Roger Mosey, Director of BBC Sport (archive)

Roger Mosey

Your Game 2007 (3)

Roger Mosey - Director of BBC Sport One of the strongest themes in this blog and across the web is the power of money in sport these days - and in football in particular. This autumn the Premier League will start a new three-year rights deal that is worth billions overall, and tens of millions to each club. Meanwhile, some individual footballers have found unwelcome headlines by talking about “slap in the face” pay offers that were worth multiples each week of the annual national average wage. The gap between the sporting elite and the rest of the world is sometimes a real one.

But there's another side to the story. A few days ago in an unfashionable part of West London, the BBC and its partners - including the Football Foundation, the Premier League and Barclays - launched “Your Game 2007”: a bigger and better version of the project we ran last year.

Continue reading "Your Game 2007"

Roger Mosey

Weekend viewing figures (22)

Roger Mosey – Director of Sport 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.

Continue reading "Weekend viewing figures"

Roger Mosey

Latest feedback on your feedback! (29)

Roger MoseyIt'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.

Continue reading "Latest feedback on your feedback!"

Roger Mosey

Sixth round and Six Nations (200)

roger_mosey66x66.gifThe great thing about the sixth round of the FA Cup is that all four games are televised - so no risk of any team not getting coverage. And this year we're back to the normal pattern of the matches being played over a weekend, as opposed to last year's Sven-inspired midweek fixtures to help the season finish early.

So let me explain our thinking and plans for this year's quarter-finals...

Continue reading "Sixth round and Six Nations"

Roger Mosey

Responses to your recent feedback (43)

roger_mosey66x66.gifIt's been a bit quiet on this blog of late - for which, apologies. It's a word I'll be coming back to.

But it's been a pretty successful time on screen, on our radio services and here online. The Six Nations got off to a thrilling start and audiences have watched in greater numbers than last season - which was itself a record-breaker.

My colleague Carl Hicks will be posting in more detail about the Six Nations, so I'll move on to other sports.

Middlesbrough v Bristol City on Five Live and Bolton v Arsenal on BBC One saw off the fourth round of the FA Cup in fine style, and we're looking forward to three top ties this weekend.

However, there's always some criticism as well as support for what we do. Absolutely no more than normal, I'd say, but I thought I'd run through the areas where people have been getting in touch with their views.

Continue reading "Responses to your recent feedback"

Roger Mosey

FA Cup fifth-round picks? (492)

Roger MoseySo the fourth round came and went, and we can't really be accused of not spotting the shock result - because there weren't any, with the possible exception of Bristol City's plucky home draw with Middlesbrough.

I know some people will disagree (that's the beauty of sport) but we were pleased with the Man U-Portsmouth game because it had the best moments of the round: Wayne Rooney's appearance as a substitute and one particularly memorable goal. Audience figures reached a high of 7.4m.

However, we wouldn't pretend that Chelsea-Forest will live forever in the memory...

Best thing then is to look forward. Our replay choice, you won't be surprised to know, is...

Continue reading "FA Cup fifth-round picks?"

Claire Stocks

Grandstand farewell - an update (20)

Grandstand came off the air for the final time on Sunday after 48 years of sports broadcasting on the BBC.

The show's passing was cause for plenty of comment and debate in the media over the weekend.

By and large the general mood was similar to how one might mourn the death of a fine old great aunt, with affection and sadness but some resignation that its time had come.

We highlight some of the views here.

Continue reading "Grandstand farewell - an update"

Roger Mosey

Farewell to Grandstand (73)

roger_mosey2_66x66.gifThis weekend will see the final appearance of Grandstand.

We announced last year that we were going to phase out the Grandstand title as part of our ambitious plans for the future of BBC Sport, and I confirmed the timing in an interview with The Guardian in December .

There's an endearingly bizarre piece in this morning's Daily Mail that claims we didn't want people to notice - which would be odd considering the publicity around the original announcement and the fact that we'll be broadcasting an on-air tribute to Grandstand at the end of Sunday's programme.

Yes, we so wanted to keep it secret that we're marking the fact on national television after it was first made known in announcements to the entire BBC staff and on the front page of the Daily Mirror.

Continue reading "Farewell to Grandstand"

Roger Mosey

HD RSVP (69)

I'm not a keen shopper, so I'm proud to say that I haven't been in a single store for the January sales. But reports from the battlefront say that flat-screen TVs have been big sellers, and more and more people have TV sets that are labelled HD-ready. You may have spotted the Royle Family now have one too, though they're venturing into a complicated world.

So High Definition is growing, but so far it's seized the nation's imagination a bit less than some pundits expected. The BBC's first full HD broadcast was the World Cup 2006, and there's a handful of HD channels available on the Sky platform and cable. But it was interesting to see a newspaper piece from Canada about the relatively cool response to HD there; and in the UK we're in a position where most people who have it love it - but it's some way from being a mainstream proposition.

