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On and off

Roger Mosey | 14:22 UK time, Wednesday, 10 September 2008

A quick update on two scheduling issues that have been prompting a lot of e-mail and debate.

First, the Paralympics. Some people have been telling us they don't think we're offering enough coverage - especially compared with the Olympics themselves. In fairness, we're actually among the world leaders for Paralympic coverage: very few global broadcasters even covered the spectacular opening ceremony, and there is no mainstream coverage at all in the United States. Our commitment to these Paralympics ranges from extensive coverage on BBC One and BBC Two on weekend afternoons through to our nightly Games Today show on BBC Two. That's then supplemented by six hours of live online streaming and red button services through the day.

Grant Mizens, Australia; Abdillah Jama, Great Britain; men's wheelchair basketball

But we've listened to the arguments for even more coverage, and I'm very pleased to report there'll be two extra television slots this week - on Thursday and Friday mornings from 1030 BST to 12 noon. Coverage will then continue on the red button and on this website before Games Today at 1900. There's even more TV coverage for viewers with access to the BBC HD channel, which will be showing the live events from 1030 right through to 1600.

So thank you for the e-mails and comments so far, and also for the appreciative audiences: we recorded a high of 2.7m during the opening ceremony, with a peak of more than 2m for Games Today last night. That is, as it happens, much higher than for the last couple of live England football matches.

And so to the even bigger scheduling controversy: the absence, so far as we can tell at this stage, of terrestrial highlights of Croatia v England in the World Cup qualifiers tonight. There's been a lot of disinformation around, so let me give some facts. The BBC made what we believed was a competitive bid for the highlights - as, we understand, did other broadcasters. It was significantly above what we paid for the live Arsenal Champions League qualifier match recently - despite claims to the contrary. We're very disappointed for fans that the coverage looks unlikely to be available on any major UK channel, but as with all other organisations we have to work out what's value for money; and a million pounds or more for delayed highlights just isn't realistic.

Joe Cole scores for England against Andorra

However, live commentary from Croatia will be on BBC Radio 5 Live - so you'll at least be able to follow the action there if you don't have pay TV. And we remain committed to bringing as much key sporting action as possible free-to-air on all platforms - which is, we believe, what the UK public want.


  • Comment number 1.

    I understand that.

    But it sucks that England supporters have to pay for watching their home nation play, unless it's home games that are shown on ITV.

    With that said though, I predict a 1-1 draw with Croatia today.

  • Comment number 2.


    Not only does it suck for England fans, it sucks for the other home nations, who also have to pay to watch their country play.

    But then we're not so important, are we?

  • Comment number 3.

    "And we remain committed to bringing as much key sporting action as possible free-to-air on all platforms - which is, we believe, what the UK public want."

    So why don't you bid for the Ashes?

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm not really that bothered about the football atall (might watch it tonight) but if the only option was edited highlights it's not worth paying money for.

    Live tv coverage or don't even bother bidding. Edited highlights you can buy the cheaper rights for from Sky to put in the late night news.

  • Comment number 5.

    People wonder why we don't get behind our sports team as much as other nationalities, or even boo them when it goes badly. It's because we have to pay so much just to see them play that we feel let down - financially and emotionally - when they consistently fail to convert their individual talent into successful team performances.

  • Comment number 6.

    again no scotland coverage did you bid for highlights ? or are scotland ignored again

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    I'd be interested to know, Roger, where you stand on the argument that the pay-TV company who has the Croatia v England rights are setting a deliberately over-inflated price for the highlights in order to force England fans to subscribe to their service.

  • Comment number 9.

    you are not listening... AGAIN!
    what we want is full coverage.. not just a little bit here, and a little more there. we want the same coverage as the olympics. so bwhat if ur the leaders in paralympic coverage. good for you... not for us... we arent seeing everything and as the media its ur job to give us that. either you put full coverage on bbc 1 for the full remainder of the paralympics, or, you will get many many complaints... and perhaps a total bbc sport boycott. your choice. act now

  • Comment number 10.

    #3 ... the BBC could not bid for "The Ashes" because The Ashes were not available to be bid on. The ECB bolted all of England's domestic and international cricket (4 day, 1 day 20/20, test matches etc) into one humungous package.

    Not only did that make it incredibly expensive, but there is absolutely no way that the BBC (with the channels it has available) could hope to compete with the coverage Sky could give it over its four dedicated sports channels.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hello Mr Mosey,

    I do feel the BBC is starting to underestimate what constitutes 'value for money' for live sports rights. The BBC seems to be implying that the market for live football has 'passed them by' in terms of cost; that simply is not good enough for our national broadcaster. They need to be more willing to accept that they have a remit to have regular live sport and cough up. If you don't, you're not fulfilling your side of the 'contract' you have with license fee payers who want to see live sport, in the way that you certainly do (very ably) for those who want to see drama, news, light entertainment and so on. Why is it only sport fans who have to pay extra every month to see what they want to see to make up for the inadequacies of the BBC?

  • Comment number 12.

    I am sorry but the commitment of the bbc to show key sporting action??? Like what?? The Olympics...well i suppose you had to show that one and...

    I suppose you have still got a chance to out bid woof tv for "me and my dog"...obviously I'm only talkign about the highlights as live would not be value for money!!

  • Comment number 13.

    #9, I think you will find that actually only a very few people want the same blanket coverage of the Paralympics as of the Olympic games ... sadly.

    Do you really think that if there were any possibility of the Paralympics pulling in even half the viewers that the Olympic Games did that the BBC wouldn't expand the coverage?

    There were enough people complaining loud and long about the amount of coverage that the Olympic Games received, in spite of the huge audiences it pulled in. Just imagine the protests if they did the same for the Paralympics for a much, much smaller audience.

