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

Match of the Day heads towards 50

Post categories:

Barbara Slater Barbara Slater | 15:05 UK time, Friday, 25 May 2012

Today marks a very proud moment for BBC Sport with the announcement by the FA Premier League that we have extended our TV highlights contract until the end of the 2015/16 season. This is one of BBC Sport's key contracts and our new deal will see 'Match of the Day' celebrate its 50th birthday. We know how much licence fee payers value the programme and it remains one of the BBC's best-loved and iconic brands. We've seen audiences for Match of the Day grow in recent years in conjunction with our extensive football coverage on 5 live, the market-leading BBC Sport website and via our regular sports news bulletins.

Over the last 12 months there has been plenty of discussion about BBC Sport's relocation from London to the north west of England but more recently the spotlight has fallen on sports rights and the question being asked by many of you - how can BBC Sport with its reduced budget hope to compete for the best sport rights? You may have seen the article in the Guardian which posed exactly this question.

Match of the Day

Today's announcement is a timely and very clear response to that question. In a nutshell our strategy is to be the home of sporting moments that unite the nation and I hope we've demonstrated this through our other recent acquisitions. To add to our renewal of the Premier League TV highlights we have also secured:

Wimbledon Championships to 2017: extending our partnership with the AELTC to the 90 year mark, the longest ever in the history of sports broadcasting. Our coverage of this iconic event is complemented by our broadcast of the AEGON Championships from The Queen's Club (to 2017) and the ATP Tour Finals.
Six Nations Rugby Union Championship to 2017: a tournament that every year brings the nations of the UK together in a popular yet fiercely competitive way, quite unlike anything else the BBC does.
Open Golf Championship to 2016: over 40 hours of HD coverage will be shown this year delivered by in excess of 60 BBC cameras located around the Royal Lytham & St Annes course. This contract sits alongside a three year agreement for coverage of the Masters and a four-tournament deal for the Ryder Cup through to 2018.
Euro 2012 & Fifa World Cup 2014: the two biggest international football tournaments will both be broadcast live across the BBC's TV, radio and online services.
Formula 1 to 2018: the new shared rights deal is bedding down with strong audiences for both the live races and extended highlights.
London Olympics 2012 & Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014: two major international sporting events both on UK soil over the next two years.
World Athletics Championships: a deal which includes the return in 2017 of the world's elite athletes to the magnificent Olympic stadium in Stratford.
Test Match Special to 2019: a unique part of BBC Sport's output for over 50 years. Distinctive, innovative and full of wit and charm, completely at home in a digital age. This season we are also providing live commentary every week of county cricket matches on 5 live sports extra.
Rugby League Challenge Cup to 2016: continuing a successful relationship with the sport that extends now for over half a century.
London Marathon to 2018: one of the most important events in the athletics calendar and an integral part of BBC Sport's cross-platform strategy. We have also extended our rights to cover the Great North Run to 2018.

This is not a comprehensive list as there are many other sports that provide genuine breadth to BBC Sport's rights portfolio and are much loved by audiences - Football League highlights, snooker, darts and MotoGP are just a few such examples.

With a finite budget our aim is to secure the most iconic and treasured events for the longer term. We believe that the BBC has a compelling story to tell rights holders about what we can bring to their sport; and that goes beyond just paying a competitive rights fee. The exposure that the BBC offers a sport is unrivalled by any other broadcaster in the UK - the 13 million-plus unique browsers of our sport website every week, the 6 million-plus listeners of 5 live, our extensive sports news coverage and the buy-in from across the breadth and depth of the BBC's services.

I was shown some research recently that also brought home this point - in the digital world where 24-hour TV sports channels proliferate, the BBC may have accounted for only 2% of total sports broadcast hours last year but we delivered over 40% of total sports viewing hours.

So there is now huge choice for audiences and we know from our research that licence fee payers expect to see high quality sport on the BBC. But a reduced budget should not be seen as a weakened commitment to sport - the BBC will be spending more than £2 billion on sport over the next five years.

