BBC BLOGS - Sport Editors
« Previous | Main | Next »

Plenty to look forward to in 2009

Roger Mosey | 13:52 UK time, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

All the end-of-year reviews are agreed: 2008 is a year that's going to be hard to beat for sporting magic.

But we're going to do our best to cheer up the nation in 2009 - however gloomy the news agenda. And almost all the stars from our Sports Personality Top 10 will be in top-quality live action on the BBC.

The people's choice - Chris Hoy - will be with his fellow British cyclists in Poland in March for the World Track Championships. Rebecca Adlington will feature in the World Swimming Championships in Rome in the summer, and we'll be giving extensive coverage to the World Athletics Championships with Christine Ohuruogu from Berlin.

The other Olympic sport landmark this year will be the World Gymnastics Championships in October at the O2 arena in London. We'll be there for the key moments including extended coverage on BBC Two - and to see how the city deals with its first world championship event ahead of the 2012 Olympics.


Andy Murray showed he's near to greatness in 2008, and we'll see if he can deliver in 2009 - at Wimbledon, of course, and at the Australian and French Opens. The action in Melbourne gets underway in January so we'll witness whether the predictions of a Murray Grand Slam victory in '09 can be speedily realised.

There's also, of course, Formula 1 - which comes roaring back onto BBC screens in March. We'll be following Lewis Hamilton every kilometre of every circuit as he defends his world championship, and there'll be a fantastic range of online and interactive services to support our tv and radio F1 programming.

Another year of MotoGP - which remains one of the most highly-appreciated events we cover - means we'll be the home of great motorsport on two wheels as well as four.

New in August on BBC Television will be Football League: a weekly highlights programme with all the goals, and the best live matches from the Championship. Our coverage of the Carling Cup also begins in autumn 2009. That's in addition to Match Of The Day and MOTD2.

Other big events will be there too. The Six Nations looks gloriously unpredictable, and we'll be in position for every match. International Rugby League returns to the BBC in the autumn with two live matches from the Four Nations tournament to supplement our exclusive live coverage of the Challenge Cup.

We'll have our traditional golf menu including The Masters and The Open; the biggest events in racing including The Grand National, the Derby and Royal Ascot; and great days out with the London Marathon and The Great North Run.

Plus: Super Bowl,World Snooker, BDO World Darts and - we hope - one or two extra events currently under contractual discussion.

Finally, no doubt about the highlight on BBC Radio: settle back with Test Match Special for every ball of The Ashes.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    While the addition of F1 to the beeb is, indeed, an exciting one, I must confess to being more excited by the introduction of the Football League coverage. It will be nice to have some continuity, rather than the Premier League on BBC and the Football League on ITV. I’m also hoping that means a lot of Football League online content, such as highlights and maybe screening the odd important match live on the website.

  • Comment number 2.

    How much do I need to bid for the internet radio rights for tms in Japan? Good as the text commentary is, it can never be the same.

    How much to take off the not available in your territory rebuke?

    Is there a competing broadcaster?

    I'll start the bidding at a fiver.

  • Comment number 3.

    All this AND Eastenders?

    Truly blessed are the British public.

  • Comment number 4.

    2009, the blossoming of the Arsenal Wenger boys at the glorious Emirates stadium, whist Harry Redknapp who as a child would sing love songs on the North Bank at Highbury about the Spurs is taking Tottenham to Wembley via the play-offs, in 2010, sorry wrong year !

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    A quick response to 50in50 in #1: yes, Football League goals for every club will be available online on this site in the week after each match.

    And alaninjapan in #2: I feel your pain! The problem is the one we've mentioned before: rights are almost invariably sold country-by-country by so it's not normally possible for us to buy international rights. When we can, we do - so Six Nations audio is available worldwide.

  • Comment number 7.

    Roger, you have mentioned the coverage of Formula 1 and Moto GP, but many motorsport fans are keen to know what the arrangements will be for coverage of the F1 support races (GP2, FBMW and Porsche Supercup). Will these be covered, either on a main channel or as a red button option?

    Are there any plans to expand the BBC's motorsport portfolio?

  • Comment number 8.

    I think BBC have really got the hang of things with broadcasting rights after losing the FA Cup matches and England home matches. Now we have Carling Cup, Coca Cola Championship and i think the most succesful is Formula 1. Great Blog by the way Roger.

  • Comment number 9.

    Has a decision been taken by FOM about whether to make an HD feed of F1 available for selected or all races; and if so will be the BBC be taking up that option?

  • Comment number 10.

    Ahh, but the BBC dont cover much tennis, so I look forward to motorsports on the BBC and Tennis NOT on the BBC in 2009....bring it on

  • Comment number 11.

    Is there any word as to whether the BBC are bidding for the UEFA Under-21 European Championship from Sweden/?

    England are in the finals, and are looking like hot favourites. The previous tournament in Netherlands, where the English lost on penalties to the Dutch in the semis, were fantastic and would be a welcome summer event for football fans.

  • Comment number 12.

    As I linked to this commercial via yr golf site, it occurs to me there is proportionate coverage to golf in yr article as there is on your BBC Sport web-site.

    While that is your prerogative, a number of enthusiasts have been trying to stimulate interest in your site via 606, but the most popular initiative to drive hits/business your way has been buried in the bowels of Sports Gaming.

    I hope you agree that this is nonsensical and will help persuade Messrs Trickett, Hodgetts and Carter to restore the series of goldwolf "articles" to their rightful place on the"Golf" Board.

    The BBC may not care about golf but your licence payers certainly do.

    Thanks for your help.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm really looking forward to watching the cricket........................

    Whoops, I mean the live football............................

    Er, rugby league???

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Roger,

    Thanks for being able to provide another diverse year of sport for 2009, however I have become one of the thousands that have just learnt that Five are stopping studio production of most North American sports and may even stop paying the small amount to by the rights for the NBC/ESPN games, i will be particulary missing the American football and the MLB coverage as well

    Would the BBC look in the possibility of taking the feed and even a standard studio producion as you have started carrying one off events as the superbowl, prehaps you would be able to produce it in house at a better price than Sunset and Vine how currently do the shows.

    maybe this even comes under proving tv viewing for the minority as although the interest for these shows are nothing compaired to the home sports they have a very loyal and consistant viewer base.

