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Should sport come first?

Jamie Donald | 12:56 UK time, Tuesday, 23 January 2007

I’m not a tennis fan, nor do I support Scotland when it comes to sport, but I have to stand up for the schedulers on BBC2 who pulled The Daily Politics (and Working Lunch) yesterday to show the up and coming British tennis star Andy Murray try to defeat Raphael Nadal in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The Daily Politics logoI know many fans of the programmes were upset: First, because The Daily Politics was delayed with a promise to show it after the tennis; second, because it was then dropped when the match went to five sets over four hours. I was sorry too. We had the programme all ready to go, and then pre-recorded it when it became clear our guests couldn’t stay. It included a great interview by Andrew Neil with Phil Woolas, the minister for communities, about the above inflation increases to the council tax (though you can watch it by clicking here) . It also included a film about Edward Heath in our ‘favourite post war prime minister’ series (watch that here), followed by an impression of the great man by the founder of Yo Sushi, Simon Woodruffe who was our guest of the day (watch that here).

But the schedulers were right to pull us for the tennis. We draw an average audience on a Monday of a quarter of a million for the Daily Politics. At noon, the tennis had an average audience of nearly a million. And it turned into a very exciting match, with Murray taking Nadal – the undisputed number two in the world – all the way. By the end over a million and a half viewers were cheering for him. We value sport at the BBC as much as politics, and while we at the Daily Politics can get on every day a match like yesterday’s doesn’t come along very often. Do you agree?

Some of you have suggested that we and the schedulers could have come up with some more creative solution to allow both programmes to be scheduled somewhere on the BBC – one was to break into the tennis for half an hour; another was to offer it on the red button; a third to make use of the digital BBC3 and BBC4 during the day.

Again, what’s your view: the schedulers will be reading this too.


  • 1.
  • At 02:03 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Somebody wrote:

Red Button - as soon as it became clear it would have to be recorded, it should have been put out live on a RB channel, and shown recorded on BBC2 afterwards if time allowed (which, as it turned out of course, it didn't).

BBC3 & 4 aren't an option - they DO broadcast during the day, they're just called CBBC & CBeebies at the time while they show kids programmes. So you're just displacing the problem with that idea.

  • 2.
  • At 02:05 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • PeeVeeAh wrote:

Yep! It was the wrong thing to do.

I should declare my interest: I don't watch The Daily Politics, and tennis is one of the few sports I might slum to!

When the live coverage was spooled, no one knew that it was going to be worth the five setter (I assume Mr Murray lost?). Hence the impression of it being a high quality match was not within the scheduler's knowing.

If (as it happens) four-times more folk tuned to the channel than would have done - is a measure of justification, consider this: Those folk who were looking for some serious entertainment might look elsewhere if they think their current affairs breaker is going to get pulled for something as trivial as a UK sportsperson getting into the last 16 - or whatever! Will you get your quarter-million next time the programme isn't pulled?

The sport should have been hived off to the red button, for sure.

  • 3.
  • At 02:19 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Robin wrote:

The Tennis should of come first in my opinion - it was a very big, important match.

However my gripe is that the commentators said The Daily Politics would follow the Tennis when it never did. And i dont think there was any announcement about Working Lunch - which was recorded and put online only. The problem with that is there was no announcement that it was online.

In these situations announcements really need to be clearer in my opinion - perhaps a graphic right at the bottom of the screen and remaining there for 2 mins or so.

And secondly i cant see why The Daily Politics/Working Lunch weren't on via the red button on BBCi - that seems to be the sensible solution in the future.

  • 4.
  • At 02:21 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Joel Adams wrote:

I was not aware of this issue before reading about it here in my lunchbreak. Nor was I inconvenienced by the scheduling change, having been at work all day. But it does seem preposterous that with the myriad channels now provided by the BBC on digital TV- the existence of many of which is dubiously justifiable, based on viewing figures- no more sophisticated solution could have been implemented. I suspect a commercial channel with similar capacity at its disposal would have found a way to avoid letting down viewers- and advertisers.

  • 5.
  • At 02:28 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Marcus Warner wrote:

Like as mentioned before, my main gripe was the promise of the daily politics following the tennis only to be annoyed when it wasnt shown.