We are also very privileged to have received a significant investment recently in order to build our new production base in Salford. Match of the Day, Football Focus, Final Score, 5 live Sport, our sports news output, the BBC Sport website, the Red Button and connected TV services are all up and running. Even our big outside broadcasts - including the London Olympics and Euro 2012 - could not happen without the critical back engine in Salford.

BBC Sport's commitment to serious and robust sports journalism is an integral part of our future strategy. If you are reading an article on the BBC Sport website, watching a sports bulletin on the News Channel or listening to one on the World Service, the production will be taking place from the new flagship 'BBC Sport Centre'. The BBC Sport Centre has been configured to put the production facilities on show - as the on-screen backdrop and visitors to the site will testify. When you next catch a news bulletin, look at the screens behind the presenter to see all the live sports feeds coming in from every corner of the globe. The global weekly reach of the BBC Sport Centre is now well in excess of the 100 million mark - we hope you like the new look.

BBC Sports News

We have been treated to some fantastic football in recent weeks. With all the drama and tension of the final day of the Premier League, the Football League play offs and the Champions League final it might be easy to forget that another major football tournament, Euro 2012, kicks off in a little over two weeks time. BBC Sport will again be providing extensive coverage on BBC TV, radio and via the BBC Sport website.

There is a lot of sport to look forward to on the BBC in the coming months and of course the greatest show on earth comes to London in just 63 days' time. Why not find out more about the Torch Relay and the 2500 hours of sporting action we have on offer...



  • Comment number 1.

    Such good news about MOTD. Hope you realize how much it means to those of us who simply can't justify Sky's filthy dollar, and consider most everything to be ruined by ITV's tabloid presenters and mind numbing adverts. Now if you can just get Mr Lawrenson out of those figure hugging, shiny shirts all will be well!

  • Comment number 2.

    Would it ever be possible to get the rights to show one off cricket county championship matches on the red button? As this is rarely shown on sky and is far better than the T20, which is everywhere.

  • Comment number 3.

    We know how much licence fee payers value the programme and it remains one of the BBC's best-loved and iconic brands. We've seen audiences grow in recent years in conjunction with our extensive coverage on 5 live, the market-leading BBC Sport website and via our regular sports news bulletins.

    Spin, pure and simple. All of that could have been said about the BBC's live Formula 1 coverage, but when you made the decision to walk away from your contract early in order to do a deal with Sky, you decided to stay quiet. In fact, you haven't made a blog post here since 2009, Barbara. It must be nice to have a job where you can deliver good news to fans and then maintain a wall of silence when there is bad news.
  • Comment number 4.

    Not to have a moan so happy that World Athletics is back from 2015. However I can't believe the amount you are paying for Match of the Day which are highlights not live sport. You have lost live sport like half of Formula One, Horse Racing and French Open tennis which could have been retained instead of this deal.

  • Comment number 5.

    Great news that EPL is still available FTA. And it only cost £180M for a four year deal for a HIGHLIGHTS package. Please remind me how much the BBC was paying for F1's EXCLUSIVE LIVE package with all the highlights thrown in, full radio and internet coverage of all races etc. Please remind the paying public which of these two sports has the highest viewing figures. Please remind us which one of these two sports the BBC as won awards for it's broadcasting.

    The BBC have paid roughly the same amount for a highlights package that can't be shown at peak times as they did for an exclusive live deal to show F1.

    At least the licence payers can rest easily at night knowing that the BBC have spent their money "wisely" in showing two world class sports both in a half cocked way.

    Congratulations Ms Slater.

  • Comment number 6.

    Whatever way you try to dress it up, it's a feeble and pathetic list compared to yesteryear. Remember when BBC didn't waste such money on rubbish like The Voice and yet-another-detective-drama? There used to be cricket, the FA Cup, International football, full F1 season. Now you resort to boasting about London Marathon coverage and how you've retained highlights... whoop de do.