    I appricate you may not respond to this but i just needed a plea of help to put somewhere.

    Thanks again

  • Comment number 15.

    How will the Football League/Premierleague highlights compliment each other? Will the football league highlights be on MOTD or will they be on a different channel?

    Also, I've heard rumours that five may be dropping their American sports coverage. If and when this happens, could their be any potential interest from the beeb in picking this up?

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    Such a pity that the beeb felt the need to compete with ITV regarding football and F1.

    For me they should be a public service, not a ratings generating machine. F1 and the Football league coverage was fine over on ITV. Instead of lavishing our money on them why did you not choose to try and bring some sports and events to domestic screens that currently AREN'T there.

    ITV will only replace F1 with reruns of old comedies or something so as a group the british public are not one bit better off in terms of sporting choice for your decisio to spend so much on F1 than we were in 2008.

    Extending inside sport to an hour would be a start, so would bringing back a 'world of sport' type program to cove sports not normally seen on our screens.

  • Comment number 18.

    i think it is great that you will have some live fotty back on the bbc however we have to wait to augest. best thing about it that the really annoying comercial beaks that itv and sky have wont be hapening

    but please get better comentaters on tms because they are poor. try and get beffy and david loyd from sky because they are class

    The f1 will be good and i see that you have signed most of itvs old coverage team. really looking forward to this

    dont really care about the any of the athlets and swimmers etc

    and get better comentaters for moto gp like the 3 guys from euro sport because they are class

    many thanks and looking forward to a great year of live sport


  • Comment number 19.

    where does it say about the lions i mean thats better than bloody tennis

  • Comment number 20.

    What are the plans for winter sports, i.e skiing, snowboarding etc etc? I understand the BBC are the only free-to-air rights holders of the winter sports.

    The skiing has been going for a good 6 weeks now, and want to see what cold weather REALLY looks like!

  • Comment number 21.


    The BBC would do well to prioritise coverage of events of more significance to the public.

    Take for example The Great North Run. It is a complete non-event and is only covered by the Beeb because Brendan Foster devised the concept. It is a glorified fun-run. If you're going to cover that, you may as well cover the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow and the other big regional fun runs.

    I like Formula One, but the price the BBC have paid for the coverage is ridiculous. I'd much rather the BBC had concentrated its efforts on securing the England cricket rights.

    Also, what plans do the BBC have to show any badminton in 2009? Will there be All England highlights? The Super Series events, in which the likes of Robert Blair and Imo Bankier have done well in 2008, seem to be almost utterly ignored.

    It is also sad that the BBC has lost the FA Cup rights. I hope you'll be making economies, like ditching the Great North Run nonsense, to bring it back, along with retaining the Premiership highlights on MOTD.

    I should also say, as a Scotsman, how utterly dismayed I am that Scotland's World Cup qualifying matches, neither home or away, are broadcast live on free TV. I have to pay to watch my own national team playing the national sport at the highest level. BBC Wales and Northern Ireland have no such issues as far as I'm aware.

  • Comment number 22.

    Roger - any ideas when the actual phone votes for Sports Personaility in 2006 will be published and will OffCom be the adjudicators

  • Comment number 23.

    Roger, firstly, I would like to thank you for restoring Ski Sunday to its highlights long before that goes down the Grandstand route?
    Also will many races of F1 be on BBC HD?
    Britain surely should be in HD.
    Will the BBC be putting some of its tennis on its main channels APART from the Murray Matches??

    Could the BBC take the American Sports off the hands of Five, the MOTD studio could be used to handle the costs and you can keep the majestic Jonny Gould and Josh Chetwynd for could work!

    I am too looking forward towards the Footy League 'crashing' onto the BBC, it will be intresting to see who will get the Footy League Highlights...I pray its Manish Bhasin...he is a great presenter and he is severly unused (and he is a Leicester City fan just like Gary Lineker!!)

  • Comment number 24.

    2009 shall be a great year!

  • Comment number 25.

    On international weekends would there be live action from league 1 and possibly even league 2?

    Also, please get some American Football from next year, even if it is only the monday/sunday night games as well as wembley and super bowl as there are lots of fans without sky who are going to miss out now that five has removed all coverage.

  • Comment number 26.

    re: how_was_that, post #21

    You say things should be prioritised according to how popular things are with the general public, then reel off a list of events you personally like, and say the BBC should ditch the rest.

    Many others might think a couple of England Tests is not as valuable as the very popular Formula 1. I noted an interview with the head of the ECB a few weeks back where he said someting to the same effect as you. But he then indicated that the BBC should have ditched F1, and would then have been able to afford "a couple of Twenty20 internationals a year". This would certainly seem unreasonable to many.

    It seems Cricket is a very difficult area for rights negotiations as it seems pretty clear the ECB are very much more interested in taking the money from Pay TV, than ensuring the widespread exposure of their sport on Free-to-Air. We can't expect the BBC to compete directly with the bidding power of Sky and Setanta - there has to be some sort of effort on behalf of rights holders to secure their own FTA exposure at reasonable prices.

    On a more positive note, I look forward to the coverage of the Swimming and Cycling over the coming year. It always seems these sports become massive during the Olympics, then fade into the shadows in between. Hopefully, this coverage means this won't happen in the run-up to 2012.

  • Comment number 27.

    Thanks, all. Some replies:

    To themotorsportfan in #7: we're still working on GP2, and some other scheduling details. Clearly, we'll have a lot of new content from F1 itself - which will start with practice available online on the Friday of a race weekend. Catch-up F1 will later be on the iPlayer with highlights on this site.

    But to BigBadDaveB in #9 and others: F1 won't yet be available in HD though we'd very much like it to be. I'll keep you posted.

    To acreda in #14 and others: I sympathise with what you're saying about US sports. The difficulty is that we have a finite budget and within that covering UK and Olympic sports is the priority. But let's see how the current situation resolves itself...

    To Jack in #15: current thinking is that the Football League highlights will be a separate programme.