  • 6.
  • At 02:35 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • JG wrote:

So as usual, ratings (or potential ratings) decided the BBC schedule. It was not as though this was even a final. Dumbing down? The BBC? And please do not think using the red button of BBC3/BBC4 would have solved the problem. Some of us in more rural areas are unable to pick these up.

  • 7.
  • At 02:48 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Roddy Jenkins wrote:

Interesting dilema and one which proves you can't pleasde everybody all of the time.

BBC Two had scheduieled the Daily Politics in its normal slot, but (understanderbly) pulled it to make way for what proved to be a thrilling tennis match.

The non-sporting vuiewers would obviously cry foul and demand the tennis to be shunted onto interactive (via the red butto) or shunted the coverage onto BBC Three or BBC Four.

The non-digital sports fans would have a moan and claim that they were being pushed off mainstream channels.

Scheduling The Daily Politics ( and Working Lunch) on either BBC Three or BBC Four would make sense (assuming viewers had access to digital) as it would highlight the Beeb's extra channels. Similarly the CBBC and CBeebies channels could be utilised after 6pm in a similar fashion.

The joys of being a scheduler,eh?

  • 8.
  • At 03:00 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Kendrick Curtis wrote:

Not everyone has digital. I live in Bath, where it's impossible to get digital terrestrial. I do question why the BBC's flagship politics show is on during the day when people with jobs (y'know, the ones that can afford the license fee) are unable to watch it anyway, but in answer to your question, I suggest that a) it's very poor management indeed to simply pull the shows when options like the red button are available to you, and b) if the sports coverage is so important then sure, let it overrun (it's not as if we're not used to this when it comes to the footy world cup, etc), but firstly have a plan made in advance for the case of overrunning (which it seems you didn't) and secondly, put the displaced shows either onto the Internet, onto another channel (this might be news to you, but you've got a few) or both.

It's pretty appalling that you even have to ask, incidentally. It's not rocket science. Surely part of the job description of a channel scheduler is what to do in case of potential sports overruns. Does the BBC not have written guidelines for this sort of thing, and do schedulers not have to come up with an overrun plan for sports events?

If not, I want a refund of my license fee because someone is clearly spending it on rubbish Saturday night "event" shows instead of decent staff who can do their jobs properly. Honestly! You lot should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • 9.
  • At 03:13 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Elizabeth O'Hare wrote:

Ratings! I dispair!

  • 10.
  • At 03:37 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Kat wrote:

BBC 3 and 4 should be made use of. In responce to the first comment, if you have digital and can therefore watch 3&4, then you will also have CBBC and CBeebies, in which case replacing the showing of childrens programmes should not affect anyone who wants to watch them, as they should change channel.

  • 11.
  • At 03:55 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Robert McKay wrote:

Should sport come first? The answer is a very woolly, "erm, maybe". I don't think the issue is really whether sport should take precedence over politics simply due to viweing figures. Whilst I sympathise with fans of the Daily Politics show, once the tennis coverage was started on BBC2 then I think there is a duty to show it to a conclusion on one of the two "terrestrial" channels (i.e. One or Two). Switching it to a red button channel maybe be more viable in the future, but not whilst the analogue signal is still on and thus still many peoples way of recieving BBC. Showing half a program/match is worse than showing none at all.

The question then becomes (a) why the Daily Politics couldn't have been shown live on the red button channel (of course the same argument applies as above, but at least being able to show the entire program on the same channel would have been possible) and (b) why there was no contingency plan for this in the first place. It was known initially that the Murray tie had no definitive start time, because they had to wait for the previous match to finish, and of course tennis is always a variable length match, unlike, say, football. Surely someone must have said "hey, what do we do if this goes the distance?"

Maybe it would have been more sensible to just leave the Murray tie on the red button channel. It would surely still have got large viewing figures, unless you admit that the public can't or won't use the red button channels.

Given that Murray is a notorious "Anyone but England" supporter, could his defeat not have been limited to North of the Border?

  • 13.
  • At 04:20 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • adam wrote:

Red button - no no no no no no.

I watch BBC on my computer (DVB-T). No red button for me. What about analog ppl as well.

I support the tennis. The red button is not an alternative for everyone. The bbc are not sky (they love it more than the BBC).