Continue reading "HD RSVP"

Roger Mosey

Looking ahead to 2007 on the BBC (34)

I spent a chilly afternoon earlier this month at the New Den with my mate Rod, watching his team Millwall play my team Bradford City.

I hope Colin Todd forgives me, but Bradford were pretty wretched and 2-0 down after half an hour. Why do we put ourselves through watching it? Well, I suppose it beats being in the Saturday checkout queues at Sainsbury’s.

It’s also about the endless battle between hope and reality – the belief that one day in sport we’ll make it, however much the odds are against us. But this past year has tested the optimism of English sports fans to the limit. From Twickenham to Perth via Gelsenkirchen, 2006 was a catalogue of disasters.

Continue reading "Looking ahead to 2007 on the BBC"

Claire Stocks

BBC Sport's route map for the future (35)

Roger Mosey, director of BBC Sport (ie the boss), made an interesting speech this week outlining how we are transforming what we do in response to the changing media landscape (such as phasing out Grandstand in place of on-demand services), and underlining our commitment to sport long-term.

It is posted on the BBC press office website so we haven't repeated it here, but feel free to comment on this blog.

Roger Mosey

A skipper for our flagship show (26)

We've announced today the appointment of an editor for our new Sports News programme that's going to launch on BBC Television next year. She's Amanda Farnsworth - currently editor of Daytime News, which means the One O'Clock and Six O'Clock bulletins on BBC One.

The biography on our website understandably focuses on her years in BBC News, but she's emphatically a sports fan too. Her team is the current Premiership form side - yes, West Ham United.

Continue reading "A skipper for our flagship show"

Roger Mosey

Sold Out (20)

It's good news and bad news, I guess. The good news is that we sold out all 3000 tickets for this year's Sports Personality Of The Year in Birmingham within an hour of the box office opening this morning. The bad news is obviously that we can't accommodate any more people within the NEC and it turned out to be a fleeting opportunity to buy. But 3000 members of the public is, I hope, better than the zero in previous years; and we want the audience to contribute to the atmosphere of the show - which I'm sure they will.

Meanwhile, the debate about SPOTY continues in the papers...

Continue reading "Sold Out"

Roger Mosey

Football tomorrow and beyond (60)

A couple of pieces of news - the first about something happening this Wednesday and the second about another long-term rights deal for the BBC.

Ukraine v Scotland was already planned to be shown on BBC Scotland. Now, given the huge amount of interest generated by the Scottish victory over France, we're showing the game UK-wide on BBC Two. You can catch it from just before 6pm tomorrow.

And an announcement today about radio Premier League rights. The BBC has won six out of the seven packages on offer for live commentaries between August 2007 and May 2010...

Continue reading "Football tomorrow and beyond"

Roger Mosey

Arc Loyal (34)

There's been some debate in this blog about the BBC's attitude to horseracing - so a piece of news today may be of interest.

We're announcing a new three-year deal with the wonderfully-named France-Galop and TWI that will guarantee the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe remains on BBC screens until 2009.

Continue reading "Arc Loyal"

Roger Mosey

BBC Cricket (33)

We've announced today that Ashes highlights will be on BBC Television this winter.

People have asked on this blog and on our message boards whether we listen to what audiences are saying - and I hope this is proof we do. Although the BBC has a great cricket service on radio in Test Match Special and online, television's lack of any cricket was casting doubt on whether we're truly committed to the sport...

Continue reading "BBC Cricket"

Roger Mosey

National and International (15)

A fascinating start to the Euro 2008 qualifiers: England and Scotland with maximum points, and a great comeback by Northern Ireland against Spain after a bad start against Iceland.

I know a lot of people are interested in audience figures, so here are the key ones for the BBC network coverage. The biggest audience in recent days was a peak of 9.1m for England v Andorra live from Old Trafford. Then we had 3.9m watching the climax of Brazil v Argentina on BBC One; and 3.4m watched Wednesday's Match Of The Day with highlights of Macedonia v England and Northern Ireland v Spain. (The peak for Sky's live coverage from Macedonia was 2.6m.) Wales v Brazil rated at 1.1m on BBC Three; and Germany v Ireland reached a high of 673,000 also on BBC Three...

Continue reading "National and International"

Roger Mosey

The choice is yours (20)

There was an interesting phone-in debate on Radio Five Live last week about Sports Personality Of The Year. One of the main questions: is there one this year? Five Live listeners voted Nicole Cooke as one of their early favourites, though there was a strong lobby for Mr or Ms Nobody. Alastair Campbell is someone else voting Cooke.

Well, the show will happen as usual and many millions will tune in as they always do. It is, of course, a review of sporting events in 2006 - and from the World Cup to the Winter Olympics, there's been plenty to talk about. And it's interesting just how many times Sports Personality is mentioned in the papers - who's in the running, who's up, who's down. It's an award that means a lot to the winners, and if ever you're stuck in a Pub Quiz in remembering who they all were there are lists on the web.

So who is in contention this year?