    To hackerjack in #17, how_was_that in #21 and others: let's be clear about F1. ITV said they were no longer able to cover it. So if the BBC hadn't picked up F1 then it would presumably have gone to pay TV - which would have been an enormous shame for the 10m plus audiences who've been watching the sport's biggest moments. We never comment on rights fees, but many of the figures quoted in the press have been significant exaggerations; and it was paid for within our existing sports rights budget. Jacobnewbury in #8 is right about what went out and what comes in!

    To uk_rutter in #20 and webbyfoxes in #23: forgive me, I should have mentioned the new format for Ski Sunday. As webby says, it will now be split in two: Ski Sunday with a traditional diet of skiing in the early evening, and then a sister programme High Altitude pencilled in for the peak schedule. This will incorporate the features which many loved (and some didn't) last year, but it means the skiing has a slot of its own. More broadly, we're the rightsholders for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver - so there'll be a lot of that in early '10 with build-up material too.

    To SiMmSiE08 in #25: our Football League deal gives us 10 live first-pick matches from the Championship so we won't have live action from Leagues 1 and 2. But all the goals will be in the highlights programme as well as on the iPlayer and online. By the way, as Bradford City fan myself: I'm pleased about the Football League contract because it'll be both entertaining and also public service - in that it should give the Championship in particular its highest ever terrestrial TV profile.

    To robvilla in #22: the SPOTY votes for 2006 are published on this site. The headline is that Zara Phillips won with 32.5% of the vote and Darren Clarke got 21% in second place.

    Finally to fellow optimists like SuperStrikerShivam in #24 and anapplefellonmyhead in #26: well yes, it should be a fascinating year and one test will be how many people come to events like the swimming and the cycling immediately after an Olympics. I'm absolutely sure they'll be massive again in London 2012 and in the immediate build-up; but the challenge for us is to keep telling that Olympic sport story and bringing in as many of the audience as possible.

  • Comment number 28.

    Great news about Ski Sunday.

    The last series really did have the feel of being two shows squeezed together to make one and largely to the detriment of the actual sports action with sometimes as little as 10 minutes actual sport being shown in a 60 minute show.

  • Comment number 29.

    To hackerjack in #17, how_was_that in #21 and others: let's be clear about F1. ITV said they were no longer able to cover it. So if the BBC hadn't picked up F1 then it would presumably have gone to pay TV - which would have been an enormous shame for the 10m plus audiences who've been watching the sport's biggest moments.


    In that case please accept my apologies, I hadn't realised that ITV were going to drop it. Seems an odd decision by them but I guess they don't think it will be worth it and with the reduction in advertisig for the auto industry in 2009 (which was probably their main income for the 3 hous of the show) I guess it might wok out best for them.

  • Comment number 30.

    Thank you Roger. Excellent blog.

    Excellent news about Ski Sunday. I have watched this all my life, but last season it was excruciating.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the really excellent coverage from Chepstow on Saturday of the Welsh National. Your coverage is so much better than it used to be!! The programme ended with no mention of when the next racing coverage would be. Is this an ominous sign? Can you tell me when there will next be racing on BBCtv.

  • Comment number 31.

    hackerjack - I knew F1 was going to be dropped from ITV and appauld Roger Mosey and the BBC bringing it back.
    It was costly, which the BBC could not avoid but at least it didnt go to Sky or Setanta, I would rather that the Cricket stayed on Sky where they have kept the exceptional coverage from Channel 4.
    I can understand ITV's decision, Football can have adverts crammed every minute before the match, F1 doesnt have a natural break and many people complained about ITV's 'advert every time something good happens' plus with Sony giving less money for this season then in previous was going to happen.
    Plus ITV had been showing F1 at a major loss, with it at the BBC, the BBC can show it without worrying about if they will make enough money to cover it.

  • Comment number 32.

    FAO anapplefellonmyhead and Roger Mosey,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comments.

    I should point out that I am interested in most sports, so am not merely posting from a selfish point-of-view in terms of what I'd like to see.

    I didn't appreciate that ITV were going to drop F1, but I'd still question whether it was wise for the BBC to spend huge amounts of money (which they clearly did, even if it doesn't amount to the figures quoted in the media) on it!

    I'd be astonished if the cost of bidding for the 3-4 years' worth of test matches etc was more than the F1 rights. Please correct me if I'm wrong Roger.

    I'm an athletics fan too and enjoy the BBC coverage of track&field championships, but as I said I can't help but feel that economies can be found in ditching coverage of events such as the Great North Run, cross country etc and the likes of showjumping.

    As I said, on those sorts of budgets I'd much prefer to see more badminton - a truly exciting and spectator-friendly sport - than those non-events.

    Can I also say that the BBC's fixation with horse racing is another misjudgement.

    As I've said, it annoys me that some of the best sport is missed out on by the BBC because too great an emphasis and budget, presumably, is put on non-events like the GNR, horse-racing and showjumping et al.

    However Roger, to end on a positive, I must say that I enjoy the vast bulk of the mainstream sports coverage - golf, football, Wimbledon, 6 Nations etc that is on the BBC.

    One final question - Will the Championship highlights be available in Scotland? If not, why? Our regional opt out on STV in place of the ITV FA Cup coverage is nothing short of a disgrace!

  • Comment number 33.

    Once again an interesting blog. As always the sports that the BBC covers will benefit from excellent coverage and huge exposure.

    Other than expressing my disappointment once again that test and county cricket is missing from the BBC schedules (even in highlights form), and that domestic rugby union is also missing, I'd like to ask whether the football league highlights programme, if it is to be a separate programme as Roger suggests, could be in the style of the 'old' Match of the Day.

    I really miss the old Match of the Day. There's something missing from the short truncated highlights of ten minutes a match if you are lucky. I'd really like it to go back to the three main matches style, with time to get into each match, and for the commentators to have time to really articulate themselves. Maybe i'm a lone voice on this however.

    Anyway, I do look forward to watching all that the BBC has to offer, which is a good portfolio just missing cricket TV rights, and hearing positive news on the extra events under discussion at the moment. Let's hope England cricket winter tour highlights is one of them...

  • Comment number 34.

    how_was_that says that money could be saved by cutting down horseracing, showjumping and the GNR.