    I don't see the reason for these blogs boasting about BBC sport coverage because it is quite simply an embarrasment. A poor effort on the BBC's behalf and inevitably more sport will be lost while they attempt to fund another dreaded reality show or another 'original' detective drama with Martin Shaw or whoever. Face it BBC, you're useless.

  • Comment number 7.

    quite selfish views at post 4 and 5 and they just go to prove that the BBC is damned by some whatever it does. simple fact is that football is the national sport and, if the BBC didn't have this deal, football fans would hardly see any of it on the BBC. by contrast, the F1 fans at least get to see half a season live and extended highlights for the rest. as someone who loves football and finds f1 dull as ditch water, what do I get? don't get me wrong i'm sorry the bbc lost f1 for the fans who enjoyed it and the sky deal is wrong if their were other FTA broadcasters up for taking the whole package but what your left with is a damn sight more than what football fans get.

  • Comment number 8.

    This is the blog I've been waiting for!

    I am an avid watcher of MOTD, as it is the closest thing I get to live football every weekend. I try my hardest to make sure I sit down at 22:30 unaware of the events of the day (I managed this on the last weekend of this season which made for compelling viewing!).

    It usually means a very dull Saturday, as it means certain TV channels, checking email, facebook, radio, texts from certain individuals are all out of bounds.

    I'm sure you can see why it irks me greatly when a result is spoiled for me before I get to see it for myself. On a few occasions, BBC themself has - pardon the pun - dropped the ball, which infruriates me greatly.

    Avoiding the Sports section at the end of the News is a tricky one but I have coped with that for years. However, towards the end of this season (Wed Apr 11), there was a catastrophic obversight: the two games involving Manchester were shown first, followed by the Wolves v Arsenal game. Having seen Man Utd drop points, Man City won their game, and to put into context the fans' wild celebrations, the day's results on the stadium's big screen were displayed, including the games yet to be shown!

    I've already had a good old rant at one of your colleagues on the complaints line, and spoke to my aunt about it who works for BBC Sport. I am satisfied that this was simply a gross oversight, but could answer a couple of questions for me?

    1. I suggested MOTD move to BBC2 so as not to be right behind the news, but my aunt says less people will watch it than on BBC1. Why is that?

    2. I don't know if this in your area but please tell Mr Lineker to stop giving cryptic clues before each match. If he could simply introduce the matches, it would help greatly in reducing my paranoia!

  • Comment number 9.

    Match of the Day? Yeah it's good and everything but that money could have been used on keeping F1 exclusively on the BBC as well as retaining horse racing rights. No matter how much you spin this (and this article is spin at it's best/worst) BBC Sport has shown further evidence of being the declining, feeble department that it has turned into under Slater's guidance. What a terrible legacy.

  • Comment number 10.

    Great news about MOTD, unfortunately though you completely messed up in your decision to give up the rights to F1 early. The BBC really does employ complete imbeciles it would seem.

  • Comment number 11.

    £180,000,000 for 4 years of highlights? You've been ripped off there. The EPL really saw you coming.

  • Comment number 12.

    Not really selfish Football is well served on ITV with Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League, England matchs all live. There still is an awful lot of Football on TV and while I take your point that its the national sport I do think that the BBC should concentrate on live sport.
    They have to make their choices with the money they have got but highlights are always second best to live sport.

  • Comment number 13.

    @11 Murray

    Completely agree seems ridiculously expensive.

    £60m pa is more that ITV are paying for the Champions League from next season and is only £9m pa less than Sky are paying for 75 LIVE games from the football league/league cup/JP Trophy.

    £65m I think would of got you the ECB contract Sky has done (£260m over 4 years) which gives you all test matches/ODIs/T20s including some women's games (surely something the BBC should be bringing to a wider audience) and on top of that a bucket load domestic cricket LIVE.

