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Archives for November 2007

Memories of the early rounds of the Cup

Paul Armstrong | 16:05 UK time, Friday, 30 November 2007

Unless a non-league team gets a plum home Cup draw in the New Year, this coming Sunday marks the end of an era for Match of the Day. Our cameras will be at Station View for live coverage of Harrogate Railway's second round FA Cup tie with Mansfield, the last of 14 first and second round ties we have covered live since we regained the FA Cup contract in 2001.

Of those 14, 13 have featured our preferred formula of a non-league team at home to a league team. Strangely enough, the only exception - a derby between Oxford and Swindon in 2002 when the second round draw conspired against us - featured a home team who subsequently became a non-league team. Two of the remaining 13 - Hereford (2-1 winners over Wrexham in our first ever live game in 2001) and Accrington Stanley (1-0 winners over Huddersfield the folowing season) - have subsequently regained their Football League place. And our most recent live game - Torquay 4 Yeovil 1 the other week - may be the prelude to another promotion from the Conference, or Blue Square Premier as it's now known.

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The heart of rugby union in deepest, darkest Surrey

Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 10:35 UK time, Friday, 30 November 2007

What or who do you think of when you hear the name of Woking?

I'll give you three for starters - Paul Weller, Tim Buzaglo and Ross Archer.

Weller? The town called Malice's most famous son. Like Mozart, did almost all his best work before he was 25.

Buzaglo? Scored a hat-trick as the town's non-league footy team knocked West Brom out of the FA Cup and then turned up on Match of the Day with the match ball.

Archer? That's a tough one. He's one of BBC TV's finest ever VT editors and lifelong fan of the aforementioned footy team!

Well this week the Surrey town has become the centre of the universe for rugby union with the game's great and good at a three-day conference in the town to debate the future.

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Contenders for Sports Personality

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Carl Doran | 14:55 UK time, Thursday, 29 November 2007

As you may have already seen, Adrian Chiles announced the contenders for this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year award during the One Show on Friday.

I think it's an outstanding list with 10 sportsmen and women from across the UK and from seven very different sports.

The names on the shortlist are...

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Why blogging is key to BBC Sport

Roger Mosey | 13:25 UK time, Thursday, 29 November 2007

Speeches seem to be a bit like buses. There isn't one for ages and then two come along at once. So I started today with a speech at the Broadcast Sports Forum, and this evening there's another one at an event in central London.

You can read the Broadcast speech here:

In the Q&A session afterwards, I was asked, among other things, whether the BBC was comfortable with engaging with the world of message boards and blogs: wasn't this awkward for traditional broadcasters?

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No home interest?

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Paul Armstrong | 11:15 UK time, Saturday, 24 November 2007

In June 2004, 24 million people watched the BBC's coverage of England's European Championship penalty shoot-out defeat to Portugal. Nothing - not even a Final between Italy and Germany which ends 6-6, then goes to 27-26 on penalties - will now induce anything like that volume of viewers to tune into Euro 2008 next summer.

It's a long-established fact of life that home interest boosts TV sport viewing figures - a Lewis Hamilton win in Formula One, or a GB triumph in Olympic hockey or rowing lead to the die-hards being joined by millions of floating viewers. The same applies to football, so naturally the heroic elimination of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as England's dismally ignominious demise, is not good news for the BBC or ITV who jointly hold the rights to next summer's Finals.

As football fans, we're the same as anyone else in wanting our teams to qualify, though we'll still enjoy watching and working on the top-quality fare on offer. As programme-makers, we now have a little more thinking to do about next summer's output.

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Record traffic as England fall flat

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Lewis Wiltshire | 13:30 UK time, Friday, 23 November 2007

England's exit from Euro 2008 was a crushing blow for most of us in the Sport Interactive office in London (perhaps less so for some of our staff who hail from other parts of the United Kingdom!).

But on a professional level our job was to immediately recognise that millions of people would be coming to this website on Thursday to pore over the night before, and find out the very latest on Steve McClaren's employment status.

We were told on Friday morning that just under 3.9m people did just that, which meant that we broke our record for traffic to the seven-year-old BBC Sport website for the second time in two months.

In September, the day after Jose Mourinho's late-night departure from Chelsea, 3.7m people visited the site (which pipped the previous best of 3.65m who used the site the day after England were knocked out of the 2006 World Cup).

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What are your best bits on Inside Sport?

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Amanda Farnsworth | 12:51 UK time, Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Thanks again for your e-mails.

Many of you said how much you enjoyed the Justine Henin interview and I must say it's probably my favourite interview of the entire series because it was such a surprise to be given so much time with her, and for her to be so very honest about her life.

She came across as a very genuine and thoughtful woman who has been through a lot of difficulties in her life and has now come to terms with it all.

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The qualification knife-edge

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Paul Armstrong | 11:55 UK time, Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The thin line between footballing victory and defeat has never been more evident than it was last Saturday teatime.

First, Scotland were desperately unlucky against Italy. To amass 24 points from the hardest group imaginable and to strike real fear into the hearts of the World Champions, before finally being undone by an awful refereeing decision, was an extraordinary achievement.

It should also stand Scotland in good stead for the future - not only do they now have a team of which to be proud, but their improved ranking should put them in a less absurdly tough group, with a good chance of qualifying for the World Cup in 2010.