    Thats just daft when the rights to all horseracing for the BBC in a year sum to less than £10m. I bet also that showjumping costs a tiny amount and that the GNR is near free barring production costs. To save £100m the BBC would have to scrap practically all of their sports coverage apart from football and rugby. When F1 costs well over that it doesn't seem totally worthwhile to scrap these events.


    On another point Roger, a BBC news article says this:

    Asked why he had decided to split with ITV, Ecclestone told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's not that we are unhappy with ITV but I think maybe they will have their hands full with other things and maybe the BBC can service us a bit better."-------------

    I think I remember people saying at the time that ITV came up with the story that they were dropping F1 after they'd had it taken away.

    Bernie Ecclestone is a clever businessman and it looks like he went to you and got exactly what he wanted.

    Finally, can I ask how you're going to fit Formula One into your schedules? Will it be on BBC2 or will it take over the whole of a Sunday nights TV on some days? Will the qualifiers be on the red button or on a channel? It was easier for ITV because they didn't have such fixed programmes.

    And about yourself, I am told that you are leaving. Well done for most of what you've overseen. I just pray that your parting gift isn't taking the Cheltenham Festival away from the better Channel 4.

  • Comment number 35.

    It was the England and Wales Cricket Board who walked away from free to air tv, not the other way around-that is their privilege. They wanted the dosh. Cricket's problem is that has a surfeit of moderate product but no Crown Jewels- that is, no stand out event like Wimbledon or the Derby. So given that the cricket rights were an open bidding exercise, what event (ODI, Tests, etc.) would any sane FTA broacaster bid for against Sky? No broadcaster in fact did so. I think it is appalling there is no live cricket on FTA tv but the ECB is solely to blame.

    The obvious major difference with F1 is that Bernie Ecclestone wanted to stay free to air provided he got a fair price. Otherwise he could easily have pocketed the Sky shilling.

  • Comment number 36.

    Golden League Athletics please, or highlights at the very least.

  • Comment number 37.

    Some very interesting discussion...

    Picking up a few points:

    Redtimbo in #34: the idea is that F1's home will be BBC One, with all qualifying and races live and uninterrupted on that channel. The rest will be online and on the red button.

    AlphaMark1010 in #33: the Football League deal includes a commitment to one 'full' OB a week for an extended edit for the highlights programme, so the chances are we will end up with something more like the old MOTD - because obviously the coverage from Leagues 1 and 2 will be more basic. However, we hope having all those clubs' goals online will be a popular addition to this site. By the way, we'll also be able to show goals from the Football League in Final Score though this will be limited to the action we can physically obtain against a very tight timescale!

    How_was_that in #32: the last I heard the plan was to show Championship highlights UK-wide, yes. Again we'll keep you posted.

  • Comment number 38.

    The BBC's Wembley game coverage was very good (watched on iplayer as i was at the game itself :D) and as was the superbowl coverage!

    with 5 dropping US sport from there schedule for 2009 is there a chance that the BBC could pick up the sunday night or/and monday night NFL games and playoffs as well as other events like the world series?

  • Comment number 39.

    Roger - this blog is a great idea
    can i back up SiMmSiE08, post #25.
    i am also a NFL fan and thought you did a great job on last year's Superbowl and the last two Wembley games - i have read that Ch 5 are not going to take the live weekly games next year - any chance you could use a slot on say BBC4 to show them at night? I would imagine the extra costs of that over the Superbowl was fairly small and whilst the live audience may not be that big (although not sure how they know, i am a member of a viewing panel, but they never ask me if i watched anything between 12:30 and 05:30!) i am sure many people do as i do and record it overnight, watch the next evening or two - this would be a great use of the space on BBC4 or maybe 3 and show BBC is committed to wider sport, not just taking the glory games

  • Comment number 40.

    I'd be really happy if the BBC picked up NFL coverage. With Five dropping their coverage, there will be no free-to-air channel showing the games and with the Wembley games over here, more and more Brits are becoming fans of American Football.

    If possible keep Mike Carlson (who does the superbowl coverage) as he makes the game accessible with explaining everything in a fun and easy to understand way.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to the BBC's superbowl coverage and hopefully more NFL in 2009.

  • Comment number 41.

    The Beeb should pick up the rights for NFL and MLB since Five took the ludicrous decision to let them go. Coverage of the Superbowl and International Series on the BBC has been superb so far, would be great to expand the coverage further.

  • Comment number 42.

    Track cycling in Poland...championship football.... and gymnastics from the O2.

    Dear oh dear not what I would really call my highlights for the coming year. I think you will find most people will be more interested in the Ashes, England qualifying for the World Cup and seeing who wins the Premier League....

  • Comment number 43.

    Roger, I was wondering whether you could give us any information on the following:

    1) Is there going to be a Formula One blog of any kind on this site... I think someone mentioned this earlier in the year, but I didn't know whether there were any definite plans. If so, who will be doing the blog?

    2) Will the qualifying and race sessions be "re-run" as live on the Red Button later in the day.

    Thanks for the informative blog. :)

  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

    odd numbers are never good years for sport, apart from the ashes obviously, but that's on sky anyway so...

  • Comment number 46.

    Roger, from your reply, the football leagye deal means it will end up being like ITV's current format then?
    One OB then the rest are covered basically like ITV.
    As long as ervery teams get a fair slice of the pie throughout the season, then thats OK.
    But please be different from ITV of course, will the MOTD tune be accompaying the mew Championship Football coverage?
    Will midweek games get covered?

    Also it is good to be having the goals online as they are on Virgin Media Sport but dont allow that to ignore those who dont have the Internet

  • Comment number 47.

    Roger - what's your commitment to rowing going to be over the next twelve months?

    Also with F1 - are they going to be studio presented or on location presented?

  • Comment number 48.

    D_M_N in #43: yes, blogs aplenty. Details to follow - and Murray Walker will be online for the BBC with his thoughts on the F1 season.

    The races will be on iPlayer, but precise red button plans are yet to be confirmed.

    WebbyFoxes in #46: we're looking for innovation too, yes. One of the main differences will be the live games: it'll be interesting to have a live Championship match on the opening and closing days of the season. Contractually we can't do more than 2 live matches from any one ground over the season, so that will encourage us to roam widely - which we'd want to do anyway.