    I read that last time around the BBC massively outbid it's rivals and it seems to have done the same again. I believe this alone is more than Channel 5's entire sports budget, was there any real competition?

    It seems the BBC have cut elsewhere to keep this expensive dinosaur going. The format is tired the presenter/pundits dreadful (and by all accounts not exactly cheap!).

  • Comment number 14.

    Great news. Always loved MOTD. BUT....get rid of Hanson & Lawrenson - dinosaurs. Consign them to the golf course with their mate, King Kenny!

  • Comment number 15.

    Huuray! MOTD is currently one of the most watched BBC Sport programs on the BBC and it's very good that BBC has renewed it's contract. Every single football fan in the UK will be very happy with this news. Will MOTD be shown in 3D with the new contract?

  • Comment number 16.

    "Today marks a very proud moment for BBC Sport..." - What? That it's done what was expected of it? Well done you.
    Nice to see that MotD will be on the iPlayer now, but why can it only go up on midnight on Monday? What was wrong with getting it to be put up after MotD had come off air? What do the Premier League gain by not letting you show it until a few days after airing live on TV?

    Also, what's wrong with doing a Match of the Day for when there's a monday night fixture, or a couple of midweek games? They gave you 'special dispensation' to do it for the Man Utd - Man City fixture this season, why can't you do it all the time?
    Doesn't even have to be a feature show, get any anyone to introduce it, Chappers will do, or jump straight into the highlights. And leave out the analysis. Then stick it on BBC2 or BBC3 even. Can't be that difficult.

    You talk about prioritising, yet you're boasting about having London Marathon coverage, Snooker, Darts, MotoGP and Football League highlights. All of which must have pretty low viewing figures (especially FL show, which you managed to make even worse than ITV did).
    Why not make cuts to these to either get full F1 coverage again, FA cup rights, or Champions League rights? Which (imo) are 'bigger events', which you seem to say you are more interested in.

    Rant over. Any answers to these questions would be appreciated.

  • Comment number 17.

    Great news on MOTD contract, now perhaps renew the presenters contracts to a more realistic level based on value for money or maybe its time for new blood.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm glad that F1 was partly sacrificed for some of the other sports on that list. F1 always got a disproportionately good deal from the BBC (practice & qualifying shown live, 50-min trail before race begins). Sometimes F1 fans really didn't know how good they had it. And now they benefit from the depth that Sky can provide.

    Glad that the BBC have kept Premier League highlights, but MOTD desperately needs freshening up. The punditry feels like it's dropped away in the last couple of years (Alan Shearer in particular). It's a national treasure, it shouldn't be allowed to wither away.

  • Comment number 19.

    I've now read elsewhere (from someone who works for ITV admittedly) that there were no other bidders is that true? The BBC really know how to drive a hard bargain!!

  • Comment number 20.

    Oh Dear! Where does one start?

    "This is one of BBC Sport's key contracts"

    May one ask what are the rest? Or is it a secret - like the ones you claim when responding to FOI requests?

    "We've seen audiences for Match of the Day grow in recent years"

    But that was even more true of your F1 coverage. Obviously that carries no weight as you would have kept F1 if it did. So why mention it here? SPIN?

    "in conjunction with our extensive football coverage on 5 live, the market-leading BBC Sport website and via our regular sports news bulletins.”

    I'm sorry - could you explain how LIVE bulletins, LIVE Radio and LIVE web helps the audience grow for a HIGHLIGHTS package when all of the former mean everyone (apparently) already knows the results? SPIN?

    "Over the last 12 months there has been plenty of discussion about BBC Sport's relocation from London to the north west of England"

    There may have been at the BBC, but most people (presenters excepted) don't care where you produce the program from - merely what you produce. Sorry to spoil your illusion that we care where you work!