  • 14.
  • At 04:31 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Manjit wrote:

Why not have put the Daily Politics on BBC1 at 12:00? Also if the show was recorded why did you not make it available on the website? Surely a large number of your core audience has access to the internet.

Our of interest is a quarter of a million the average viewing figures for the Daily Politics for Monday to Friday? Does it tend to peak higher on a Wednesday for PMQ's?

  • 15.
  • At 04:54 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Jamie Carr wrote:

Why do you not support scotland in sport but you call andy murray British????????? Hmmmmmmmmm

Sing When Your Winning Comes To Mind?

  • 16.
  • At 04:58 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Bernard wrote:

Politics is the most important thing in our society. We need to know what is going to happen to our lives. Well, as much as they tell us anyway.

Sport is a "Ludicrous Diversion". Wonder where Iv'e heard those two words before, hmmm.

What happens in a tennis match makes no real difference to us. On the other hand, what happens in politics affects our very survival.

As for the Tennis pulling a lot more viewers, that just shows how the government gets away with what it does.

The BBC should be the publics guardian first, and educate the people as to what the powers that be are up to. It should be an entertainer second. Saying that, the reason governments allow tv is; it is valium for the sheeple, and the sheeple pay for it themselves.

  • 17.
  • At 05:35 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Jack Scribbs wrote:

Why not just put The Daily Politics on the red button, with the opportunity to watch a live stream of it on the website too?

Given the inverse relationship between popular interest and national sporting success, shouldn't you be taking responsibility for Murray's defeat?

Can it be made available on BBC Parliament over the weekend?

  • 20.
  • At 05:57 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Philip wrote:

Bernard may have a point about sport being less important than politics.

But there seems little point showing the tennis at all, if one isn't going to stick with it to the conclusion.

If one schedules a film, you wouldn't cut it half an hour before the end, unless something of earth-shattering importance had occurred.

Annoying for the people expecting to see the politics, but sometime common sense must prevail.

  • 21.
  • At 06:03 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Somebody wrote:

> BBC 3 and 4 should be made use of. In responce to the first comment, if you have digital and can therefore watch 3&4, then you will also have CBBC and CBeebies, in which case replacing the showing of childrens programmes should not affect anyone who wants to watch them, as they should change channel.

You completely miss the point.

Consider the young kids' perspective, and trying to reason with them that their CBeebies program has gone because "policits" is more important.

Or, OTOH, the primary school who finds that the Maths & Geography programs they were taping to show their pupils are absent in favour of Daily Politics.

  • 22.
  • At 06:28 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

Just to clarify the digital channel confusion - which Jamie Donald seems alarmingly ignorant of also:

The channel space used by CBBC & CBeebies during the day is the same space used by BBC3 & BBC4 during the evening. So putting anything out on BBC3 or BBC4 during the day is not possible, as it would effectively mean beaking into CBBC or CBeebies coverage.

Personally I think the beeb did the right thing (although providing better information about the fate of the Daily Politics & Working Lunch at the time would have been helpful).

I don't think decisions like these are made with viewing figures in mind (I recall EastEnders getting delayed by the odd poor World Cup game going to extra time), but they do seem to back up the decision.

Politics lovers have far greater access to political programming on terrestrial TV than tennis lovers have access to live tennis. So get over it - its not like it happens everyday.

It was right for the tennis to take precedence. Remember that the viewing figures of 1.5m don't take into account the (possibly) millions watching on office TVs like me.

But couldn't The Daily Politics have had some time on News 24?

  • 24.
  • At 10:30 PM on 23 Jan 2007,
  • James wrote:

The daily politics and working lunch could/should (?) have been moved to BBC1, the loss? another round of cheep car boot/auction based tv.

There is of course a wider issue here of what audience the daily politics and working lunch caters for, but I strongly believe that sport and current affairs both trump the naff programmes that were shown on BBC1 during this time.

  • 25.
  • At 08:20 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • JS wrote:

My understanding is that the BBC has a remit to educate, inform and entertain. Tennis would seem to fulfill only a third of that remit, and the Daily Politics two thirds, or indeed all of it. Ratings are frankly unimportant for an institution not dependent upon advertising revenue.