Continue reading "The choice is yours"

Roger Mosey

Guardian Angels (95)

Simon Hattenstone has written a column in this morning's Guardian which is one of those drab and outdated attacks on BBC Sport. No, Simon, we won't bother with a letter of complaint. But the argument he puts is a classic one of someone who Just Doesn't Get It.

Let's deal quickly with the argument about TV rights. It's more than the FA Cup and Wimbledon: there's England home internationals, the Six Nations, the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, Open Golf, the Grand National, the Derby, Royal Ascot, the Rugby League Challenge Cup, World Snooker and a lot more. I greatly respect Sky Sports, but in the same way as we had a relatively thin TV weekend in August I suspect they had a quiet day when we were doing the Men's Singles Final at Wimbledon and the World Cup Final from Germany. And we know you were watching, Simon.

We should also quickly note that our "cold portions of the Premiership" attract rather more viewers than Sky's live coverage. The number of people watching Sky Sports' Premier League match last Sunday afternoon was 1.7m, whereas 2.7m tuned in for MOTD2 that night. From those figures and your comments to Paul Armstrong's blog, there's no doubt Match Of The Day is still a vital programme for millions of viewers. When people have a choice of live football coverage, they overwhelmingly choose the BBC - by a 10:1 margin for the FA Cup Final compared with Sky and by a 5:1 margin for the World Cup Final up against ITV.

But Simon's real sin is not spotting that the media world is changing, and BBC Sport is now rather wider than just television...

Continue reading "Guardian Angels"

Roger Mosey

Top Ten updated (9)

As promised, the latest audience ratings. The headlines are that England v Sweden is top of the chart for audience numbers though England v Paraguay is hanging in there with the highest market share. So first the top 10 and then some comments afterwards...

Continue reading "Top Ten updated"

Roger Mosey

Gelsenkirchen here we come (8)

A quick update to confirm that the BBC will have exclusive terrestrial television and broadband coverage of the England quarter-final at 4pm next Saturday in Gelsenkirchen --- along with our usual radio service on Five Live.

People have asked again for the headlines of our agreement with ITV on the split of televised matches, and it's like this...

Continue reading "Gelsenkirchen here we come"

Roger Mosey

TV Top Ten (8)

A lot of people have been asking about ratings and how different teams attract audiences.

Today seemed a good opportunity to update the Top 10 because ITV and the BBC have had one televised England match each so far - and ITV have England v Sweden tonight while we have England's 2nd round match at the weekend, both of which should do very well and change the overall picture.

So at the moment the state of play between the channels is that BBC matches have been watched by an average of 5.1m viewers (36% audience share) while ITV matches have attracted an average of 4.5m viewers (32% audience share). In terms of the top 10 matches, the current rundown is...

Continue reading "TV Top Ten"

Roger Mosey

The shape of things to come (35)

Just before the World Cup started I did a quick interview for The Guardian about our plans for the World Cup. It's traditional on these occasions to say we'll have some new whizzy camera or to dwell on the wonders of our tv studio, or I could have talked about our refreshed graphics package - which is, we think, pretty smart.

But I've tried to be clear from the start that this World Cup is not about new tricks in one medium: it's about innovation across the whole of BBC Sport and it's about offering choice on as many platforms as possible.

So how are we doing? Here are some snapshots of how audiences are responding to our multimedia World Cup...

Continue reading "The shape of things to come"

Roger Mosey

Up for the Cup (5)

Viewing figures are now in for the FA Cup Final. I was in Cardiff and it was by far the best Final I've seen - so credit to both teams.

I'd like to think that being entertaining, even if you lose as West Ham did, means the event lives vastly longer in people's memories. And the early indications are that audience appreciation seems to have been very high.

We started at 3pm with 6.8m viewers - 57% of people viewing TV at that time. By 4 o'clock the number had risen to 8.2m (60% of the total viewing audience); and at 5pm it went over the 10m mark, making it the most-viewed sport event of 2006.

Then for the penalty shoot-out we had 11.3m viewers - a 65% share of the market. In other words every other channel and service in the UK was competing for the remaining 35% of viewers. It was the second highest FA Cup audience of this decade.

And if you like statistics, as you can tell I do, and want to compare with recent finals...

Continue reading "Up for the Cup"

Roger Mosey

Free Sport (24)

A lot of comment this morning about the new Premier League rights deal, which will bring in £1.706 billion over three years. Something of a tribute to the business skills of the FAPL, we reckon...

But it prompts some thoughts about balance within the sports broadcasting market. The explosion of choice in recent years is a good thing - and it was inevitable that some sport would move to subscription channels. (And the Premier League has actually never been live on free-to-air.)

At the BBC we're pleased we still have a strong portfolio with the TV events that bring the nation together like the World Cup and the Olympics; and unbeatable support from our radio and online services.

But there are a couple of points that need to be made about the future.

First, there's a seductive argument that the British government's listed events won't matter when we're all in a digital world - that there'll no longer be a need for major sporting moments to be guaranteed for the whole of the population.

But that argument is wrong...

Continue reading "Free Sport"

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites