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Match of the Day - timeline


Category: Sport

Date: 24.07.2004
Printable version


1964-65

 

Presenter - Kenneth Wolstenholme

 

Match of the Day begins on 22 August 1964, for coverage of Liverpool versus Arsenal.

 

Kenneth Wolstenholme opens the programme with the words: "Welcome to Match of the Day, the first of a weekly series coming to you every Saturday on BBC TWO. As you can hear we're in Beatleville for this Liverpool versus Arsenal match."

The programme began on BBC TWO – where it remained until 1966.

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Leeds United

Prime Minister – Harold Wilson


1965-66

 

Presenter - Kenneth Wolstenholme

 

Despite attempts by some clubs to prevent its return due to fear over ticket sales, Match of the Day returned to the BBC in October 1965 – two months after the start of the new season.

 

The duration of each programme had been reduced to 45 minutes in length and it could no longer be broadcast before 10.00pm.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Leeds United

Prime Minister – Harold Wilson


1966-67

 

Presenter - Kenneth Wolstenholme

 

In the year that saw England win the World Cup, Match of the Day moves to BBC ONE.

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Nottingham Forest

Prime Minister – Harold Wilson


1967-1968

 

Presenter - Kenneth Wolstenholme

 

Once again, protracted negotiations during the summer ensured the return of the show. In order to secure the deal the BBC had to agree to broadcast five matches from Division Two and two from Divisions Three or Four as well as the 23 Division One games that they wanted.

 

Champions – Manchester City
Runners-Up – Manchester United

Prime Minister – Harold Wilson


1968-69

 

Presenter - Kenneth Wolstenholme and David Coleman

 

Grandstand presenter David Coleman begins regularly presenting Match of the Day.

 

Champions – Leeds United
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – Harold Wilson


1969-70

 

Presenter – David Coleman

 

From 1969, the programme becomes live and studio based, rather than being pre-recorded at the ground of the featured match, and there were now two games seen each week.

 

Champions – Everton
Runners-Up – Leeds United

Prime Minister – Harold Wilson


1970-71

 

Presenter – David Coleman

 

1970 saw the introduction of the Goal of the Month competition, which led to thousands of postcards being sent to the BBC.

 

Champions – Arsenal
Runners-Up – Leeds United

Prime Minister – Edward Heath


1971-72

 

Presenter – David Coleman

 

John Motson makes his debut as a Match of the Day commentator.

 

Champions – Derby County
Runners-Up – Leeds United

Prime Minister – Edward Heath


1972-73

 

Presenter – David Coleman

 

The current contractual agreement meant that Match of the Day had to lead with a Division Two fixture, and twice with a match from Division Three.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Arsenal

Prime Minister – Edward Heath


1973-74

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

Match of the Day appoints Jimmy Hill as the new presenter, after signing him from LWT. He was the first programme to both present the programme and offer expert analysis.

 

Champions – Leeds United
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – Edward Heath


1974-75

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

Match of the Day signs a new three-year contract with the Football League.

 

Champions – Derby County
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – Harold Wilson


1975-76

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Queen's Park Rangers

Prime Minister – Harold Wilson/James Callaghan


1976-77

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Manchester City

Prime Minister – James Callaghan


1977-78

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

Match of the Day celebrates its 500th edition, marked with a special Radio Times cover and a new set of opening titles – with hundreds of school children holding up cards that depicted Jimmy Hill's face and the Match of the Day logo.

 

Champions – Nottingham Forest
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – James Callaghan


1978-79

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

In November ITV signed a secret three year deal with the Football League to show edited highlights on Saturday nights instead of Sundays in an attempt to break away from the joint negotiating strategy and replace Match of the Day.

 

A ruling by the Office of Fair Trading prevented ITV's exclusive contract being signed but a compromise was reached.