    "In a nutshell our strategy is to be the home of sporting moments that unite the nation"

    So how do you think that RECORDED coverage of what is basically a club vs. club competition can unite the nation? Surely, if anything, it will have the opposite effect: London club vs. Manchester club; Manchester club vs. Liverpool club etc. Do you mean unite the nation as in everyone hates Man City / Man Utd / Arsenal etc?

    BTW - when you say nation which one are you referring to? I can't see MOTD covering the ENGLISH premier league uniting England and Scotland. And what about all of the Welsh teams? And the Irish?

    More SPIN?

    "we have also secured :"

    • Wimbledon Championships Full of Brits - that'll unite the country!

    • Six Nations Rugby Union Championship What's that run to? 3 games a weekend for 5 weeks?

    • Open Golf Championship to 2016: over 40 hours of HD coverage will be shown this year ... a three year agreement for coverage of the Masters and a four-tournament deal for the Ryder Cup through to 2018. Just a thought but NOW you mention HD - is it (implied at least) not HD for everything else? I notice you also seem to have not bothered stating if these are LIVE events (like Wimbledon)

    • Euro 2012 & Fifa World Cup 2014: the two biggest international football tournaments will both be broadcast live across the BBC's TV, radio and online services. Ah - now the LIVE word is back!

    • Formula 1 to 2018: the new shared rights deal is bedding down with strong audiences for both the live races and extended highlights. Does "bedding down well" mean "audiences on a par with last year"? Or is it an attempt to disguise "with much lower audiences"?

    This is not a comprehensive list No I'm sure it's not - but equally I'm sure you mentioned everything you could that you thought would sound good!

    Would you like to clarify how many of these events that you have "secured" are actually protected events which you have to be amateurs to lose?

    "the 13 million-plus unique browsers of our sport website every week" Shame - when this information was requested following the relaunch of the Sports Web Site (and indeed made the subject of an FOI request) - the response was "privileged information we don't have to release". Could it be that you've had an exceptionally good week so, now the figures have peaked, you are prepared to trumpet them? How about the full picture since relaunch of the site?

    Frankly you piece just down downhill (rapidly) but there's one final thought for you. You say:

    "We have been treated to some fantastic football in recent weeks. With all the drama and tension of the final day of the Premier League, the Football League play offs and the Champions League final it might be easy to forget that another major football tournament, Euro 2012, kicks off in a little over two weeks time. BBC Sport will again be providing extensive coverage on BBC TV, radio and via the BBC Sport website.”

    Surely you are not trying to associate the BBC with the drama of the Champions League Final - after all it was on ITV!

    You say you're spending £2bn over the next 5 years - that covers 2 Olympics. Would you care to say how much is being spent on just these 4 or 5 weeks? And (football excluded) how much will be left for other sports over the other 255 weeks?

  • Comment number 21.

    So glad you got rid of F1, which was shown for three boring hours, then repeated or highlights later on bbc2 then again on digital channel.
    So we ended up with total overkill and about seven hours on a Sunday while no other sport got a look in.
    We could have so many more sports on TV if you didn't waste so much of OUR money on overpaid, boring, useless presenters.
    We don't need them to be big stars before TV, just look to Coleman, Waring and Walker for examples and save some money.
    You got rid of that overpaid host called Jonathon Ross, now do the same with the sports shows.
    I see even newsreaders are earning 100k a year, no wonder the bbc has no money, the government should cut their donation further till you make further cuts to presenter / commentators pay.

  • Comment number 22.

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

  • Comment number 23.

