note that some of them are similar to the things we here have been mulling over.

We still haven't settled on a name but I see Sportsweek is popular with some of you...The Sports Show....Sportsnight...and well, I'm not sure about SP-EWS!

I'd like to keep the dialogue going as we take the project forward so watch this space and thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Ashes responses

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Alex Gubbay Alex Gubbay | 14:16 UK time, Monday, 22 January 2007

Thanks to all those of you who took time to tell us about how we covered the Ashes. As we plan our cricket coverage for the coming months, the feedback is timely and instructive - the comments make a very handy printout!
In the meantime, with input from some of my colleagues, here's a stab at some of the common themes raised...

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Murray live on BBC Two

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Roger Mosey | 18:19 UK time, Sunday, 21 January 2007

A fair few people have been asking earlier in this blog whether we'd be covering Andy Murray's match against Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open.

So this is to confirm that it will be on BBC Two in the UK this Monday morning from 10am. The exact timing is uncertain because there's a Maria Sharapova match first at 8.30am GMT (have a look at the schedule here). But we'll have UK broadband coverage and interactive TV through the red button from the start of the Australian night matches, and then BBC Two will pick up the story and stay with Andy Murray until the finish.

Make a noise

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Richard Burgess | 09:12 UK time, Friday, 19 January 2007

On Saturday's Five Live Sport, we're going to try something a bit different - always dangerous territory!
We want to know who are the loudest football fans in the country...

Our reporter, Mark Clemmit, will be in the crowd at the Doncaster v Scunthorpe match to get a feel of the atmosphere.

We're also looking for listeners to phone in and record the noise from their supporters - you can get more details here.

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Beckham, the media and celebrity football

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Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 09:24 UK time, Thursday, 18 January 2007

I’ve been fascinated by the media coverage generated over the past week by the David Beckham transfer story – not least because the BBC Sport website has been pivotal in breaking this particular tale.

Back in November one of our journalists, Matt Slater, secured the first confirmation from LA Galaxy that they were actively pursuing the former England captain - in an exclusive interview with club president Alexi Lalas. Our scoop was met with scepticism by some observers, who felt the link between Beckham and the MLS was a red herring. But once the transfer window had opened, the deal was duly done (and the details dissected by our own Mihir Bose).

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New video and audio player

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Chris Russell | 11:36 UK time, Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Video and audio use on the website continues to grow strongly - and no wonder as broadband grows rapidly and we offer an increasing range of content.

Just yesterday viewers in the UK could watch live coverage of Andy Murray's easy win in Melbourne and highlights of the England cricketers being rather less convincing in victory. Alternatively they could listen to audio commentaries of both these events as well as every FA Cup replay.

And all of that was eclipsed by the numbers clicking on our most popular audio or video item that day - live coverage of Ronnie O'Sullivan's reapparance at Wembley.

As part of the ongoing development of the service, today we have made some changes, as you may have discovered or read about on the BBC News editors blog.

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Do you love the French?

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Steve Boulton | 17:58 UK time, Tuesday, 16 January 2007

At Football Focus we were intrigued to learn that the French government proposed a union of Britain and France back in 1956. Magnifique?

What could that have meant for all our countries’ footballing success? Would Fritain (or perhaps Brance?) even have needed extra time to see off the Germans in 1966? Would Archie Gemmill have got into the team to score his wonder goal in 1978? We’ll never know I guess...

What we can work out is who would get into a Britain & France XI today. Please send us the team you think would play best together.

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Your feedback on our Ashes coverage

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Alex Gubbay Alex Gubbay | 11:14 UK time, Friday, 12 January 2007

So the Ashes are once more in Australia's hands.

Having witnessed first-hand some of the action in Melbourne and Sydney, I can testify to just how highly-skilled, driven and focused the Aussies were in their mission to recapture the urn. And indeed how England misfired in a series of mistakes and missed opportunities.

But as attention now turns to the tri-series and the World Cup, it's not just a chance for the two teams to reflect, but also the fans and media as well. So what mark would you give BBC Sport for our coverage of the action?

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FA Cup fourth-round picks

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Roger Mosey | 13:41 UK time, Thursday, 11 January 2007

After the first-round draw for this year's FA Cup I had a call from an old friend up north.

He's the groundsman at a non-League club and they'd just secured a juicy home tie - so were we planning to cover it? It's obviously a question people ask after every draw.

For lower-league clubs the TV picks can make a massive financial difference to them (and, for the record, we didn't cover my mate's club) - while for the giants it's about fitting kick-off times into high profile slots in the schedules which will get them some of the biggest viewing figures of the season.

For us, it's a vigorous internal debate about what's the right choice for our audiences...

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Would you sign David Beckham?

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Steve Boulton | 13:40 UK time, Thursday, 11 January 2007

At Football Focus one of the things we’ve been discussing this week is what the future holds for David Beckham.

People seem to have such a wide range of views on England’s ex-captain, but love him or hate him … please answer me this...

Would he be an asset for your club? Would he get in the team? Would he help results? Remember, he’s still only 31.

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Ideas for a sports news show

Amanda Farnsworth | 12:32 UK time, Thursday, 11 January 2007

So I’ve moved up in the world - literally - from the Newsroom on the first floor of Television Centre in west London to the Sport department on the fifth floor, to set up a new sports news programme for BBC One to be launched in the coming months.

I’ve done launches before on News 24 and on BBC Four and they all start the same way... it’s just a desk, a phone and a PC.

Before Christmas I appealed for ideas from you and I’d like to renew that appeal now – what would you like to see on the new programme? Which sports? What subjects?

What about the tone of the programme – it will probably be a late night 1030/11pm sort of start time – what would make you watch? And if you’re not a sports fanatic, what might make you turn on? Oh - and any ideas for a name???

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News about our Australian Open coverage

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Claire Stocks | 12:59 UK time, Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Andy Murray is warming up nicely for the Australian Open, which starts on Monday 15 January.

And the good news is the BBC will have live TV coverage of the event from 0830 GMT every morning via the red button and streamed on our website (UK only), as well as live commentary on Radio Five Live Sports Extra.

(We will also have all the usual text coverage including live scores, results and the draw, on Ceefax, digital text and our website).

So we will be able to show one of the top matches from the evening session in Australia, every morning - and we will also make sure that Andy Murray's match(es!) will be transmitted.

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BBC Sport website in transfer swoop!

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Howard Nurse | 19:56 UK time, Sunday, 7 January 2007

A new year brings a new football columnist to the BBC Sport website.

I did drop a hint about this back in August that I was hoping to add a further football columnist so you can see that it's taken months to get to the point of being able to announce who we signed up.

The transfer window is open after all - so it's great timing.

Our new signing has a unique biography in terms of his upbringing and who he plays for and I'm expecting him to give us his views on a wide range of topics - from playing for England to living and working in Munich...

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Roger Mosey | 17:22 UK time, Monday, 1 January 2007

I'm not a keen shopper, so I'm proud to say that I haven't been in a single store for the January sales. But reports from the battlefront say that flat-screen TVs have been big sellers, and more and more people have TV sets that are labelled HD-ready. You may have spotted the Royle Family now have one too, though they're venturing into a complicated world.

So High Definition is growing, but so far it's seized the nation's imagination a bit less than some pundits expected. The BBC's first full HD broadcast was the World Cup 2006, and there's a handful of HD channels available on the Sky platform and cable. But it was interesting to see a newspaper piece from Canada about the relatively cool response to HD there; and in the UK we're in a position where most people who have it love it - but it's some way from being a mainstream proposition.

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