 

For the duration of the next four year contract it was agreed that the BBC and ITV would have to alternate their programme coverage with Match of the Day switching to Sunday afternoons for the 1980-81 and 1982-83 seasons.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Nottingham Forest

Prime Minister – James Callaghan


1979-80

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

For the first time Match of the Day was allowed to screen additional games, and on 13 weekends there were highlights from three different matches.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Manchester United

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1980-81

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

After 16 seasons in the Saturday night slot, Match of the Day moved to Sunday afternoons.

 

Champions – Aston Villa
Runners-Up – Ipswich Town

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1981-82

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

The programme returned to Saturday nights. Only two games were allowed to be shown per show.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Ipswich Town

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1982-83

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Watford

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1983-84

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

Match of the Day was back on Saturday nights as a highlights show but was supplemented by live matches on Friday evenings.

 

The BBC and ITV had been allocated seven games each with the commercial channel choosing to broadcast theirs on Sunday afternoons.

 

This was a radical change in strategy by all involved as prior to this new two year contract the only regular live domestic football had been the FA Cup Final, England against Scotland and the European Cup Final.

 

Match of the Day was cancelled from 15 October to 19 November due to strike action at the BBC.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Southampton

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1984-85

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

The show celebrated its 20th anniversary and matches were still being broadcast on Fridays.

 

Most other sports were now seen live on television so the production team wanted to continue the football experiment as well.

 

Jonathan Martin, the Head of Sport at the time, recalled that the experiment was disappointing: "We only got six or seven million viewers on a Friday night which was poor for the slot so we moved to Sundays in the following year."

 

This was to be the last time that Match of the Day contained weekly League highlights until the beginning of the 1992-93 season.

Champions – Everton
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1985-86

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

In 1985 the television rights came up for renegotiation and BBC and ITV offered £16m for four years. This was in return for 19 live games plus weekend highlights.

 

The Football League met on Valentine's Day and rejected it.

 

Football was, however, in a weak negotiating position as the game was rife with hooliganism and the two sides became deadlocked.

 

The result was a total black-out for the first part of the season which annoyed fans and concerned the sponsors.

 

The Football League finally backed down and agreed a deal that gave them less money per game than before on a short term two and a half year contract.

 

The remaining six months was worth £1.3m with a two year £6.2m extension confirmed in June.

 

The supporters were delighted and Match of the Day resumed in January.

 

It concentrated mainly on FA Cup highlights and the occasional live League match on a Sunday.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Everton

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1986-87

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

With highlights out of fashion there were only 14 editions of Match of the Day all season and the only League action came in the seven live games on Sunday afternoons.

 

Champions – Everton
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1987-88

 

Presenter – Jimmy Hill

 

The focus was still on the big clubs and the shows were very irregular.

 

They followed the same format as the previous year with a mixture of live League games on Sunday afternoons and highlights shows for the FA Cup.

 

Everything changed with the launch of satellite TV. British Sky Broadcasting wanted to buy football rights and in May they bid £9m per season over ten years.

 

The BBC and ITV bid jointly, offering less but just when the Football League looked as though they were going to agree the BSkyB deal, Greg Dyke, the Chairman of ITV Sport, negotiated directly with League behind the backs of the BBC.

 

On 8 August the League Chairmen voted to sell all their matches exclusively to ITV from 1988 leaving the BBC and BSkyB with the FA Cup and England Internationals.

 

This was also Jimmy Hill's final season as presenter after a record 15 years in charge of the show.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Manchester United

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1988-89

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

Match of the Day celebrated its 25th anniversary and had to cope with the fact that, for the first time since its inception in 1964, it couldn't broadcast any League football.

 

Instead, the team settled into the four year contract with the intention of breathing new life into the FA Cup.

 

With the new contract came a totally revamped show. It was now officially titled Match of the Day – the Road to Wembley and was presented by Des Lynam.

 

Champions – Arsenal
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1989-90

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

Des Lynam continued to present the show, joined by Jimmy Hill and Terry Venables as regular pundits.