    "treated to some fantastic football in recent weeks".
    i think not, none of it was live, real football fans already knew the results.
    MOTD is a waste of time, watching five to ten minutes of a match isn't worth watching as it is just the biased editors opinion which dictates what he shows.
    Fans want to see the incidents they saw at their teams game to see what really happened, yet MOTD seldom does this except for the so called 'top five'.
    Top events on the bbc exclude LIVE England soccer home & away games and highlights.
    No Test matches, No Cricket world cup, how the hell can you not show the world cup?????
    No TT coverage yet ITV can show it.
    Football league games at 01.00 in the morning, no wonder only a million watch it, why not show it on sunday morning instead of the boring replay of MOTD.
    No Speedway league or GP coverage yet it is one of our top attended sports.
    No womens football, not even showing tomorrow's FA Cup final which you have screened in previous years, so you've discriminated against the women by making cutbacks but not the men's game.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm a fan of MOTD and regular watcher…BUT paying a £180 million is an absolute disgrace. It's not as if you are showing any live matches.

    Also why didn't you consider dropping the London Marathon. Same old thing every year. Why not cover some other sport (just once if need be) just for a change.

    At the end of the day doesn't matter what we say here as it will be ignored anyway. I think the BBC Trust should be investigated for allowing you to get away with this waste of money.

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm curious as to whether any questions will be answered. After all as licence fee payers don't we have a right to them?

    Barbara or whoever looks at these comments, I suggest you address our concerns. Or maybe you have no answers for us?

  • Comment number 26.

    Good news, thank you BBC, you are the best sports broadcaster by a country mile, over television, radio and Internet.

    Yes it does seem expensive and is galling that the greed of the EPL drastically reduces the sports budget. However, as a Norwich fan, I don't think I could stand watching 'the premiership' again with their shoddy punditry and intentionally louder advertisements.

    I am saddened that there isn't more live sport on the BBC, I grew up with 'Grandstand', which I think influenced my active lifestyle. However, I agree with 18 -Graham, F 1 fans have had it good for a long time. I am fond of motor sports but there needs to be a better balance, showing a range of sports that are easier for youngsters to get involved in.

  • Comment number 27.

    Delighted that BBC kept MOTD. Good job that Cameron didn't agree to emasculate the BBC and let News Corp buy BSkyB.

  • Comment number 28.

    When did the BBC last add a new sporting event to its repertoire? MotoGP back in about 2004, by my reckoning. Ever since, everything has been scaled down or lost completely. Interesting that you consider the London Marathon to be more of a prestige event than the World Snooker Championships, I'd love to compare the viewing figures of those

  • Comment number 29.

    MOTD is desperately in need of a makeover. For a programme of approx 90mins there cant be more than about 20mins of football in the whole programme. Every bit of play is repeated 3 times in the match footage and then at least once more for the "experts" to comment on. Post match interviews are so predictable they lost any interest years ago.

    How's about this for an idea. Actually show some of the football highlights you have paid so much money for. 10-15 mins of each game, minimal replays. Linekar can still say a couple of words to camera to say who's playing and provide some background noise for the league table, the comments of the hansen, lawrenson, shearer etc are of no interest to anyone as they lack both insight and authority.

  • Comment number 30.

    I don't think I watch MOTD once last year without using sky+ to compress it to under 30mins.

  • Comment number 31.

    Typical stupid license fee payers. Thinking you know exactly what's right for the country and what we should all watch.

    I'm just guessing here but I think if BBC had lost MOTD there would have been an enormous outcry and worries of returning to the dreaded ITV version. Yes I agree it's an enormous amount of money for highlights but the BBC can't afford to not get Match of the Day; it's a vital institution. They tried bidding less a few years ago and look what happened.

    How about this, the people complaining try dealing with budget cuts, a rival with vastly more spending power AND trying to cater for the needs of 60 million people. You might find it's not as easy as some of you seem to think.

    So how about stop ranting and appreciate that the BBC does a good job under difficult circumstances?

  • Comment number 32.

    #21 totally agree - more sport, less overpaid presenters - and you can also include the BBC news.
    You have a "No.10" news story - you go to avout 2 political reporters, then another politcal presenter and then a politcal editor all repeating what the other repoter has just previously said
    MOTD is just as bad all that gets mentioned are the top 5 teams as I would bet the so called experts don't know anything (or very little) about the other 15 teams

    Your red button final score coverage is an embarrasment compared to Sky's equivelent

    Measuring BBC sport as a football team would put it relegalated to the lower leagues

  • Comment number 33.