  • 26.
  • At 09:52 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • GUY FOX wrote:


  • 27.
  • At 10:16 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Ian Kemmish wrote:

The most natural policy would seem to be that the rarer event should go on the analogue channel, and the routine program (Working Lunch was KO'd too...) should be put on the website (Working Lunch say they did this) and go out at the scheduled time on a red button channel, and if possible be repeated after normal closedown on an analogue channel.

You have two analogue channels and usually three RB channels available even on terrestrial digital, so there should normally be no clash unless there is already a different major sporting tournament on the RB channels.

This may still annoy people who record the routine program on DVR, but maybe they can catch the repeat....

  • 28.
  • At 11:05 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • kloxile wrote:

Correct decision - TV is about entertainment. We wouldn't be talking about Red buttons and TV interactivity if it wasn't down to Sport-driven satellite TV's advances.
Live sports need to be shown in their entirety or they are not as enjoyable and the BBC's coverage has been decimated already without culling the sports they have rights to show.

Pre-recorded programmes can be fitted in around. Congratulations on inflaming a number of pompous people with this "no-brainer". People have made references to paying their licence fee and it therefore not been fair. However your duty is to keep the majority of licence payers happy which you did.

Scheduler's should have freedom to change if appropriate.

  • 29.
  • At 11:35 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Mark E wrote:

Kloxile, the majority of people do not watch tennis. I suspect that more people are annoyed by their favourite shows being moved around for sports then actually watch the sport.

I always hate when my favourite shows are shifted around for Tennis or Snooker, both extremely dull games that I can not stand.

The big question is:

How many of that 1.5 million were people hoping to see their favourite shows after the tennis had finally finished? I know that I have sat through the end of a tennis match just to catch my show and I would find it ironic if the BBC were to consider people like me to be Tennis fans.

  • 30.
  • At 11:37 AM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Ben Eaton wrote:


"We value sport at the BBC as much as politics".

I think that's the problem. Sport, despite its community building properties, is not that important at all. Don't mistake money flying around (in more sports than others, admittedly) as a measure of importance, just a measure of how good the promoters of those sports are at conning money out of big business as sponsorship.

I must admit, if there's any sport I don't mind seeing the schedules upheaved for, it's tennis. It has a grace and a nature that most other sports don't seem to have in the same quantities, and it is always a pleasure to watch, whether live or on TV. But lets get our priorities sorted here!

We have a government pulling itself apart with in-fighting, sleaze and hypocrisy. We have a Prime Minister who seems to have forgotten that he is the ultimate elected representative of the people, and thinks he's some kind of ultra-popular musician on a farewell tour. We have an opposition that seems to be trying to force the governments hand on trendy issues but with no apparent bite as of yet. The third party is just floundering. We have racism in the news, China firing satellites out of the sky, America under the control of somebody who approaches fellow leaders with the word 'yo', backwards energy policies, a crumbling NHS, a shoddy and malfunctioning education system that places initiatives above actual teaching....need I go on?

Shows like the Daily Politics are a forum that enables us to find out in relatively simple terms what the allegedly great and supposedly good are deciding about our lives and why. It should not be replaced for a tennis match being played by somebody who has shown his disdain for this country publicly.

  • 31.
  • At 12:28 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

Just as a bit of advice for the Adam, who has DVB-T on his computer: I have the same, and although you can't use the 'interactive' parts of the red button stuff, you can use the video ones - they're transmitted on channels 701 - 705, if I remember correctly. Just tune into these channels and you'll be able to watch the programmes.

  • 32.
  • At 12:31 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Mark E wrote:

"If one schedules a film, you wouldn't cut it half an hour before the end, unless something of earth-shattering importance had occurred."

That doesn't quite work, as when you schedule a film then you know how long it will go on for. This is not the case for Tennis, which seems to go on for ever.

  • 33.
  • At 12:33 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Michelle B wrote:

Dyed-in-the-wool sports fans have about 12 sports channels to chose from, plus they can buy specific games and matches, or they can go to the local sports club, or listen on the radio, or follow online. Whereas the programmes that are constantly displaced for sport - politics shows, comedies, dramas - just aren't on anywhere else. it's long been a gripe of mine that sports fans are pratically worshipped by the main terrestial channels, who'll do anything to keep them, but drama, opera, ballet, decent comedy, anything but sport is totally ignored or shoved aside. A decent drama can get twice as many viewers as a football match, but if one slightly famous team happens to be playing another slightly famous team, everything else is wiped out for it, and I'm sick of it!