    Jordan D in #47: with rowing we'll stay with the major events, and the World Rowing Championships will have extensive coverage on the red button and online. On F1: it'll be presented on location.

  • Comment number 49.

    I also agree with most of the above comments regarding the NFL and think it should be bought to the BBC. The coverage with the Superbowl and UK game is a fantastic start and I think it could be a real big move by the BBC to take it on.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks for the response Roger. :)

    On your point of the F1 being presented "on location" - has any decision been taken yet on whether it'll be an on location studio, or simply from the pitlane like ITV had last year? I prefer a studio, mainly because of the noise of the pitlane, sometimes you could hardly hear Rider's and Blundell's voices last year.

  • Comment number 51.


    I understand the reasons you are planning to keep the Football League highlights separate from MOTD but I hope this doesn't mean the BBC will treat them as completely separate entities.

    If theres a particularly quiet Saturday in the Premiership with only a few games it would be nice if you could show a key promotion or relegation battle from the Championship on MOTD, particularly in the latter stages of the season?

    May I also suggest the weekends best goals from all the leagues could appear in a feature on MOTD2, raising the lower leagues audience and appeal.

  • Comment number 52.

    Roger, thansk for actually confirming that the F1 will be on location.
    I think it will be far better then the rumour that it would be in London which would take out what F1 is all about.
    Also with DC and his new job, it wouldnt have worked with it in London.
    Will they be in the pitlane?
    ITV did a great job by doing that, yes sometimes you couldnt hear a thing but it showed that they didnt care and that they could get close to the cars as possible.
    A studio kills off that atmosphere and the BBC need to be close and works with the MotoGP

  • Comment number 53.

    There are several requests on this forum for the BBC to show more US Sports.

    I strongly disagree, and urge the BBC NOT to waste money on US sport and spend it on getting more popular UK Sport back on the BBC e.g. Cricket, Football and Rugby.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Roger
    I was sorry to see the bbc did not reclaim Heineken rugby. It doesn't seem many years ago that I remember the beeb salvaging the competition from oblivion.
    Have I heard correctly that the Magners league has gone elsewhere?
    If it's true, does that mean bbc sport has only the six nations in their rugby portfolio?
    Here in Wales and I guess on the red button, scrum 5 seems very successful.

  • Comment number 55.

    Roger- Excellent blog I must say I am a little disapointed that F1 will not be in HD in 2009 but I do hope if FOM decide to change their mind and release the HD feed they have been producing for the last two seasons that the BBC will take up this option.

    Also with all the sports mentioned how much of that is going to be in HD I know we will have the six nations and Wimbledon but with the loss of the England and FA cup games BBC sports HD output is going to be a lot more limited than in 07-08

  • Comment number 56.

    53 re. TVPhil : Rights to US sports are often vastly cheaper. The budget for purchasing more NFL rights for a season would probably be less than one football match. According to the head of the ECB, the amount the BBC spent on Formula One (eighteen weekends, each with 4 hours of practice sessions, an hour or so of qualifying plus the races of course) would only purchase "one or two" T20 internationals. And Formula One costs more than the NFL. American Football as a sport is becoming more popular in the UK.

    This is a stab in the dark, but does the BBC by any chance have plans to show Eurobasket 2009? Your coverage of the basketball at the Olympics this year was excellent and the commentary team of Ron McIntosh and John Amaechi was excellent. This is the first time Great Britain (or any home nation prior to the merger) has qualified for a tournament at this level for a long while, and GB will have a chance to show the team's worth, having go the host's berth for 2012.

  • Comment number 57.

    Just to round off some of these questions, I'll ask the F1 team to blog soon about their plans and how things are going.

    Final one for now: gmcateer in #51. The Premier League/Match of the Day and Football League contracts are separate so they will almost always generate separate programmes. But I'd imagine the Carling Cup highlights and live matches will be broadcast under the Match Of The Day banner, and the Football League contract will further strengthen programmes which already have Premier League content - such as Football Focus and Final Score.

  • Comment number 58.

    But what about horse racing? No mention of that in this line up.

    The BBC is proposing to axe jump racing from the schedules from 2010 and cherry- pick the big events.

    It's a great sport - followed by thousands and thousands who turn out on bitter winter weekends.

    For those who can't afford satellite tv, the BBC coverage is vital. For older racing fans, who aren't mobile enough to get to a race course, losing the brilliant coverage by Clare Balding and the rest of the team would be a huge loss. They add so much with their knoweldge.

    Please think again - and give us a little of the time that will probably otherwise be spent in speculative pre-footy/rugby chat. There's surely room for both?

  • Comment number 59.

    please can you show more sport from the US.

  • Comment number 60.

    At #53

    cricket and rugby have just been tied up in new contracts till 2013 ish... and the BBC will never be able to afford premier league football (if they want to show anything else at all that is ;)), and the FA cup is secure till 2012.

    the bbc will have to wait 3 years to be able to bid for any of these events anyway, and the cost of Live american sport isn't big at all in comparison. I hope the BBC do pick up American sports to a further degree as it would be a great addition to the station!

    At Roger earlier on concentrating on olympic sports, baseball is an recognised olympic sport and was at the last olympics. Basketball and Ice hockey are also olympic sports and even american football appeared in the olympics back in 1932!

  • Comment number 61.

    Thanks for this Roger.

    I am a keen tennis fan and and very pleased that you have secured the rights to both the Australian and French Opens in addition to Wimbledon, Queen's and the British Davis Cup ties. Can I suggest, however, that you promote these rights more? I know that the coverage will be available via the red button but I am not sure it is obvious to others who may interested and, for example, your recent trailer of sport on the BBC in 2009 makes no mention of the Australian and French Opens - these are truly international tournaments and ought to be celebrated as part of your portfolio, especially following Andy Murray's recent successes.

    Thanks (and let's hope you get the FA contract back in 2012 ater this weekend's appalling spectacle on the other side - the highlights show on Saturday night was a disgrace).

  • Comment number 62.


    If the proposed cuts to Horse Racing go ahead, for me you will always be remembered as the person who killed off horse racing on the BBC.

    I don't think there is much to look forward to on the BBC at all, just continuous cuts in the sports that the public are interested in. There is no live cricket anymore, no live football games, even the darts I am watching this week is from the 2nd tier of the game. I suppose by obtaining the rights to Championship football you are at least being consistent in your approach.