    Everyone thinks they know better than the refree, everyone thinks they could be England manager and everyone thinks they can run a TV company.

    FACT-The BBC is facing severe cut backs (not before time)
    FACT-Football is the national sport and they had to keep it (and by the way in answer to the question about F1/Football viewing figures the answer is that MOTD as a highlights show got more than live F1)
    The BBC is still a wasteful animal but just because you want more F1 or less Reality TV or more Cookery or less Gardening doesn't mean you are right-it just means the BBC will never please all the people all of the time.

    By the way totally disagree with 16 re Football League Show it is SO much better than ITV's but totally agree it should be shown instaed of Sunday repeat of MOTD.

    Finally Barbara mentions the new Manchester Sports Centre-what a bloody mess. More screens than NASA Control and takes your eye of what you should be looking at.

  • Comment number 34.


    It's not stupid to question the BBC spending a vast amount of money when there were apparently no other bidders.

    Of course people would moan initially if MOTD was lost (although if there was no other bidders that may not of happened) this would pass if they had been ambitious with that money and gone for some blue riband LIVE sport.

    Obviously they didn't and have kept MOTD which is a stale format from another era. For instance we can all view the goals of the day for free at 5.15 via ESPN Goals (and other more illicit means). Waiting for 10:30 (and later if your team isn't one of the favoured ones) for highlights followed by paper thin analysis from the old boys club is just archaic. That's before your get into the even more lightweight and inane MOTD2!

    All I can hope is that they take this opportunity to completely change the programme but I'm not holding my breath.

  • Comment number 35.

    Steven Number 7

    Do you work for the BBC as i cannot take your comment seriously. Football fans hardly see ANY football on the BBC anyway and dont forget they will be seeing less next season anyway as live coverage of the League cup final and semi finals have gone along with the live championship games.

    And as for this announcement Ms Slater well as others have said in the last year the BBC as well as losing the contract above have lost half F1 coverage. their remaining LIVE european tour golf. French open tennis and the BIGGEST LOSS to BBC sport since you started losing events on a regular basis in 1993 namely the Grand National. How much has is cost to move your news and sports output to Salford-we dont want trendy media city studios we went live sport.

    The BBC used to be the superme example in how to broadcast sport but no longer sadly as the corporation now treats its remaining sports contracts with contempt- one example the world snooker championships for the evening session you showed 30 minutes at prime time then cut away to a REPEAT of a cookery show.

    The only decent ANNUAL contracts BBC sport still has are Wimbledon and the Open championship ( and i believe the R&A have already been making noises about going elsewhere) we cannot of course count the 6 nations as the best teams in the world do not compete.


  • Comment number 36.


    You say

    "FACT-Football is the national sport and they had to keep it (and by the way in answer to the question about F1/Football viewing figures the answer is that MOTD as a highlights show got more than live F1)"

    I'd like to see that broken down where. Take a look at some ratings from last season before the new deal with Sky (share in brackets)...


    Race (including a change partway through to BBC 2) - 6.12m (26.3%) 5 minute peak - 8.48m


    Race - 4.89m (43.1%) 5 minute peak - 6.7m

    Race - 4.10m (34.0%) 5 minute peak - 5.78m

    Race - 4.34m (35.4%) 5 minute peak - 5.74m


    Race - 4.8m (27.2%) 5 minute peak: 6.1m

    I believe the overall average for the races was 4.55m. I don't the MOTD ratings to hand but here are a couple I can find for comparison

    14th August (first of the season) 3.953 m (28%)
    13th May (last of the season) 4.06 (31.2%) peak 5.6 m.

    And here a MOTD 2 from 11th March - 3.4m (19.3%)

  • Comment number 37.


