Tuesday 8 June 2010, 13:32
This Friday sees the kick off of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This month-long tournament is just one of a huge number of sporting and musical events to hit our screens across the BBC this summer.
Continuing on the sporting side, we will also be showing, amongst others, The Open and Women's Open, the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final, European Athletics Championships, Royal Ascot, the Rowing World Cup and of course the latest rounds from this year's Formula One championship, which may yet see a British driver crowned world champion for the third year running.
From the musical festivals we will have coverage from Reading & Leeds, T In The Park from Balado, Kinross-shire and, of course, Glastonbury from the Eavis' farm in Somerset. The Proms are also back in July and will this year be presented by Katie Derham.
One of the main reasons the BBC exists is to broadcast events that bring communities and the nation as a whole together. I can't imagine a better line up to do just that.
It is worth bearing in mind however, that since many of these events are live, there may be occasions when some of the nail-biting sporting action or musical performances will run a little longer than originally scheduled.
We saw this happen in a different arena just last month where we watched extraordinary developments unfold following the election results.
On this occasion, political drama took over from fictional drama in our schedules as EastEnders and Holby City were moved to bring viewers news of Gordon Brown's resignation and the announcement of the new coalition government took place in front of 10 million viewers on BBC One.
When events overrun or turn into edge of your seat moments, we may decide to either alter the schedule so we can stay with them, or move their coverage from BBC Two to BBC One so that we ensure the largest amount of people can see them.
That is after all what we are here to do - to share these big moments with as many people as possible.
We don't take that decision lightly though. We are very aware of the disruption it can cause to the rest of the schedule, including things like the regional news.
That is why this year we have decided, wherever possible, to steer clear of moving events from BBC Two to BBC One until after 7pm so as to avoid disrupting the regional news services. That is the one thing that we cannot swap onto BBC Two owing to technological restrictions.
I cannot say we won't ever change the schedules or move things earlier than 7pm - after all no-one would thank us for leaving a performance, an historic sporting battle or a change of government before its conclusion. But where we do, it will be done whilst trying to cause the minimum of disruption to all our viewers.
For now let's sit back (or jump up and down) and enjoy what looks set to be an incredible summer of live events on the BBC.
UPDATE Thursday, 1 July:
Last night we had just such a situation where we wanted to ensure the biggest possible audience could see the culmination of Andy Murray's battle for a semi final place at this year's Wimbledon.
In order to do that we moved the match from BBC Two to BBC One at 6.40pm.
Although this meant the news hour was slightly shortened I felt the importance of the match justified the move.
As I have said above, we don't take these decisions lightly but having seen that around 5.5m people tuned in it seems like our audience shared the view that it was worth doing.
Jana Bennett is director of BBC Vision
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Monday 7 June 2010, 10:05
Friday 11 June 2010, 09:41