    There is significant coverage on the interactive service and, whilst that isn't available to anyone without digital TV that it a massive step forward since 2004.

    As viewers we can't always get what we personally want because the BBC has a responsibility to ALL its licence fee payers.

  • Comment number 14.

    Continuing helloes, Mr Mosey,

    I don't want you to feel I'm unreasonable or overcritical of the BBC (you should hear me talk about Sultana Sports). One side of BBC Sport's job is to make what coverage they have high quality, which it certainly is. You have some of the best presenters, commentators and pundits there are (but, please, beg Barry Davies to come back to Match of the Day). It's simply the size and scope of the portfolio which, I feel, isn't good enough.

    Kindest regards,

  • Comment number 15.

    Okay, I’m a football fan who enjoys the game! I have played semi professionally here in England and on a scholarship at university in the US. Unfortunately, I had to stop playing as I had brain surgery and ended up living on disability. As a result, it isn’t feasible for me to purchase Sentanta or Sky Sports and, therefore, I am unable to watch England matches. If it is not possible for the BBC to purchase live English football coverage (or highlights), would the BBC consider covering other British countries competing live? At least then those of us without access to other providers could still enjoy the great game! It would seem that football is slowly becoming available only to a select few.

    I wonder what others may think?

    Thank you for your radio Five Live service. It enables many of us to still experience the excitement of live football.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    As far as I know the BBC is still partly funded by our licence fee.

    I accept that £1m for highlights is high but when compared to the Salaries of Chris Moyles, Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross it doesn't seem to bad to me.

  • Comment number 18.

    You should have sent less than 500 people to cover the Olympics who no doubt travelled business class and stayed in 5 star hotels and then you could have made a proper bid. Oh wait you are a public service so never listen to your income generators (tax payers) and waste millions and cry when you have no money left. The beeb must be saving millions with all these reality shows!

  • Comment number 19.

    jonjwood, where can you watch for free, your local pub?

  • Comment number 20.

    Of course the paralympics shouldn't get as much coverage as the proper Olympics.
    The standard is not as high and there is nowhere near as much interest. The coverage the BBC is giving is more than adequate.

  • Comment number 21.

    It's true it isn't the beeb's fault (or even itv's) but the FA's

    sports of national importance are locked to terrestrial (free to air) tv - with football this applies to the major tournaments and home qualifiers - away matches have been allowed to be bought by sky or setanta, and there is no provision for even highlights on terrestrial - this is something that should be addressed by the FA or the government, because setanta are well within their business rights to demand money (because it makes very good sense for them to keep free highlights away from bbc) - the downside is that we can't even see joe cole's two goals, it's even a mission on the internet these days

    this is important if you want to keep interest in england going, we don't need the whole andorra game - but highlights would do, if we can only hear our team half the time then the only winner will be setanta

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    "And we remain committed to bringing as much key sporting action as possible free-to-air on all platforms - which is, we believe, what the UK public want."

    And yet it took you losing the rights to the highlights of the Guiness Premiership for them to be broadcast on free-to-air.

  • Comment number 24.

    To be honest, given the poor quality of the MOTD highlights of Premiership football, I'm not too concerned about the lack of England highlights. Five Live do an excellent job, except their pronunciation of player names, but then all commentators are afflicted with that particular illness.

  • Comment number 25.

    Looks like this blog is keeping the moderator busy!

    I realise the beeb can't bid silly money for football but the situation is killing international football in this country.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    The Paralympics coverage is a tricky one - and I think the bbc are doing "ok" with the coverage. The Paralympics are never going to be as widely watched as the Olympics so less coverage on BBC1 and 2 is surely understandable. Having not seen the services available on the red button I cannot comment on them, but I would expect them to be almost identical to Olympic coverage.

    Of the international football coverage question, i don't blame the BBC for not paying a 7 figure sum for it. That kind of money could be much better spent. The answer I feel lies in government legislation, which should make extended highlights (at the very least) available to terrestrial viewers for competitive international games, in much the same way as many other sporting events rights are correctly sold

  • Comment number 28.

    Sorry to be a bit controversial but I think there is too much Paraolympics on the BBC. This is a reflection of the necessity for a public service broadcaster to pay lip service to polictical correctness rather than an illustration of the actual demand for live paraolympic sport. I can't imagine you'd get a commercial broadcaster providing anything but the most minimal coverage of the paraolympics as evidenced by the situation in the US. I don't wish to denegrade the paraolympics in anyway or to disrepect those atheletes out there who are doing such a great job, but the bottom line is most people have no interest in watching paraolympic sport on live televison. Yet the BBC appear to be taking seriously the suggestion that Paraolympic and Olympic coverage should be equal, total madness.

  • Comment number 29.

    I agree that audiences for the paralympics will not necessarily be as high as for the olympics but there are still some relatively straightforward things that the beeb could do to improve it's coverage.

    Over the olympics you could chose video feeds via the red button - if everything was already set up from the olympics surely this could be continued for the paralympics.

    The biggest frustration is the website because, while it may be "the best coverage ever" it's ridiculously hard to find infomation. The schedule pages are formatted really badly. The medal table isn't on the front page as it was for the olympics.

    I hardly ever watch TV as I tend to be busy during "prime-time" so I had got use to the really good coverage online of the olympics - with live text for each day, feeds and lots of information. I assumed the coverage would be the same for the paralympics and they'd use the same format online so i was disappointed when I came to check it out. Even simply moving Paralympics higher up the side bar would help!

  • Comment number 30.

    The purpose of paying a licence fee is that people get what they want, a high quality of programming in sport, the arts, entertainment etc

    I can't help but feel that in terms of sport (and indeed other areas) we re being let down. The top three sports in this country are football, rugby and cricket. From those sports at international level the coverage on the BBC is now the 6 nations. That means that for 6 weekends only (unless that hasn't already been sold off as well) a year we get the international sport which is most in demand in this country. Wherever the money is spent, surely we need more in order to justify the licence fee...?