    But what does that say about the BBC? Basically all you are doing is picking up the rights to sports that no one else is interested in...

  • Comment number 63.

    Another request to please take up the rights to US Sports MLB and NFL, now Five has let them go. I have been watching NFL for over 20 years since it was first on Channel 4, and I would miss some sort of coverage, should it only be a decent highlights package.

    Also a first (I think) request to have a look at the possiblity of putting on highlights of Serie A, which now contains Ronaldinho, Mourinho and Beckham.

  • Comment number 64.

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

  • Comment number 65.

    Well if you are looking for a weekly sports highlights programme how about showing Speedway grand prix highlights.

    Channel 4 did a one hour programme every 2 weeks a couple of years ago and got decent viewing figures for it as the only other way to see it is on Sky which many fans dont or wont have.

  • Comment number 66.

    ...and another request for NFL and baseball if five let them go. Particularly wrt NFL, it's worth rmembering that the league wants to grow the sport and prefers to keep some terretrial coverage available - I believe Sky wanted exclusive rights to the late night games this time round, but the NFL insisted it was shared with five to gain more exposure for their sport.

  • Comment number 67.

    also, a weekly sports programme would be good - find it a decent regular slot on 3 or 4, and examine formats like ESPN's SportsCenter which are entertaining and informative.

  • Comment number 68.

    I just hope you don't turn the F1 coverage into "The Lewis Hamilton" show like ITV have done for the past two seasons

  • Comment number 69.

    Let me pick up the points made by savehorseracing in #58 and steveo77 in #62.

    First, steveo, it's an odd definition of "sports that no one else is interested in" if you're including Wimbledon, the Six Nations, The FIFA World Cups of 2010 and 2014, Formula 1, The London Olympics and all the rest of the BBC portfolio.

    On racing (and I do mention the Grand National, the Derby and Royal Ascot in my original blog): first, we can't comment in any detail on negotiations which are still active. But the BBC is proud of its traditions in horse-racing and our aim has always been to preserve the very best of what we do and the events our audiences value most.

    The wider context here is that we have a lot of demands on our budgets and airtime --- and it's striking that most of the posts above are suggesting we should expand what we do. This ties in with research showing that in 2008 the BBC was seen as best for sport on radio, tv and online - which is something we're proud of in a multichannel era.

    However, in a difficult financial climate for everyone we have to prioritise and make choices. We do that to the best of our ability - recognising that many sports and events have a legitimate claim for investment from a public service broadcaster.

    Thanks again for all the rest of the feedback.

  • Comment number 70.

    'let's hope you get the FA contract back in 2012 ater this weekend's appalling spectacle on the other side - the highlights show on Saturday night was a disgrace'

    Excuse me prick1es, ITV's coverage of the FA Cup as been good, you have been able to see all the goals on one programme and NOT on the silly red button as it was on the BBC, hoping that your teams game would come on!

  • Comment number 71.

    Roger - many thanks for all the information above.

    Just a brief comment about your presentation team: it does seem strange that the beeb has Gary Lineker but shows no live football whilst Steve Rider is stuck over on ITV who no longer have F1 nor any golf! Wouldn't it be sensible for you and your ITV opposite number to agree a swap???

  • Comment number 72.

    !!!!!!!!F1 not available in HD!!!!!!!

    I find this the most incredably stupid decision I have ever from the BBC. I paid out alot of money on my HD system on the basis that the BBC was going to provide an HD service. There is no way that BBC HD can be called a service. It is mostly just a whole load of repeats night after night. The HD sports coverage in particular is very poor. ITV seems to transmit more football in HD than the BBC.

    As I understand it F1 is available in HD the BBC would only need to provide the continuity facilaties. F1 in HD and surround sound would be an ideal platform for demonstraiting FD. It would have been better if F1 had gone to Sky.

    I use to support the idea of the BBC being funded by a licence fee but I am begining to change my mind.

  • Comment number 73.

    As I am well and truely in rant mode there are 2 things I would push for if I was Director of BBC Sport.


    There should be separte sport channel(s). The present situation of switching channels in the middle of events and also putting some of it on interactive is rediculous.


    All sport should be in HD with surround sound. Most of your football seems to be in boring stereo. Last year I watched hours of the tour de france on Eurosport HD simply because of the fantastic photography.

  • Comment number 74.

    ...and yet I find it unique that the BBC leads with the cricket from Australia, when we are getting beaten by SA but banishes the result to a the Sports back blocks when we win!

    Can't wait till the Ashes- beware the wounded Australian!

  • Comment number 75.

    Trevorjharris in #72: the BBC very much wants F1 to be in HD. The problem is the world feed is currently in standard definition, and it depends on the demand from broadcasters other than the BBC before it will be upgraded. We'll keep lobbying...

    And in your post #73: the problem with a sports channel is it would actually reduce the audiences for our major events. If the Six Nations and Wimbledon and the World Cup and the Olympics weren't on BBC One, there'd be a loss of some of the viewers who come in for the big national moments on our main channel.

    I should also say that BBC One understand what viewers want in terms of live and uninterrupted sport, so F1 is a good example of something where the scheduling will be clear and consistent - and different from when we last had the sport within the old Grandstand framework.

    Finally on HD: the aim is for all our sport production to be in HD by 2012 at the latest, but we'll obviously move as quickly as we can before then.

  • Comment number 76.

    Thankyou for replying to my points.

    I understand that F1 is broadcast in HD in Germany on ARF1 and also British Odean cinemas. So It seems to me a feed should be available. I also understand that an interactive service is available. ITV actually ordered some HD outside broadcast vans for the european grands prix.

    I don't agree with you about a separate sports channel. It is just a matter of education I think people will soon learn where to find the sport. BBC would benifit but not having to reshedule programs because a live event has overrun. The interactive service is not very visible as there is no EPG for it. Both the Olympics and wimbledon could benifit from having more than one hd channel.

    I have recently become suspicious of the BBC with regard to audiance ratings. I wonder if the BBC is not outputing as much as it could in HD because it would dilute the BBC One ratings. It often puts out HD versions of a programs at a latter date for the same reason.