  • 34.
  • At 01:01 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Ruaraidh Gillies wrote:

One thing to bear in mind about the scheduling and contingency plans, is that this match actually finished after 1am local time! I would imagine that, when the programming was drawn up, it was considered VERY unlikely that the match would still be being played so late.

  • 35.
  • At 02:07 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • John Wessel wrote:

I think you are right to put it on one of the main channels, as it was also available on Eurosport, which any digital viewer, that is Red Button user, would be able to access. The non-digital viewer is not going to be impressed by being told to press the red button for the tennis.

  • 36.
  • At 03:29 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • James Muscat wrote:

Isn't this exactly the situation that the "interactive" streams on 301/302 were designed for? And how infrequently are they utilised?

  • 37.
  • At 03:32 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Bill wrote:

The time has long since passed for the BBC to have a dedicated television Sports channel, as they already have with radio, although that would mean actually buying the rights for some sports coverage.
Then, the question of dropping programs to make way for sport would not arise.

  • 38.
  • At 04:03 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Alec Tasker wrote:

Schedulers can't win. There were complaints from viewers of the Antiques Roadshow when Nelson Mandela was let out of prison and from viewers who were annoyed that TV was disrupted on 9/11.

  • 39.
  • At 04:12 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Murphy wrote:

I do not think the tennis should have been shown on BBC2 but rather should have been shown on BBC1, but i guess BBC2 is the second best choice.

Tennis is one the sports in the country that should be much bigger than it is, i think every school should have tennis courts and every council provide them too. The country seems to have a drive over teenage obesity and exercise is seen as the key to fighting this. The BBC has a role in this fight to ensure that "fitness" individual sports that are easily accessible such as tennis are given a high profile.

If even 1% of the million plus viewers of this match were children then i am sure a good proportion of them were enthralled by the fantastic competitive display that was shown by both participants in that brilliant match. It is by capturing the imagination of the kids today that will produce the champions of the future, Tennis does not just happen during two weeks in June, we should be showing much more live tennis on the BBC, especially more matches such as the one we saw on Monday.

Good decision beeb.

  • 40.
  • At 06:34 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

I'm wholeheartedly in favour of the red button option.

If you believe the DTG's recent claim that three-quarters of UK households now have access to digital, it will do the relatively small number of dedicated sports enthusiasts no harm whatsoever to switch to another BBC channel for full coverage.

This would then allow those such as myself who much prefer a good political debate to the pointless chasing of a ball (in whatever form it may take) to enjoy the show without interruptions.

It's irritating enough whenever shows are rescheduled for football matches (most of which are adequately covered by other networks, to which those with a specific interest usually subscribe) but at least this can be justified as 'in the public interest' (football is after all the national sport). Few people have more than a passing interest in tennis outside the media-fuelled frenzy of Wimbledon fortnight.

  • 41.
  • At 09:31 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Aldo Palumbo wrote:

I find sports coverage intensely annoying on a daily basis. It's like having your favourite programme interrupted by your least favourite programme. BBC News 24 is my default channel because I'm interested in important issues. But every few minutes it descends into frivolity - sorry, sport.

I appreciate that sport is a very popular diversion, but so are video games and pornography - diversions which should have no place on BBC News outside of a news story.

Of course, unlike those frivolous diversions, sport is often a subject of national pride, in which case it becomes newsworthy in my opinion. But much of the time, I find myself listening to news of farcical pursuits such as snooker and even darts or that hideous phenomenon - club football, which has nothing to do with national or local identity and everything to do with money.

Should the BBC really be helping businesses in this way? Should it also be encouraging some of the worst role models our society could possibly have?

Here's my proposal...

Give sport its own BBC channel

Cover only national sporting achievements on BBC News

Give the news studio director a different desk to cut to... Arts & Science Achievements perhaps - inspirational stuff.

Beyond the BBC...