  • Comment number 31.

    I can understand that £1m is a lot to pay for delayed highlights of the England matches. But could you not have pooled your bid with one (or more) of the other terrestrial channels? This usually happens for major tournaments - why can't it be applied for the qualifiers as well?

    I know it's primarily the FA's fault, as they are ultimately the ones that choose the broadcaster and deal with the contracts etc., but I can't help but feel a little let down. Please seriously consider a pooled bid next time. In the mean time, I will make my feelings known to the FA (as I am sure many others will)!

  • Comment number 32.

    I think it is disgusting that the various Home Nations' World Cup football qualifiers are not available on the main, free television channels. It is like only being able to watch the Olympics on Sky. An absolute disgrace, although I don't necessarily put the blame at the door of the BBC.

  • Comment number 33.

    Paralympic thoughts later, but on football and major events:

    Here's the list of what we currently bring you on TV: the next two World Cups, the Olympics in Beijing and London, Wimbledon and two other Grand Slams, Six Nations rugby (until 2014, Tom in #30), Masters and Open Golf, Match Of The Day, Rugby League Challenge Cup, the Grand National, UK Athletics, the London Marathon and many more events - with Formula 1 and Football League coming next year. So I don't agree with Mike in #14. Or in #11 either...

    To Firstthree in #18: we paid economy fares for our teams travelling to the Beijing Olympics.

    To TomLeips in #30: actually, the biggest event of the year in Sport for audiences was the Olympics - and Wimbledon now gets massively bigger audiences than cricket. But we do, of course, have a major commitment to cricket on radio with Test Match Special - just as BBC Radio 5 Live is home to all the live football commentary that matters, also funded by the licence fee.

    More later...

  • Comment number 34.

    I agree entirely. It isn't good enough, however it is dressed up. However, the BBC should not be held entirely to blame however.

    The six nations (only five weekends) is regarded as a 'crown jewel of British sport' event and is protected for terrestrial viewing, meaning the beeb doesn't really have to bid - if they did they wouldn't be able to afford it and another piece of sporting heritage would start to decline (that's my opinion on what happens when events move to a subscription channel based on observations of football's plight).

    The real culprit for the loss of ashes coverage was labour under Tony Blair, a government with reportedly close relationship to a famous media mogul. This government decided the Ashes should not be deemed a 'crown jewel' event. Absolutely scandalous in my view.

  • Comment number 35.

    Not sure if anyone's mentioned this yet but if you have access to Setanta 1 (even if you don't subscribe) they're showing the highlights of England and Scotland games at 10:45pm tonight... Free.

    Or so I hear.

  • Comment number 36.

    Also, in relation to those saying it's down to the FA... I was understanding it was down to the FA of the host nation. Could be wrong.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    #33 follow up by Mr Mosey demonstrates just how much sport the BBC actually does show us. So we may not get to see england away at andorra or croatia but at least the finals will be live - which includes games not involving british teams who also get large followings across the UK (don't forget that not every licence fee payer is a UK citizen and may therefore support someone else!)

    Yes it's a disgrace that we don't get to watch all the home nations games live or get highlights, but in the end the BBC is run from our licence fee - and so if they blew the whole amount on just a couple of england qualifiers then there'd be nothing left to fund the rest of the BBC. A balance needs to be struck - whenever a big competition comes on and the BBC focus on the sport for a couple of weeks (e.g. olympics, euro 2008, wimbledon) they have to suffer through the complaints of non-sport fans who think the BBC spend too much on sport and are cutting back on drama and comedy.

    and in the end everyone would complain if the licence fee went up to try and bid for The Ashes or live England matches!

  • Comment number 39.

    On a similar vein as what's already been said about the coverage of cricket and of Scottish and Irish sports in general. This summer both Scotland and Ireland were played a considerable amount of international cricket including some ODIs against New Zealand and England as well as an official ICC event.

    Although some of these matches were affected by rain, I don't remember any broadcaster (with the exception of TMS carrying the one England v. Scotland ODI) making any effort to cover the cricket in these areas. How come?

  • Comment number 40.

    Personally, I think the BBC perform an excellent service with all the sports that they cover. It is impossible for them to please all of the people all of the time. Hence, squash / badminton etc are also not featured.

    The problem with the English (not sure about Scot / Welsh) WCQ not being shown on either BBC or the other terrestrial channels (in Live or Highlighted form) is purely down to the commercial arm of the FA. But, they also have to make the most money. Previous years Sky have been happy to share the package. Setanta haven't, mainly to build up a bigger subscriber base I assume. In my opinion, the Setanta package is of worse quality (picture is degregated due to poor bandwith transmission, and commentators are no where near BBC / Sky's standards).

    So as usual, the only losers are the public, but I feel the FA will feel the wrath as we can't watch to view for ourselves how England got on away from home; And with all home games now at Wembley (too expensive and too far to travel for a Wed 19:45 KO) then fan support will only become apoplectic.

  • Comment number 41.

    If you have satellite and not subscribed to setanta you are in luck! They are now showing for free the scotland game highlights at 1045 and the england highlights at 1130 on setanta sports 1.
    I know it's late but the highlights would have been on at these times if the bbc had been able to afford them.

  • Comment number 42.

    My view on the Paralympics is that they have been absolutely amazing and I do wish that the BBC would show more so people are not so prejudice about Disabled Athletes. The BBC has to please everyone and on this occasion the have put some live Paralympics on the Interactive Button. Instead of Knocking the Paralympics why dont you get behind Team GB and support them just because the have a "disability" they are not from another planet. These Athletes have inspired me to get in touch with the Paralympic Association to see if I can participate in any of the sports.

