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The big kick-off

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Paul Armstrong | 10:45 UK time, Friday, 10 August 2007

Pre-season friendlies, even the Community Shield, are football's equivalent of watching opera singers gargle. This weekend the opening night curtain goes up and the Premiership will be in full voice. I could carry on in this vein, with talk of penalty arias and putting a tenor on the first goalscorer, but you'd probably prefer to read something about the return of Match of the Day this weekend.

My colleague Jim Irving wrote last week about our new-look set and graphics.

Editor's UPDATE 3pm 10/08/07: Jim has posted a link to a behind-the-scenes clip showing the new titles being made.

It's three years since the MOTD Premiership highlights came back and with this season marking the start of a new contract, it was time for an update. The titles have been revamped and have been given a private unveiling this week.

We're very pleased with the results, but await your verdict with interest. They're fast-paced and lively, and every team is represented.

You may need to watch them a few times with your pause button at the ready, but they are all there. Given that regular viewers will be seeing a lot of them over the coming months, we think it's no bad thing to be able to spot something new with each subsequent watch.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates his winning penalty in last Sunday's Community Shield

One thing we are going to try to do this season is edit the match-by-match scene sets in the opening titles in the order in which the games will be transmitted.

I know from previous feedback that some people want to see our running order before the action starts and this seems to be the quickest and least cumbersome way of achieving it. In addition, we are going to give the sequence of matches to our colleagues here at the BBC Sport website to post online in advance. This will generally happen shortly after the 5.15 game finishes on a Saturday and a little earlier on a Sunday.

And speaking of online options, the new contract allows broadband users in the UK to watch a simulcast of all of the BBC's football shows online. So, if for some reason best known to yourself, you're reading this at 10.15pm this Saturday, you can minimise this page, watch the show, then complain to the 606 messageboard (or me) that your team was on last, all without averting your eyes from your computer screen.

Incidentally, before anyone asks, the BBC doesn't have any delayed or overseas Premiership rights, so it will be a UK simulcast only, I'm afraid.

Otherwise, the programmes and formats will be much as before. The Saturday and Sunday sets are now basically one and the same and the titles will have about an 80% overlap.

We also plan to use the occasional MOTD2-style match top on a Saturday; there'll be a quick recap of the Tevez and Taksin Shinawatra/Sven sagas before our edit of West Ham's game with City this week, for example.

Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez has brought in several faces who played for him duing his time in charge of Northern IrelandWe're also going to ask the commentators to record a headline summary of team news to use where we don't feature a full opening.

The team news ticker which crawled across the screen at the start of shorter edits was felt to be a laudable idea but, in practice, distracting and largely ignored. We will, however, still run a match statistics graphic during the interview edits which follow a game. We thought people could probably successfully listen to an interview while reading facts and figures. Well, all the multi-tasking women around here thought they could, anyway...

The two programmes will maintain their distinctive elements, however, with MOTD2 still booking special guests, running features where possible and reviewing the whole weekend. That said, certain Sundays, particularly after Uefa Cup weeks will inevitably feel more like Saturdays. Sunday, 7 October for example, sees no fewer than seven Premiership fixtures, eight if Blackburn come through qualifying, so will be pretty much a full-blown MOTD show.

The BBC has live FA Cup ties, England home games this season, the Women's World Cup this autumn, the African Cup of Nations in the New Year and Euro 2008 post-season. So, I'm fairly sure we'll be broadcasting more football than we have during any season in our history.

We're all looking forward to it - though I'm personally a little worried about the defensive injury crisis at my club (not Chelsea) - and hope, irrespective of who you support, you all have an enjoyable one too.

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