Let's take the money that is wasted on football players and spend it on sports facilities for all. More doing, less consuming.

Just a thought.

  • 42.
  • At 10:48 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Dave Harris wrote:

re: the earlier comment about Eastenders getting shunted when the World Cup overran, that was because the BBC had a requirement to show the whole match. ITV got slapped on the wrist for this recently because they switched to the build up of an England match during the World Cup when they were required to show the whole of another (lesser) game which overran.

Ratings are important (since they show that the BBC is producing/airing shows that people want to watch), and the case cited wasn't typical.

  • 43.
  • At 12:04 AM on 25 Jan 2007,
  • Piers wrote:

As a semi-regular viewer of Working Lunch and the Daily Politics, I have to say I fully support the decision to show the match in full. High quality live sports events and good programs such as WL are about the only things worth watching during the day on any channel. Surely you could have dumped one of the endless repeats of people selling their junk instead?

  • 44.
  • At 03:43 PM on 25 Jan 2007,
  • Bill wrote:

Daily Politics could/should have been shown on BBC 1 on time. Alternatively the tennis programme should have ended as soon as the match finished? We did not need to see minutes of the victor preparing to leave the court and signing autographs, long after his opponent had left, and we certainly did not then need to see a lengthy studio debate about that match, the relative merits of the players and what is to happen next in the tournament. If the programme had ended as soon as the match finished, we could have gone to Daily Politics. There were some important political topics that day which were more deserving of airing than post-match trivia and yet another REPEAT of a gardening programme.

  • 45.
  • At 06:10 PM on 25 Jan 2007,
  • Peter Skinner wrote:

What annoys me the most about the disruption to Working Lunch is the regularity of it hapening.

Anything from Tiddly-winks to nose picking sees the program pulled.

As one of the few progs that exercises the "grey matter" I object most strongly.

If ratings are the only criteria why didn't we see live coverage of Sadams
henchman having his head ripped off during the hanging.I could assure the BBC that would also bring in good viewing figures ,and would probably attract the same viewers as are at drawn to BBC sport !

  • 46.
  • At 08:33 PM on 25 Jan 2007,
  • Rob Watkins wrote:

Another reason why the BBC should launch "BBC Sport" with the snooker, cricket, f1, football matches and impromptu tennis clashes!

  • 47.
  • At 01:09 PM on 26 Jan 2007,
  • S E Moody wrote:

It is not just the BBC pulling the Politics Show and Working Lunch on this occasion to show sports. It is the attitude that everything must be sacrificed an the altar of the Great God SPORTS. It is not just tennis but anything that even smells of sport that suddenly becomes the most important thing ever. Also as has previously been stated if the broadcast had been cut off at the end of the match and not draged on to show two comentators enthusing on the match then perhaps you could have salvaged something. No doubt I am one of the 1.5 million that the BBC claims as an audience for this event, BUT I was only watching in hope of some news of the program I was trying to watch. Just as a final thought why did it take the BBC two days to get round to bother to issue a statement to a formal complaint???

  • 48.
  • At 06:13 PM on 27 Jan 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

I agree with the comments about BBC Sport.
Sky (or should I say BSkyB) has its own sport channel, and I am one of those who gets frustrated when another program that you were looking forward to is cut off by some tennis or football or what have you.
In addition, on a BBC Sport channel, when there are no regular matches or events being played, you could take the opportunity to present specialised sports that the public may find interesting, for example British Touring Car Championship, or basketball, or swimming, or one of a very wide range of sports being played today.

  • 49.
  • At 03:35 PM on 29 Jan 2007,
  • Bridget wrote:

This is not a new issue. It's always been true that when there's a sporting event everything else makes way for it. It's annoying when it's been scheduled in advance, and it's doubly annoying in situations like this where it's a last-minute decision.
There have been some perfectly sensible suggestions made in these comments for solving the problem. I'm sure there are other techie options as well. What's depressing is that the Beeb obviously doesn't really consider it a problem - as is made clear by the above ratings justification. I appreciate the 'keeping the majority of the licence payers happy argument', though I think it's hard to prove whether that's in fact what you're doing. I'm just fed up of being made to feel like a second-class citizen because I don't really care who wins a tennis match, or a snooker tournament.

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