    Set No Limits

    See the Ability not the Disabilty

  • Comment number 43.

    I find it amusing the BBC are proud of their Paralympic coverage, after all they've just paid a blind correspondant several grand for discriminating against him - seems no one wanted a blind man on the telly.

    Kudos for the paralympic coverage, but perhaps the beeb could do better in it's own activities?

  • Comment number 44.

    Unfortunately roger the BBC is partly to blame (as are other broadcasters) for the lack of away qualifiers not on free to air TV. When the group was drawn out you at the beeb missed a trick as Setanta were very clever as the went to the all the other countries in the group and acquired the rights straight away.

    I would just like to know why it wasn't possible for the BBC to do this? I hope you have learnt your lesson by this because in my opinion some of the criticism aimed at you is totally deserved, especially considering that you have thrown millions of pounds into getting the rights for Formula One, which in my opinion seems very corrupt at moment!

  • Comment number 45.

    So again the england fans who made the game what it is today are left high and dry without so much as highlights without pay per view.

    Its not only the BBC that have bid for these and in not selling Setanta are surely losing free money, unless they are deliberatly monopolising the market.

    Its up to the FA to ensure we can watch these games, after all the fans are the be all and end all of football. Come on get your act together!!!

    As for the many on here blaming the BBC for not getting coverage, they are not entirely at blame, with the minimum funding the BBC receives for websites, radio and tv they provide a decent service.

    No doubt you want the football (which is overpriced) and a reduction in you licence fee as well, wake up and see the world!

  • Comment number 46.

    I was under the impression that the home association deals with the TV rights. So the deal for tonights match was sorted between Setanta and the HNS (Croatian Football Federation), the FA having nowt to do with it.

    So it seems a bit unfair to blame the FA for this situation, unless I have missed something?

  • Comment number 47.

    I watched as much as possible of the Olympics last month, and was proud of the success the Team GB had in Beijing. I was therefore, as maybe many of the British public on a high, with their success and ready to get behind the Paraolympians, however, with very little coverage on National TV, how can we? Discrimination at its best! These men and women are having great success (and in some cases even better than the able bodied), and yet the TV coverage and media publicity is attrocious!! Shame on you!! Get rid of all the repeat shows we have in the TV schedules and show more of the Paraolympics!!! They deserve our support and respect just as much as the able bodied Olympians!!! GO Team GB!!! I'm proud of you, even if our TV reps aren't!!!

  • Comment number 48.

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  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    Non-friendly internationals should be available free-to-air at a realistic price to BBC / ITV...

  • Comment number 51.

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  • Comment number 52.

    I think the BBC are doing us a favour.

    Lets face it, against Andorra England played so badly the fans that were there booed. What a waste of our money that would have been.

    Since the BBC has tax payers money to secure the rights for sporting events, let them at least spend it on sport that is worth watching, is entertaining and is also good value.

    Don't get me wrong here, I am not anti football by any means, but blowing millions of pounds to watch highlights of an England team try and qualify for the World Cup - is not good value.

  • Comment number 53.

    I was so looking forward to the BBC2 coverage of the day's events at the Paralympics today - what did I get? Scrum V. This is Wales. Rugby will be on TV (as well as football) till Spring next year. It will be another four years before the Paralympics are on again.
    I really enjoyed the coverage of the Olympics and am disappointed that we don't have the same for the Paralympics - might this not be more than slight discrimination?
    Look at all the medals they're getting - they are fantastic. Thank you Team GB

  • Comment number 54.

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  • Comment number 55.

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  • Comment number 56.

    Roger, I see ITV picked up the Rugby highlights, smahsed it to pieces and updated it...I feel that ITV have made the Guiness Prem League highlights better then the BBC's awful coverage that was squashed on Sunday.
    Also lets have more Paralympic coverage! It seems pathetic and awful...Cram and Balding dont make the Games Today respectful...why nothing from a studio like it was when Gabby Logan was doing the highlights ???
    Oh I bet you must be worried after the recent events at Spa for the F1, may people say they wont follow good luck Roger putting the right team together to stop us from turning offf.get Brundle , Goodman, Kravitz, Ben Edwards and get Steve Rider back!!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Para-Olympics is more than adequately covered, there's absolutely no reason to give it the same coverage as the Olympics.

    It is sad England away games are no longer covered on 'free' tv, but with the rare exception of tonight's game and Munich, most England away games are dull.

    There's little atmosphere that we can relate to, and the type of football played is usually much more slow paced than tonight's performance. I can remember perhaps 3 away performances I've enjoyed as much the one tonight, and that is after 30+ years of watching England.

    But I don't agree that one million pounds is too much for a highlights package given tonight's opposition. There are US sitcom actors that earn more than that per episode. Paying that much for minor games such as Andorra or Belarus is one thing, but Croatia are our main competitors for the group, and even if the result had been less spectacular, it still would have been worth watching on as extended highlights if nothing else.

  • Comment number 58.

    I was generally impressed with the BBC coverage of the Olympics as you provided a very high level of coverage.
    However it is now very obvious that you jumped on the bandwagon and only showed sailing coverage because of the GBR success.
    Come the paralympics, there is virtually no sailing coverage on the website, and having watch your 7pm highlights package on Monday and Tuesday on TV, you showed perhaps 40 seconds on Monday purporting to be from Chingdao but what was actually library footage from a european event from April. And then nothing on Tuesday. Very very disappointed....

  • Comment number 59.


    Would you care to comment on this article

    Specifically the part on the deal with U-Direct and how that was viewed as value for money back then as opposed to any potential deal with Setanta for highlights today.