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Olympics to push HD to the fore

Roger Mosey | 08:27 UK time, Tuesday, 20 November 2007

There was cheering news on Monday from the BBC Trust, who've given the go-ahead for the BBC's High Definition television service.

There has, of course, been an experimental service since last year's World Cup - and it was BBC Sport, in the form of Gary Lineker & Co, who got the channel under way live from Germany 2006.

Now, there'll be plenty of great things on the HD channel: programmes like Cranford, Torchwood and Earth - Power Of The Planet . But sport will be one of its major selling-points.

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Weekend feedback

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BBC Sport | 18:15 UK time, Monday, 19 November 2007

Richard Irvine-Brown - BBC Sport Interactive

A crunch weekend of Euro qualifiers means a bulging inbox of questions.

Many of you (Scottish, English, and others) were disappointed that Scotland v Italy was not on BBC television. The answer to that is that international football is sold in packages and often years in advance. With the Euro qualifiers the broadcasting rights were split (with Sky) so that the BBC had the Scotland away fixtures, and England home fixtures. Obviously it would have been nice to have screened the drama from Hampden on the BBC, but we were not able to decide to do the game just because it turned out to have so much riding on it, and it was not a straight choice between the Scotland match or the England one.

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The pot, the pool, the cup, and no Bees or Toffees

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BBC Sport | 17:53 UK time, Monday, 12 November 2007

Hi everyone, I'm Richard Irvine-Brown and I help out with, among other things, the Sports Editors' Blog and the e-mails we receive from you every weekend in response to our coverage.

Each weekend I draw together your e-mails and feedback (from this blog, from 606, from people who collar me on a Saturday night at The Yuppy and Filofax winebar) for the editors and we discuss responses.

This weekend we re-ran the Calzaghe-Kessler fight, welcomed the first round of the FA Cup and saw a British world champion crowned, and the powers that be thought, rather than have two or three short entries, why not ask what a mixed sporting audience thought?

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Who are your Paralympic hopefuls?

Tony Garrett | 13:37 UK time, Monday, 12 November 2007

In just under a year's time the 13th Paralympics gets under way in Beijing.

The Paralympics have certainly grown in numbers and stature since the first Games in Rome in 1960. Those first Paralympics which were held in same venue as the Olympics', saw 400 competitors from 23 countries taking part.

Next year approximately 4000 athletes from 150 different countries will compete in China.

What can we expect from the organisers of the Games and how well will they be attended and supported?

Will the transportation system cope and will the Chinese authorities have improved the access in and around the city?

What will be the Chinese people's reaction to seeing so many disabled athletes and spectators for the first time?

How will the mass media cover the Paralympic Games?

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Boxing and bowling on the BBC

Roger Mosey | 17:05 UK time, Thursday, 8 November 2007

Thanks for the large and generally very positive response to the news about our new deal with the Football League.

Mysteriously, my blog managed to convert itself into a discussion about Rugby League - which I've blogged about in the past and will again.

But now I want to combine some good news about boxing with an apology for fans of bowls.

You'll have seen we announced earlier this week that we're re-showing the Joe Calzaghe fight with Mikkel Kessler this coming Saturday. It was by widespread agreement a fantastic performance by Calzaghe, and it's got him talked about again as a potential winner of Sports Personality of the Year.

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From cricket and boxing to Celtic's Strachan

Amanda Farnsworth | 19:01 UK time, Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Inside Sport has received lots of e-mails from you this week - many centred around the Duncan Fletcher interview.

We were very pleased to get the first chance to put to him the criticism from many in cricket and elsewhere about whether he should have revealed the secrets of the dressing room, and why he didn't deal with Andrew Flintoff at the time.

Lots of you felt he was cashing in and needed to write something that would sell a book, but others were more sympathetic.

This coming week we are interviewing Celtic manager Gordon Strachan - are there any questions you think need asking? Please let us know by e-mailing us through our website.

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Championship football and more on the BBC

Roger Mosey | 10:02 UK time, Tuesday, 6 November 2007

As Head of Sport, I get lobbied a fair bit. Perfectly fairly, people want to see their passions reflected on the BBC's airwaves - and there are two areas that get mentioned a lot.

The first is cricket. I'm repeatedly asked when it'll be back on BBC screens, to which all we can say is: watch this space. The rights will be tendered in the next year or so, and we've said we'd like to bid.

The second is non-Premier League football. Fans have argued consistently here on this blog and when I've been out and about that the BBC's television portfolio should reflect the 72 clubs of the Football League as well as the Premier League giants on Match Of The Day.

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Final blog of the motorbike season

Belinda Moore Belinda Moore | 12:00 UK time, Friday, 2 November 2007

So after 18 rounds (and a lot of time spent hanging around in airports) the MotoGP season finally draws to a close. Casey Stoner claimed the title back in Motegi and Valentino Rossi looks to have second place tied up. The tyre issue that’s dominated the season now looks to be resolved – no control tyre for MotoGP in 2008 but Rossi looks set to be the only Yamaha on Bridgestone’s and it could prove to be the Italian’s biggest challenge so far.

The BBC team are in reflective mood this weekend as the programme looks back over the year, a season in which Ducati and Stoner stunned the paddock with an awesome display of superiority that left everyone else playing catch-up. Matt Roberts has caught up with the new World Champion whilst Suzi gives Valentino a chance to air his frustrations after a difficult season.

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