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Archives for March 2007

What's the point of gongs?

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Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 17:43 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2007

Awards ceremonies are a modern phenomenon. But what's it all about, this desire to honour achievement with a knees-up and a statuette?

Inevitably, your view of the value of awards has a fair bit to do with what side of the fence you’re sitting on. To put it another way, if you win one it feels like a highly significant event; a fair and objective vindication of all your wondrous achievements. But if you’re nominated and don’t end up winning, awards are suddenly just the by-product of cynical stich-ups by clueless committees in smoked-filled rooms. And who wants their useless gongs anyway?

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Who cares what David Beckham says?

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Lewis Wiltshire | 15:36 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2007

I do - which is why we made this the top story on the BBC Sport website this morning, and also why it stayed there through the whole of the morning, until it was knocked off the top slot by the live cricket.

But someone who uses our 606 website made this point: "Why have the BBC made this the top story on Sport today? So Beckham's got his opinion, so what?"

It's a fair point. These things are subjective. Spend even the smallest amount of time in our newsroom and you will hear debates about what we 'lead' on.

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Challenge Cup is back

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Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 10:40 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2007

Live rugby league is back on the BBC this weekend with two games from the fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup. And for the first time we will have interactive coverage on Saturday with a 30 minute forum following coverage of Warrington v Hull KR (kick-off 2.30pm, BBC One).

Saturday's tie is the only all-Super League clash of the round and on Sunday BBC cameras are at the Halton Stadium for Widnes v Wigan (kick-off 2.45pm, BBC Two).

As editor of both codes of rugby I'm often asked which is my favourite. My answer is simple: I was born and brought up in Widnes. End of, as I believe the vogue phrase goes among young people.

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The BBC at the 2007 Masters

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Paul Davies | 19:33 UK time, Wednesday, 28 March 2007

It’s not “The US Masters”…..It’s not even “The Masters”…..Quite simply it’s “Masters”. It’s a title that sums up the uniqueness of the first golfing major of the year. The field is set for 97 players but it’s likely that the two who have won it five out of the last six years will dominate again, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

Whilst my colleagues at BBC Radio Five Live and the BBC Sport website have been following both the European and American tours since the start of the season, for television this is traditionally the start of our year and what better way to tee it off?

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Time for a Six Nations bonus?

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Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 13:26 UK time, Friday, 23 March 2007

After what had gone before it was no surprise that the RBS Six Nations came to such a dramatic finale last Saturday, and with a man called Elvis winning the title for France with the last play in Paris the headline writers were rubbing their hands with glee.

Before and after the last round of matches there was talk about whether it was fair that Ireland's match in Rome was not happening at the same time as the France v Scotland match, or indeed Wales v England in Cardiff, and suggestions that all three should have been forced to play at the same time. Thanks for all your comments on the various blogs on this topic.

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Cricket gets creative

Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 08:45 UK time, Thursday, 22 March 2007

I'll come clean - I wish I was in the Caribbean. Sadly I'm stuck in wintry west London right now, but I'm not letting that minor geographical drawback get in the way of my enjoyment of the Cricket World Cup.

On a professional level, there is something about a World Cup that never fails to get the creative juices flowing - events like this tend to have a catalytic affect on the media industry. They have long been the driver for innovation, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and setting new standards of audience expectation. Colour TV, HD TV, broadband video streaming - all have been driven forward by their association with World Cups.

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The Cup, Internationals and staying neutral

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Paul Armstrong | 16:58 UK time, Wednesday, 21 March 2007

This is some week for the Football Association, and the BBC's football team is pretty much alongside them all the way. Like Steve McClaren, we sweated over the possibility of extra-time in Monday's FA Cup replays. We'd have welcomed it in ratings terms, though it would have been a headache for the schedulers.

On most other fronts, too, we and the FA have been asking the same questions this week - how did that Spurs fan get on the pitch at the end of our live replay; where will the semi-finals be and when; and how will the Under 21 game go at Wembley; and how will the seniors fare on their travels?

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Comebacks, controversy and coverage

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Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 10:40 UK time, Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Oh well, same old story in the Six Nations last weekend with all the usual ingredients - a fairytale comeback at Twickenham, refereeing controversy in Rome, and a charge-down try at Murrayfield.

Throw in another Irish Triple Crown and accusations of an O'Garroting for his fly half from coach Eddie O'Sullivan and there was barely room left in the papers for that classic FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge.

And the great thing is that after France's Grand Slam ambitions became the last to be thwarted, this week's 'Super Saturday' finale could see champions crowned out of each of the three final games.

The star of the weekend was England's 35-year old captain Mike Catt. As Austin Healey illustrated at half-time of our broadcast, the normally cool Catt was visibly affected by the preliminaries and was over-anxious in a tight first half such was his keeness to lead his young team by example.

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A good weekend for the Cup

Paul Armstrong | 11:12 UK time, Tuesday, 13 March 2007

I don't know what the BBC Sport weekend just gone looked like at home, but for those of us involved it was one of the most hectic we can remember.

Much as we all love working on the Premiership highlights, and much as those involved are looking forward to the challenge of getting the Cricket World Cup highlights on the air, there's nothing like live sport to get the adrenaline flowing.

From Middlesbrough to Rome and Murrayfield to Plymouth, BBC ONE was virtually a sports channel for the weekend. Three topsy-turvy Six Nations games and three full-blooded FA Cup ties, including an absolute classic. All fiercely competitive and too tight to call. And if you watched all six, congratulations, and hope you're still on speaking terms with anyone who shares your remote control!

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Weekend viewing figures

Roger Mosey | 11:48 UK time, Monday, 12 March 2007

We're sometimes told off for allegedly being obsessed by audience figures, but this time a number of people have emailed to ask for the viewing figures for our busy weekend of sport - so here they are.

The headline is that a total of 23.8m people in the UK saw some of the Six Nations or the FA Cup on the BBC - that's four in 10 of the population.

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Latest feedback on your feedback!

Roger Mosey | 16:09 UK time, Friday, 2 March 2007

It's a simple fact that broadcasters get more complaints than compliments.

True of life in general, I suppose. We may tonk in a letter of protest or complain to the boss if we have a bad time in a restaurant, but I've never written admiringly to a chef.

Equally, I sometimes come away from a trip to the theatre thinking what a great performance a particular actor has given - but it feels a bit naff to go home and start writing the fan mail.

So this entry's unusual in that it starts with praise.

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Super Saturday - sleepy Sunday

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Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 10:49 UK time, Thursday, 1 March 2007

"How was Super Saturday for you?" we asked on the Six Nations blog this week.

It was an important question as last Saturday was the first time outside the final day of the last three championships that all three games have happened on the one day.

The BBC does not have responsibility for the scheduling of the RBS Six Nations. That lies with the championship's committee.

But of course as broadcast partners we have an interest and were keen to see how this day would be received.

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