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm not surprised that the BBC didn't get live coverage of the England match in Croatia. The game is now run by greedy busnessmen, who have little or no concern for the person in the street or I suspect for the game, which they see as a 'product'. They have little interest in public broadcast media and the service it provides (unless it will pay them extortinate sums of money).

  • Comment number 61.

    I believe that all international qualifiers for football games for all home nations, should only be allowed on terrestrial television. It's supposed to be our national game so why do we have to pay to be able to watch it live? Major sporting events like The Euros, The World Cup, The Olympics, and The Grand National are all available on terrestrial tv. I can't believe that Setanta had the cheek to ask for over a million pounds for the highlights, and now are forced to show it free to air on their own channel because none of the terrestrial channels believed it was value for money. The days of showing premiership football on terrestrial we know are over, but when it comes to your national team everyone should be able to watch it. I have always enjoyed the BBC's coverage of England matches, both on and off the field and was disappointed when they lost the rights for live games. Setanta has lost a lot of face by asking too much for highlights, when really most fans are only interested in the live games. I think there should be a review by the Television Commission and the government into whether the fiasco of Setanta can continue.

  • Comment number 62.

    The key question is why did the BBC waste £50 million of our money on outbidding ITV for Formula 1 which was already available to everyone on free to air. That is why they have no money left for football.

  • Comment number 63.

    Roger - you're doing a good job with the Paralympics, you've got a good portfolio of sport and whilst we can all moan about how we want it to be better, some of us realise that there is a limit to the funds.

    I realise it is the foreign FAs who sold the rights to Setanta - admittedly, you could have tried bidding against them for those rights, but I assume they paid a packet for the Games.

    Don't let the doommongers here keep knocking you!

    (Oh, and get Barry Davies back).

  • Comment number 64.

    I also don't understand why the home country football radio coverage has to be broadcast on medium wave. Surely the BBC can see that if they are not showing any of the live coverage or highlights of the games then more people are going to listen on the radio. The reception on medium wave is like listening to white noise, would it not make sense to change over to a FM station for the coverage.

  • Comment number 65.

    All England games shold be free to the BBC and Sky Setanta ITV should have to bid to show them aswell (if they wish). Thats why we pay a licence fee. WE EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO SEE ENGLAND!

  • Comment number 66.

    Personally I'm glad to see that the BBC isn't wasting my licence fee by getting involved with the millionaire's circus which football has now become.

    I would far rather see the licence money spent on interesting programmes rather than watching a bunch of overpaid "stars" kicking a ball of wind about, trying (usually unsuccessfully) to get it inside a space the size of a barn door.

  • Comment number 67.

    Off at a slight tangent, this blog by the BBC's John O'Donovan may be of interest to some of you:

    It sheds some statistical light on the consumption of video during the Olympics. No doubt the traffic will also be high during the Paralympics.

  • Comment number 68.

    The Paralympics coverage is not the same on this website as it was for the main Olympics. In the main sport section there`s virtually nothing. Click Olympics and its all about the main Olympics and preparations for 2012. Where`s the video links? The daily reports? I know the Paralympics are often featured in the main promo section at the top of the homepage, but unless you choose to edit your home page to include it (I guess many won`t even know how to do this) then you won`t find it at all. Don`t gold medals, or the medals table, deserve some prominence in the main News section? The Paralympics coverage does feel like an afterthought.

    And that wonderful opening ceremony. Do people realise what a stunning show they missed? How fantastic all those deaf dancers and blind musicians were? Are you generating later visits to it on iPlayer? Not that I can see.

  • Comment number 69.


    This may be a very un-PC view - but I think the paralympics are a complete turn off as a sporting spectacle. Furthermore, I do not believe there is a groundswell of interest amongst the wider British public. Look at the Paralympic blogs on this website - they generate hardly any comment. It's difficult to quantify why this is the case as everyone acknowledges the endeavour, bravery, determination and strength of character demonstrated by our paralympians - they are inspirational - but that alone does not make it an entertaining watch. It may be something to do with the ongoing bewilderment surrounding participant categorisation - a complete mess. I watched a swim race on Tues which included swimmers with what appeared completely different physical disability which finsihed with the winner a full length ahead of some of her rivals (it was a relatively short race). And here is my problem - at the heart of all sporting drama and 'entertainment' is the highest level of competitive rivalry, unpredictability (apart from Phelps and Bolt), where the smallest margins determine victory from defeat. I just don't think this is the case with the majority of paralympic sport where there appears huge discrepancies between participant ability, diluting the rivalry, increasing the predictability and rendering the spectacle very dull. Readers should not take offence where none is intended - but as I say, inspirational yes - entertaining no, no, and no again. Consequently, I wouldn't lose too much sleep if the paralympic coverage was reduced to a one-hour highlights show each day. Sorry!

  • Comment number 70.

    As far as #62 is concerned regarding Formula One, I have read much along similar lines. However, am I right in understanding that ITV walked away from their rights deal with Formula One a year early, leaving the BBC to bid for the rights fully 12 months earlier than you had expected?

    As far as non-football is concerned - and how refreshing it was to have two weeks of fabulous sport that involved so many other sports - you have previously hinted at a new strategy for covering such sports in the future - can you say more about this? There is, for instance a cycling world cup event in Manchester coming up, any chance you will be covering this event?

    Thank you for taking all our comments seriously (well, almost!!) and answering promptly too.

  • Comment number 71.

    I agree with comment 28. Whilst in no way wishing to diminish the achievement of the paralympic competitors, I don't think that there's sufficient interest in disabled sport to merit more comprehensive coverage. As a person living with disability (although not by any means an athlete) I find the BBC website page on "Why the paralympics are important" quite patronising. The fact the BBC feels it necessary to publish several paragraphs of Clare Balding and others sharing their views on why we should all be watching the paralympics suggests that the BBC are aware that most people (disabled or not) aren't really that interested.