    I wonder why Match of the Day is not broadcast in HD when the matches are available in HD on Sky. I would not have thought it would cost very much more to do that.

    I am glad you have a goal for all sport to be HD by 2012. I seem to remember the BBC saying that all of its output would be HD by 2010.

  • Comment number 77.

    Hello again Trevor...

    I've just spoken to our F1 team and they confirm that no HD world feed is available, though they say there may have been one or two experiments in the past and/or some "upconversion". But we promise we're not wilfully avoiding HD.

    There's no issue about the ratings for BBC One v the HD channel: we'd like as much as possible of what we do to be in HD, and all the 'mainland' Six Nations games will be simulcast on BBC One and HD this season. The same applies to Wimbledon and events available to us in HD this year such as the World Athletics Championships.

    On Match Of The Day and some other programmes: we can usually only do HD from OBs because of the need still to update infrastructure in Television Centre. But next year's World Cup will be in HD as will the Carling Cup final stages - and our new broadcasting centre in Manchester will be fully HD.

  • Comment number 78.

    Thanks for the blog.

    Please keep up the pressure to got F1 in HD. I would have thought advertising on BBC in HD would be a Marketing no-brainier. They seem to be willing to spend a fortune on HD football on Sky.

  • Comment number 79.

    Thanks for the updates Roger. It's frustrating that F1 won't be in HD seeing as other sports seem to manage it just fine (A1GP for example). Maybe one day....

  • Comment number 80.

    Another thank you for this blog, Roger. Your involvement in the comments is superb!

    With regard to the F1 not being available in HD, I echo the comments above: Please keep the pressure on FOM. It is widely believed that they have been ready to go for some time in terms of equipment.

    In reply to Trevor (#76), F1 broadcasters showing the sport on HD channels are all upscaling with one exception. Sky Italia, ORF, Speed, TSN and Network Ten to name just a few are all desperately awaiting an HD World Feed just like the BBC.

    F1inCinema which you refer to was similarly upscaled. The only difference was that FOM provided separate smaller graphics.

    There is only one race and one channel showing any F1 in true HD. The Japanese GP is locally produced by Fuji Television, and they broadcast in 1080i on their premium channels. For whatever reason, FOM/Fuji do not let other channels use this High Definition feed, which has been available since 2006.

  • Comment number 81.

    I too would second calls for BBC to pick up MLB from Five with johnny and josh as they are great double act and I don't think there too expensive.

    Any chance that the BBC will ever have joint live coverage of the play off for the championship.

  • Comment number 82.

    I know BBC would never take up this option. But if the World Feed isn't offered in HD by the FOM, can you at please put it on the F1HD channel upscalled? I hate having to find ways to watch American SPEED broadcasts because its in a much better resolution we get through the dish. I could live with that for the time being!

    Also - what about an 'Onboard channel' will this be offered via Red Button (in widescreen!) and via iPlayer? It works great with the German PayTV broadcaster 'Premiere'. They also provide the worldfeed with no commentary, although I love the commentary that Martin & the gang will provide, just sometimes you want to hear the roar of the engines on their own tune.


  • Comment number 83.

    Thanks for your response, WebbyFoxes.

    Just to make it clear, I specifically mentioned the highlights programme as I was very disappointed that the obvious stories of the round - Chelsea/Southend, Hartlepool/Stoke, Torquay/Blackpool and City/Forest were given such a small amount of time and exposure. Surely, they are what the Cup is all about (particularly the 3rd round).

    These matches were all in the latter half of the Programme behind a numberof other matches including a nil-nil all Premier League draw (Hull/Newcastle) and Liverpool's defeat of Preston which had been shown live earlier anyway!

    In my view, this was poor and, I imagine, very frustrating for many of the Blackpool, Forest, Southend and Hartlepool fans who deserved better.

  • Comment number 84.

    Hi Roger

    In light of ITV pulling out of the boat race - is this something you will be looking at bringing back to your schedules? Would be a crying shame if this historic event did not stay on television.

  • Comment number 85.

    Roger, I'm assuming you're not commenting on the Boat Race and American Sports because you are looking into the rights of them. If not, please do comment.

    With regards the F1 blog, is that kicking off soon to get the car launches?

    With regards Golf coverage, will the format be much the same this year with Gary L leading with support from Hazel Irvine?

  • Comment number 86.

    Jordan D: that's the "when did you stop beating your wife?" question!

    F1 blogs and all other F1 activity will be announced formally next month. So we'll fill in the kind of detail that r4gm4n in #82 and others are asking for. We appreciate the comments so far - the F1 team have been reading them too - and we'll be offering a lot of opportunity to debate and comment.

    Shades846 in #81: we'll have play-off highlights from next season, but what will be an interesting opportunity is having a live first-pick game on the final day of the Championship season.

  • Comment number 87.

    Hi Roger,

    We are avid moto gp fans, and are getting a little worried about the level of coverage that the BBC will provide.

    Last year Eurosport provided coverage of the pre-season practice, and all practice and qualifying sessions for 125, 250 and MotoGP.

    I have scoured the bbc websites but cannot seem to find any detail on the level of coverage you will provide, and how much of it will be live. Or if it will be covered on 5Live.

    Appreciate your response.

  • Comment number 88.

    It was great you tried to do something different with Ski Sunday last year, and great you've admitted it didn't work and gone back to the drawing board this year - but still half the season has been missed, and I assume (probably incorrectly) the BBC have picked up some of the rights C4 seem to have ditched.

    I'd also love to see more of the other winter sports on the BBC, especially a bit of curling and bobsleigh/luge/skeleton, where with the right support there's usually a Brit or two in with a chance of winning something - and more exposure would only be good for British Winter sports in general.

    Will you be in Berlin for the Athletics this year or based in London? I know perhaps the pockets aren't as deep as they once were, but coverage of the last championships from the London studio really did lose something because of it.

  • Comment number 89.

    I agree with Brekkie regarding the Winter Sport comments. We have potential medalists at the Winter Olympics and yet I can hardly remember their names owing to the lack of mainstream coverage. Even a results round up each week would be better than nothing!

    And still no response to my earlier question about racing. Obviously I was right - or perhaps you are in contract negotiating mode still? Any chance of getting the Cheltenham Festival back?