 

Champions – Liverpool
Runners-Up – Aston Villa

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher


1990-91

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

In the third season of the new contract there were 20 editions of Match of the Day but they were still restricted to covering FA Cup matches.

 

Champions – Arsenal
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher/John Major


1991-92

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

After several years of speculation it was announced in February that a new, breakaway FA Premier League was going to be formed.

 

ITV were expected to win the TV rights but the BBC and BSkyB combined to place a counter bid and had strong influence within the new organisation.

 

In May 1992 the rights were decided and each club had one vote.

 

BSkyB were awarded live matches on Sundays and Mondays and the BBC gained the Saturday night highlights as part of a five year deal.

 

The two companies also joined forces to sign a new five year deal to cover FA Cup and International matches.

 

ITV would be covering the Football League and the League Cup.

 

Champions – Leeds United
Runners-Up – Manchester United

Prime Minister – John Major


1992-93

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

With the new season came a new Premier League, a new contract and a new show, fronted by Des Lynam.

 

Des was joined by new regular pundits, Alan Hansen and Trevor Brooking, and the show reverted to the classic format of extended highlights from three main games.

 

Now, however, as well as all the extra analysis, viewers were also able to see the goals from all the other matches as well.

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Aston Villa

Prime Minister – John Major


1993-94

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Blackburn Rovers

Prime Minister – John Major


1994-95

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

Match of the Day celebrated its 30th anniversary.

 

Champions – Blackburn Rovers
Runners-Up – Manchester United

Prime Minister – John Major


1995-96

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

When Alex Ferguson's side were discussed on Match of the Day on the opening day of the season Des remarked that "United were scarcely recognizable from the team we've known over the past couple of seasons, what's going on do you feel?"

 

Alan Hansen famously replied: "You can't win anything with kids... he's got to buy players, it's as simple as that."

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Newcastle United

Prime Minister – John Major


1996-97

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Newcastle United

Prime Minister – John Major

 

1997-98

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

A new four year deal secured Premier League highlights on the BBC.

 

Mark Lawrenson joined Trevor Brooking and Alan Hansen as a regular pundit during the second half of the season.

 

Champions – Arsenal
Runners-Up – Manchester United

Prime Minister – Tony Blair


1998-89

 

Presenter – Desmond Lynam

 

Des presented 36 of the 45 League and Cup programmes plus eight more live UEFA Cup shows.

 

Gary Lineker also fronted five editions with Ray Stubbs hosting the remaining four.

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Arsenal

Prime Minister – Tony Blair


1999-2000

 

Presenter – Gary Lineker

 

Before the season began, on 2 August, Des Lynam resigned from the BBC and moved to ITV to become their main football presenter.

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Arsenal

Prime Minister – Tony Blair


2000-01

 

Presenter – Gary Lineker

 

ITV won back the Premier League highlights as part of a three year deal.

 

They also obtained Nationwide League rights whilst the BBC regained the FA Cup and England games.

 

It was a major blow to the BBC, but Match of the Day continued to show live FA Cup and European games.

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Arsenal

Prime Minister – Tony Blair


2001-02

 

Presenter – Gary Lineker

 

With Saturday night highlights now being shown on ITV's The Premiership, Match of the Day reverted to covering live FA Cup and England matches as well as some UEFA Cup games.

 

Champions – Arsenal
Runners-Up – Liverpool

Prime Minister – Tony Blair


2002-03

 

Presenter – Gary Lineker

 

Champions – Manchester United
Runners-Up – Arsenal

Prime Minister – Tony Blair


2003-04

 

Presenter – Gary Lineker

 

In August 2003, it is announced that the BBC has won back the right to show Premiership highlights from 2004, for three years.

 

Champions – Arsenal
Runners-Up – Chelsea

Prime Minister – Tony Blair


2004-05

 

Presenter – Gary Lineker

 

Match of the Day returns to the BBC for the new season, as part of a new football package on the BBC.

 

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Category: Sport

Date: 24.07.2004
Printable version

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