  • Comment number 72.

    I fail to see why everyone suddenly is demanding live coverage of England away matches when they haven't been on terrestrial for a few years now.

    Setanta is cheaper than Sky although I agree that they should have let the highlights go for a bit cheaper than they did.

    Liverpool v Man U hasn't been on live terrestrial for decades now and is arguably more entertaining than England v Andorra. Why no uproar over that?

    Finally Roger can I ask what the deal is on using other broadcaster's pictures for the news bulletins? If you can use pictures then why not at other times? It has interested me for a while. An answer would be appreciated.

  • Comment number 73.

    I have been disappointed by the of the coverage of the equestrian section of the paralympics. I acknowledge that there is probably less interest, but after a silver medal was won did we see any of the test? No.
    But we did see a marching band, and 30 seconds of 2 Chinese stewards positioning a barrier.
    With the large number of Riding for the Disabled participants in this country you may have underestimated the interest that could be shown in these inspirational riders. They deserve better.

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with all those who feel that the Paralympics are not getting the coverage that they deserve. The athletes of Team GB are representing us as a nation. In many cases the medals won come at a much greater cost than those of the Olympics athletes. They show the highest form of competition and reflect the true Olympic Values of sportsmanship.

    The web coverage is poor, the medals tables are updated way behind the events. the ParalympicsGB site makes the BBC site look 3rd rate, which is unusual.

  • Comment number 75.

    Firstly, I must say how impressive the BBC's Olympic coverage was - well put together and thoroughly entertaining.

    What I don't understand is was so much effort was put into regaining F1 from ITV? I appreciate ITV and BBC are business rivals, but surely the time has come for them to work a little more closely to stop sport being lost to satellite channels, especially the quite dreadful Setanta?

  • Comment number 76.

    I think the BBC should be applauded for their coverage of both the Olympics and the Paralympics. It is right that the Olympics is given so much more coverage in relation to the Paralympics. I am proud of the achievments of the Paralymic team so far and I think it is fantastic that they are able to compete in so many sports against other athletes around the world and that their achievements are acknowledged and rewarded. However, I do not feel compelled to watch as I did with the Olympics. I don't believe this is a prejudiced view, just simply that the Olympics is the pinnacle of sporting achievement.

  • Comment number 77.

    I just wanted to thank the BBC team and everyone behind them for the Paralympic Games so far. I live in Italy and here the time devoted to the Games is zero. Just a few live broadcast on digital channels (which very few have access to), and half an hour on terrestrial channels at 9AM............
    I'm a big fan of disability sports, and I truly love the way the BBC has approached the Games, and the coverage is just fantastic.
    Well done to everyone in Bejing and home, and thank you for your effort.

  • Comment number 78.

    I agree that the BBC are probably leading the world in their coverage of the Paralympic Games, but my comment is mainly to do with the Red Button (Interactive).
    When the Olympic Games were being held, you had a choice of Olympic sports to watch via the red button, i.e screens 1, 2, 3, 4 and possibly five, all carrying a different sport, with the Paralympics you have 1, screen 2 has held the replay of the Games from the previous day, screen 3 has held highlights of the Games from the previous day. The BBC seem to be concentrating on 4 sports, Basketball, Swimming, Cycling and Track, there has been no coverage whatsoever of the Equestrian, Wheelchair Tennis, Powerlifting, Archery, Shooting, Rowing, Sailing, or even the Field events, to mention but a few, only on very edited highlights, for maybe a few seconds. As an, for want of a better term, able bodied person, I feel all these Paralympians should get the recognition they so richly deserve, after all they have surpassed all expections, as well as beating the Olympians, (well, some of them) out of sight. The Red Button doesn't interfere with peoples normal viewing, if they don't wish to watch.
    Very well done Paralympic Team GB, the whole country should be so proud of you, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 79.

    Hello all again

    A couple of quick responses.

    First to quietsportsfan in #78 and others: there's less host broadcaster coverage of Paralympic events than at the Olympic Games. So yesterday, for instance, in the case of the rowing we sent along our own camera/team - hence the report on Games Today. But there wasn't any full race coverage available to us.

    That equally applies to the sailing and some of the other events mentioned. So we do our best to cover as many sports as we can --- in news summary form if not as long-form events.

    By the way, worth saying that the Games Today continues to do very well for audiences. Last night we had a peak of 2.3m viewers - more than for the Croatia v England re-run.

    Second topic: Formula 1 in post #75 and others. We should be clear here that ITV said they were no longer able to continue with their coverage because of what they described at the time as a straightforward commercial decision. So the BBC was happy to step in and keep F1 free-to-air on terrestrial television. There was no bidding war, though we obviously had to pay a fair price to the rightsholders.

  • Comment number 80.

    Roger - you mentioned in an earlier blog (I think about the olympics) that there would be a cricket announcement soon, can you provide further details?

  • Comment number 81.

    So a fair price for Formula One was £50m a year, which is what ,25 races a year with half of them in the middle of the night. You don't have to be a maths expert to tell me that's a lot of money for each race. And how much will production costs be for each of these that will be well over £100k a race.
    Yet. For the national sport you offer £200,000 for highlights. Then spend all day on all networks blaming Setanta.
    Don't get me wrong. I'n no fan of Setanta's ... but i hated to see BBC's arrogant attitude to it all.
    How much is each episode of Match Of the Day cost with what you paid for highlight rights. Bet that comes in at over a million a show. Then you say that it's not worth it to pay that for our national team and try and push the blame elsewhere.
    And even now, in your last response, it's cheap shots at how you're viewing figures for the Paralympics are so much better than they were for the Setanta highlights.
    Errr, that's not hard to work out why. BBC1 always did and always will outscore the opposition, especially subscription channels.
    And when you are always shoving viewing figures down our necks it's obvious to see that the BBC is as commercially run as any pay-per-view channel. You just pretend everythings in the public interest.

