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Archives for March 2008

Our new look

Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 07:01 UK time, Monday, 31 March 2008

You will have hopefully already noticed that the BBC Sport website has a new look. I explained in a previous post why we felt we needed to make some changes – and I also promised I’d come back onto the blog to run through in more detail what we’ve done.

The first point to make is that this ‘site refresh’ is being carried out in conjunction with our sister service, BBC News. A quick flick between the News and Sport homepages will soon highlight the fact that, although the two sites have much in common, there are also some fundamental differences in style. Steve Herrmann, the editor of the News site has outlined what the changes mean for News on The Editors’ Blog. The new layout for Sport is also more consistent with the recent redesign of the main BBC homepage, which you can read about here.

The second key point is that this is not a one-off relaunch. It is the first phase of a work-in-progress, and one that is based on the foundations of extensive audience research. There will be more improvements to come as we build up to what promises to be a superb summer of sporting action.

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This website is changing…

Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 14:25 UK time, Friday, 28 March 2008

Over the course of the next week you will notice some changes to the BBC Sport website.

I won’t go into too much detail about exactly what this will involve right now – there will be more to follow on that in the coming days. But I just wanted to flag up the fact that we are about to begin a long process of transformation of the site.

So why are we doing this? Well, it certainly feels like an appropriate time of year to be refreshing what we do – but just to be clear, this is about much more than a simple spring clean. Sure, we’ll be brushing away any cobwebs that we find around the site and tidying up the clutter. But we want to embark on something more significant than that and ensure we have a website that can better showcase the fantastic sporting content BBC Sport has to offer.

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Exciting Wimbledon news

Roger Mosey | 12:31 UK time, Wednesday, 26 March 2008

We've just been having a look at the audience figures for this year's Six Nations - and the provisional statistics suggest it was another big hit with our audiences.

A total of 30.3m people in the UK - that's 54% of the entire population - saw some of the Six Nations on BBC television; and we had a great response too to our radio coverage and to our new media services - ranging from the live streaming and highlights on this website to the full match replays on the BBC iPlayer.

These major events are crucial for the BBC: they're part of our public service remit to bring the nation together for the biggest sporting events - and we were delighted last autumn to renew our contract with the Six Nations up to and including 2013. Last week, of course, we also revealed the return of F1 to the BBC portfolio with a pleasingly enthusiastic response on our blogs and message boards.

Today we have similarly good news about another of the UK's great sporting institutions - Wimbledon. We're announcing this afternoon that the BBC has secured a new five-year deal with the All England Club that guarantees Wimbledon will be on BBC television, radio and online through to 2014.

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BBC back on the F1 starting grid

Roger Mosey | 07:10 UK time, Thursday, 20 March 2008

There are people in BBC Sport who still remember the day in 1996 when the BBC lost Formula One. It was a Wednesday. It was just before the office Christmas lunch, and understandably that wasn't a cheerful occasion.

So today we're all thrilled and excited to be welcoming back Formula One to our airwaves from next season. It's one of the world's biggest sport events, and we'll be showcasing it on the BBC across TV, radio and online. It'll be uninterrupted, so every twist, turn and chicane will be live.

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Updates to our online video and mobile services

Lewis Wiltshire | 10:27 UK time, Friday, 14 March 2008

If you use the BBC Sport website on your PC, or on your mobile (or hopefully both!), you might have noticed some important changes to the way the sites are presented.

Our mobile site, for people using mid-range phones, is being given a facelift, starting with some of the key sections like its front page and also the football section. Obviously you will need to go to from your mobile if you want to see the changes there, but you can get a feel for what it will look like by looking at this link.

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This extraordinary FA Cup year

Paul Armstrong | 22:04 UK time, Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Towards the end of last season, I wrote here that while I was growing up from 1966 to 1978, the FA Cup had 13 different winners in 13 seasons. I said that the Cup desperately needed an unexpected winner soon, with only four different sides having won it since 1995.

Nobody could have imagined a year on - or even this time last week - that this season's semi-finals would comprise Portsmouth and three Championship clubs. All four have won the Cup, but only West Brom have won it - or even been in the final - since the war, and even then not since 1968.

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You can't beat the Welsh for drama

Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 16:14 UK time, Wednesday, 12 March 2008

What do you think is the longest running TV soap opera produced by the BBC?

No, it's not EastEnders, but rather Pobol y Cwm, which has been produced by the BBC in Wales since 1974, although since 1982 it has been transmitted on the Welsh language channel S4C.

But what has this got to do with the final weekend of the Six Nations Championship?

Well, the fact is that over the past five years Welsh rugby has produced a soap opera to match Corry,' Enders or indeed Pobol y Cwm.

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Gatland gunning for revenge

Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 18:37 UK time, Thursday, 6 March 2008

The highlight of weekend four of the RBS Six Nations looks set to be Wales' attempt to land the Triple Crown with victory over Ireland on their visit to Croke Park.

This match has a couple of fascinating sub-plots with Warren Gatland taking his unbeaten Welsh side to play against an Ireland side coached by Eddie O'Sullivan, his former assistant, who replaced the Kiwi as the Irish coach back in 2001 amid accusations of disloyalty and plotting.

The canny Gatland has played down any revenge motive in the media this week, but you can bet he will be using it as a motivational tool for his men before they enter the unique amosphere created at the new Irish rugby home.

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Sport Relief all set for star-studded show

Carl Doran | 09:52 UK time, Monday, 3 March 2008

Final preparations are well under way now for Sport Relief's big night of TV on Friday 14 March.

Presented by Richard Hammond, Gary Lineker, Davina McCall, Patrick Kielty and Claudia Winkleman, Sport Relief 2008 brings together the BBC's biggest brands in a huge celebration to try and top 2006's fund-raising total of £18m.

The star-studded night of entertainment includes Sport Relief Does Strictly Come Dancing with a special twist.

Sports stars who have already excelled in previous series take over as the 'professional' dancers and for one night only partner five raw recruits. The 2006 champion Mark Ramprakash teams up with EastEnders star Kara Tointon.

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About Graham McMillan

Graham McMillan | 11:21 UK time, Saturday, 1 March 2008

I've been the golf producer for BBC Radio Sport for the past 3 years and been part of the production team since 2003, and yes, the job is as fun as it sounds!

I've been lucky enough to see some great action over that time - three Masters, Monty nearly winning at Winged Foot, Harrington winning his USPGA, Tiger seeing off Rocco Mediate on one leg at Torrey Pines, plus five Open Championships and next week will be my third Ryder Cup.

Before doing golf I had a season looking after horse racing and have worked as part of the rugby union team since 2002.

Without wishing to irritate a lot of you, I don't actually play golf although I keep telling myself I should. Having said that, Ryder Cups and majors form many of the great sporting moments for me over the past 20 years.

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