    One final rights query. I know the Heineken Cup Rugby live rights are to be with Sky&Setanta but is their any news on who will be showing the highlights?

  • Comment number 90.

    Hela_G in #87: our MotoGP coverage will be in line with last year, so the main races live on BBC channels and then a wide range of supporting programming on the red button. Our scheduling of MotoGP has, of course, increased in recent years with more races on BBC One and the majority of the rest on BBC Two.

    The good news for motorsport fans is that from mid-March to November there's only a very small handful of weekends when there won't be top-quality live action on the BBC; and overwhelmingly F1 and MotoGP complement each other and don't clash.

    Both F1 and MotoGP will be on iPlayer.

    Gary-E in #89: we're still operating under the old racing contract so the schedule is as last year.

    Gary-E and Brekkie in #88: well, we hope the new Ski Sunday/High Altitude format will work - and we're looking at ways of building towards the Winter Olympics.

    Brekkie - the World Athletics will be presented from Berlin. It was the combination of the expense and the timezone that made us stay in London for the last Worlds, but obviously the time works really well for us from Germany and we'll have extensive live coverage at a time people can watch.

  • Comment number 91.

    I am from Argentina and I am looking for your tv programm "Foreign fields
    BBC Two 26 May 2100 BST
    The third and final programme in the series examines the growing social impact of hooligan groups in Italy and Argentina." I am making a research about barras bravas and would like to see your tv program.

  • Comment number 92.

    For as much as I respect people wishing to get more NFL, Skiing, etc on mainstream broadcasters it only seems to further highlight the ridiculous situation that British Football is in. There is no live domestic English, Scottish or Welsh football on terrestrial channels except for the ocassional FA Cup game. Its by far the biggest sport in the country, and the only way I can watch it is if I can find a spare ~£480 a year to pay Sky for the privilege, or if I go to the pub so I can be encouraged to drink myself stupid.

    Is there any news on what I read a few months ago that more important sporting fixtures would be included, so that not only the Olympics, World Cup and Euros would be guaranteed to be available to terrestrial viewers?

  • Comment number 93.

    A good selection, I'm rather looking forward to a summer of cricket, F1 and rugby league! Are there any plans to extend coverage of Challenge Cup ties to more than just the two main ones and (very) brief highlights of one or two others, or have I actually missed the brodcast of such action?

    Here's to the Super League show finding a nationwide slot that's not stuck somewhere in the wee small hours as it is for us poor Scots residents.


  • Comment number 94.

    Thanks for the answers Roger - good to know you'll be at the scene for the World Athletics Champs - now all we need is some athletes who can actually win something!

    Also a relatively minor issue but although for non-specific events the BBC Sport interactive service is now somewhat improved, it didn't seem as effective for flagship events such as Wimbledon and the Olympics as previous specific services had. I think the content was still there, but it wasn't always as easy to find.

    Also if possible I'd love to see the live updated highlights feature return during the Six Nations on Freeview, something I believe is much more useful than wasting a stream to provide an alternative commentary.

  • Comment number 95.

    Fantastic seeing someone actually replying to our questions.

    Mine is about F1 - why, in a world where we the viewer can select which camera we view on football (does it still happen on sky? it did ages ago) and we can select which match we watch at wimbledon, will we still be at the mercy of the "turkish director" in the formula one?

    will we be getting a local feed for local people, or something a little more balanced?

    finally - more athletics (although you are great on this), ANY Ice Hockey would be nice.

    Less darts please.

  • Comment number 96.

    Hello evergrowingbrain - the names on here keep getting better...

    F1 races have a global feed that all rightsholding broadcasters carry. However - as the interactive options grow, people will be able to use their screens to add the kind of things you mention.

    For instance, I was talking to someone in a technical job this week and they were running through how the growth of IPTV - the mix of broadband/web with conventional TV - will allow viewers to construct their own split screens for many events.

    On athletics - we've just signed a new long-term deal with UK Athletics.

    Cheekbones in #93: we usually do two matches per round of the Challenge Cup, yes. The addition to our Rugby League coverage this year will be two live internationals from the Four Nations. Meanwhile, the Super League show will continue on iPlayer for people UK-wide to watch on demand.

    Cryotek in #92: the government has now set up the review of listed events under the chairmanship of David Davies, formerly of the FA. I'm sure there'll be a public consultation - and the broadcasters and rightsholders will be making their representations too.

  • Comment number 97.

    An excellent debate. Great news about the lower leagues next season but will you fill the MOTD gap on FACup days with league footy that would be great and be good for the league.
    Looking forward to F1coverage but please try and get some cricket even if it is overseas tour highlites it would be a good addition.

  • Comment number 98.

    Hi Roger,

    I've a question about the F1 coverage. As the practice sessions will be on the red button, we won't be able to record this coverage with Sky+/Sky+HD boxes.

    Sky Sports have a special recording function that they use for their Football First coverage. There, when you select record, you can chose which one of several interactive feeds you want to record. This isn't currently available for programming via BBCi. Would it be possible to enable this function for BBCi?

    The other option would be to add the BBCi feeds to the Sky EPG. Would this be considered?

    With most people working Fridays (when most of the F1 practice sessions take place), it would be a great shame if we all missed out simply because there was no way of recording your extensive coverage. Think of the economy as well - Mr Brown wont be happy if everyone's skiving off work as the only way to watch your coverage (!)

    I look forward to your response!

  • Comment number 99.

    I would suggest that the BBC capatilise on the ludicrous decison of five to axe its coverage of the MLB. The show has such a cult following, especially amongst students, and the presenters have recieved much acclaim for their presnting work that i feel this would be a wonderful oppertunity to invest in a growing sport, and not let it add to the growing list of sports not shown on terrestrial television.

    Please reply to this comment if their are any developments regarding this topic.

  • Comment number 100.

    Hello Roger,

    Great to seen you taking the time to answer questions i have a small question for you even though it has been over 10 days now i was wondering why 5live did not cover Tottenham v Wigan in the FA Cup?

    According to the BBC Press office this game was scheduled for live commentary on 5live and also on Radio Times.

    A bit of a geeky question i must admit but interesting nevertheless.


Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.