    .... and on another note, well played Steve Cram and Clare Balding and the paralympic coverage ... especially the competitors with all their medals.

  • Comment number 82.

    Hi Roger.

    Thanks for the BBC coverage of the Paralympics, although I do wish there was more to see of them on BBC TV, but then you cannot please everyone all the time. I am enjoying watching Team GB do their best for themselves, their chosen sports and their country. My heartfelt congratulations goes out to each and every one of them. I have been moved by some of the performances I have witnessed over the past few days and it has been a privilege to watch them thanks to the BBC during the day and evening and for streaming live throughout the night.

    The only critisism I have with the BBC is the lack of tennis shown throughout the year. I know it is shown frequently on Sky and Eurosport but being on a low income I cannot afford to subscribe to the packages to allow me to view them. If it was at all possible for some action from Flushing Meadow to be broadcast on the BBC, that would be excellent.

    Thanks once again for the coverage from Beijing and I would like to think that Team GB will get the warm welcome home that the Olympic team received a couple of weeks ago (pass that comment on to BBC News chief please)

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    Thanks to jsc1165 in #82. The comments are really appreciated. On tennis: we retain the rights to the French and Australian Opens, as well as to Wimbledon and other UK events. Next weekend: live Davis Cup on the BBC.

    To bewaretheghost (great name) in #81: I've seen the figures you quote bandied around - and they're wrong... But thanks for the remarks on the Paralympics. I agree.

    To cwaddell in #80: we still hope to announce something in the coming weeks.

  • Comment number 85.

    On and Off is the title of the why Mr Mosey did BBC Sport say that the MotoGP will be shown live on BBC2 only to remove it because of its schedule?
    Im sure that re-runs of Dragons Den and Top Gear can be moved to show what could be a great race, instead you alienated viewers and most of them have been on the 606 forums recently hoping that Eurosport keep the MotoGP and critising the BBC and Dorma, The MotoGP rights holder.
    As an F1 Fan, Im afraid about how races in Brazil and Canada will be handled next season by the BBC if the MotoGP is being 'plonked' on the red button!
    Roger - I need an answer!

  • Comment number 86.

    Hi Roger

    It's nice to see your reading and answering comments on the blog. The coverage is not bad, and Steve and Claire do a fantasic job, Claire in particular.
    I would really like to know why the BBC can't start the coverage earlier? All thats on BBC2 before 10:30 is kids TV.
    You would really get a mainstream audience first thing in the morning, before people go to work with some live coverage - similar to olympic breakfast.
    I appreciate there are host broadcaster issues, but surely it must be possible to start coverage earlier.
    I would really like to here what you have to say on this.

  • Comment number 87.

    The BBC when they do cover sport, and put some effort into it do it better than anyone, take the Olympics.
    But the BBC have cut back to a shambolic state the amount of racing it covers, have lost the rights to live FA cup and England Home internationals. And now have lost the rights to show highlights of Guinness Premiership Rugby, after the truly awful showing of Rugby special last year. At least now we will a regular show for premiership highlights at a regular time as it always used to be, when the BBC put the effort in. To be honest I won't be bothered if it means that the BBC will be putting in a bid for the live rights when they come along with the Hieniken Cup. Although it was reported that the rights were only sold on a one basis to bring them into line with the live rights is this true. What we don't want from the BBC is the stock answer look at what we have got and you can hear it of 5live yes we know, we know!!!
    What people want to know is wht you did not bid for certain rights and how you lost other rights, such as the Guinness Premiership Rugby. The argument that the BBC only concentrate on the big live rights does not stand up with people either. You have Premiership Football highlights, you had ashes highlights, and Ryder Cup Highlights. These are not live rights, yes they are big events but so is Guinness Premiership Rugby. If ITV4 can gain the rights for Guinness Premiership Rugby the BBC could have done so.
    It is not only sports right the BBC have lost they in recent years have lost great talent like Steve Rider. One of the finest sports broadcasters around. Yes you still have Inverdale, Balding,Irvine, Barker and Chiles. But Steve is an allrounder and is badly missed on the Golf. Craig Doyle and Jon Champion are other examples of letting talent go.

  • Comment number 88.

    To take the latest 3 in order...

    Webbyfoxes in #85: there was an error in scheduling for which we unreservedly apologised. It means the MotoGP will now be shown live on the red button, with a full race re-run at 10.45pm on BBC Two. But this is a one-off: our commitments to MotoGP and to Formula 1 from next year are absolute.

    Mingus_101 in #86: the obvious point is we resourced the Paralympics to deliver the greatest impact where the audience would be. That is what seems to have happened: so the biggest viewing figures have been 2m or more for Games Today, compared with 300,000 or so for the live specials earlier in the day. But you make an interesting point and obviously for the Paralympics in London 2012 we would seek to extend the scheduling significantly.

    Fitzmurrin in #87: my view, as you might expect, is that our presentation team is the strongest it's ever been - as the Olympics showed. That's backed up by audience research which shows our talent are a key selling point for BBC Sport. Our tracking also shows viewers currently rate the BBC as best broadcaster for Sport - helped undoubtedly by the Olympics.

    On the wider sports rights issues: on big events, sometimes things switch around. We lost the FA Cup in the late 1990s - and it later came back again. This time ITV have given up Formula 1 and we're delighted it's returning to the BBC - but that's just part of normal life in the sports world. The big gain for the BBC in the last year was retaining a whole raft of contracts including Six Nations and Wimbledon. We have a strong offering well into the next decade.

    Where we won't agree is on some of the smaller parts of the portfolio. I've said it before but there is, for instance, very little demand for some of the lesser horse-racing meetings - and our audiences clearly want a different mix of sport to what we offered 30 years ago.

  • Comment number 89.

    Re: Paralympics. I think some people are being too politically correct in their demands for more Paralympic coverage. It isn't, and never will be, an event on the scale of the Olympics - and I think the BBC have got it about right this year. The only thing I'd say it that during the week they should also have a live slot in the afternoons on BBC2, rather than leaving it all hidden behind BBCi - or BBC Red Button as those rebranding fools at the BBC insist on calling it now.

    Guinness Premiership Rugby - so glad ITV have snatched the rights. The BBC didn't deserve them the way they'd treated club rugby in the last few years - there was the opportunity there to capitalise on new interest following the 2003 RWC, an opportunity the BBC completely let pass by.

    And talking of rugby and scheduling, The Super League Show. Why when it gets to the couple of weeks of the year you feel the Super League deserves network coverage do you produce a completely different show, so those up north (which according to the BBC is where the interest is) get the highlights on BBC2 at 12noon and then them repackaged in The Super League Show just a few hours later on BBC1.

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    Paralympic Coverage....Where is it?

    I keep telling myself - "I am not a sports fan, I am not a sports fan, I AM NOT A SPORTS FAN", yet I found myself engrossed in a little over two weeks of Olympic Games and staying up late to watch some of the events live (Michael Phelps going for gold was both enthralling and aesthetically pleasing to the eye). The closing ceremony was a beautiful piece of work by the Chinese spoilt by a bumbling Boris Johnson and predictable god awful appearances from Leona Lewis and David Beckham not to mention the 'Traditional Red London Bus'.

    This was a couple of weeks ago and as much as I keep telling myself about not being a sports fan, I was hugely excited at the start of the Paralympics - watching the Opening Ceremony and all the 1st day events. The next day, I woke up excited that I can re-establish my routine from a couple of weeks ago. I would go to bed late after watching the games, get up around 12:30pm, start making myself a brew and rolling a cigarette, stick the television on and tune in for an afternoon of sporting entertainment. However to my disbelief and horror, I turned on the television and was greeted by 'Bargain Hunt', 'The News', 'Doctors', 'Diagnosis Murder' and 'CBBC'. I fumbled for the remote, hoping that the coverage was on BBC2 but again was disappointed (no such luck on BBC HD either). I pressed my red button and was in coverage of the Paralympics! I started to watch and it dawned on me that during the Olympics I had the choice of 5/6 events, the days news and all multi-streams dedicated to the 29th Olympiad. This week I had the choice of 2 Paralympic events and the World Athletics Championships and no where near the coverage of the Olympics.

    I also make a habit of watching a news bulletin at least once a day and during the 16 days of the Olympics, I was greeted by 'Super Saturday', 'Special Sunday', 'Magnificent Monday' etc after GB's Olympic Team had a flurry of medals during those days. I tune in this week and despite GB's Paralympic Team winning over double the amount of Gold Medals (and medals in general), there has been very little coverage or celebration. I doubt very much that our Paralympic Team will get a 'gold plated nose' BA flight home, nor the huge press attention when they touch down at Heathrow.

    I'm not taking anything away from the success that the Olympic Team had, because they did do exceptionally well, but it questions the ethos of us as a nation who are more proud of our 'able-bodied' athletes than their disabled counterparts. Is the nation to blame, the BBC or the news networks for not covering it.

    The BBC could have put the Paralympics on live at night like they did for the Olympics instead of having News24 on two channels covering the Democratic/Republican Party Conventions. The media could have sent more reporters to cover the Paralympic games in the same fashion as two weeks previously. If the media were willing to take the gamble, then I am sure that as a nation we would get behind ALL our athletes and not just the ones who make headline news!!

    (This was written before I read ALL of the responses lol!)

    Mingus_101 in #86: the obvious point is we resourced the Paralympics to deliver the greatest impact where the audience would be. That is what seems to have happened: so the biggest viewing figures have been 2m or more for Games Today, compared with 300,000 or so for the live specials earlier in the day. But you make an interesting point and obviously for the Paralympics in London 2012 we would seek to extend the scheduling significantly.


    Roger, I understand about extending the coverage but would you seek to actually giving it the same level of coverage as the Olympics in 2012.

    The whole ethos about 2012 is about the community, bringing people together and not about style. The BBC could actually help lead the way in the fight against prejudice and discrimination towards disabled people and perhaps with the same amount of hype that the BBC gives the Olympic Athletes (where was the 'Super Saturday' yesterday when the Paralympians won 7 gold medals?) could help get rid of the view that the Paralympics isn't as enjoyable to watch.



  • Comment number 92.

    Butting in, but I really don't think the demand is there for Paralympic coverage on the scale of the Olympics, and I don't think the cost it would involve could be justified by the BBC.

    I would expect though by London that a good chunk of the live action to be on BBC1/2, and perhaps BBCi utilised for alternative events at key times too.

    What Lemoncurd60 brings up though is a far more valid point about coverage of the games outside of the scheduled hours, particularly in the news bulletins. That is the real area where there is still alot of work to be done - and any criticism should probably be sent their way, rather than at BBC Sport.

    Finally, a comment on Steve Cram. Despite the flack he deservedly got in the aftermath of the Paul Radcliffe fiasco, the Paralympics are giving him the chance to show he is one of the best presenters in the business. And in his absence, the World Athletics Final is showing he's one of the best commentators around too.

  • Comment number 93.

    Eleanor Simmonds should be added to the list off sport personality of the year

  • Comment number 94.

    i total agree with Lemoncurd60 about the coverage should of match the olympics but in stead off why the bbc has not there just answear there still have more then anyone else


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