  • Comment number 38.

    Match of the Day is a fantastic programme. To be honest though, I've never been able to understand how channels like ESPN can outbid the BBC for live premier league coverage.

    The BBC accrues £145.50 from every home in the country yet they are unable to attain any live rights for Premier League football or Cricket and they are slowly having their excellent Formula 1 coverage broken up too.

    Sadly it appears that the people who run the BBC would rather invest in D list celebrities who cannot dance and documentaries about teenagers who are too fat to lift their remote controls. A once great broadcaster is slowly becoming a joke.

    Look at your audience and realise that top class sport will attract far more viewers and satisfy them in a fuller manner. AND STOP SPENDING MY MONEY ON 500 YARD TAXI RIDES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    I realise BBC can not compete for live coverage but why pay linekar, hansen etc millions of pounds a year ? Linekar just introduces the games - hansen etc study action replays hundred times and says ref got it wrong. It is costly and very stale.
    I would have one presenter to introduce matches and two different journalists as pundits each week. MOTD becomes interesting and BBC has millions of pounds to buy live sport.

  • Comment number 40.

    if you want to cut some sports of the budget wouldnt it make sense to cut things like hockey,esquestrain,rock bottom tier of motorsports(cant remember the name of it),bowls,squash,most snooker events,half of the races of motogp,random swimming and diving events i could go on.

    why would you cut things people actually want to see and love,motd is a joke and paying linekar,hansen,lawrenson and that idiot with the glasses on motd2 thoise obcene amount of money is laughable,we are there to watch goals not watch them repeat themselves and stroke each others egos.and why have your blue ribband(pathetic isnt it) football show at 10:30 finishing past those that make sense why not a sensible time like 8/9pm and then 7:30 in the morning in the winter when it is dark and most have a hangover or sleep deprived

    i like the bbc but man it has its priorites messed up to say the least.some of the shows in the primetime slots are disgraceful to say the least,the quality,the general ideas.and cant you cut bbc4 the most pointless channel i have ever witness,even more than itv3 if that is possible

  • Comment number 41.

    BBC Sport are overdue a reality check and need to take note of some of he comments here. MOTD is an over presented highlights show. Where the packaging is probably costing as much as the content. I am a football fan, but get realistic BBC, its the content that's important, not developing Hansen Lineker Lawrenson into almost 'BBC style legends' like''Motty'. They should all be consigned to the history channel, and replaced by current 'talent'. But that won't happen unfortunately, job for life at the BBC.
    39 & 40 spot on

  • Comment number 42.

    I really hope this isn't just another blog that will disappear with no real answers.

    We need to know if the BBC was the only bidder and if so have they just matched the Premier League reserve price without any attempt to negotiate?

    Also why they weren't a bit more ambitious and ditch archaic highlights rights in favour of getting more LIVE high profile rights?

  • Comment number 43.

    wow blog hidden already :)

  • Comment number 44.

    I am pleased to see BBC has retained the Premier League highlights. However I would like to see a fresh presenter and new pundits. Gary Lineker has had his day and now looks a tired presenter. The BBC has a number of good presenters who are not big names but you don't need one - the football itself is the star of the show.

  • Comment number 45.

    While being pleased that MOTD has been secured for all us non-Sky watchers who like Premiership football, can I ask that messrs Lineker, Hansen, Lawrenson and Shearer (who has not done well) be pensioned off and a new team be put in place for the new season. It would hopefully save the extra money the BBC have had to pay. MOTD 2 shows that it can be done while, I assume, not paying ludicrous salaries to people well past their sell by date.

  • Comment number 46.

    Not a critic of the BBC as such, but it would be nice to know that genuine complaints about biased football articles and deliberately misleading information within them were actually taken seriously and addressed. the line between news and comment has become increasingly blurred, but I would much prefer it if the BBC at least stayed true to its principles - and its charter - and kept the two separate.

    in terms of Match of the Day itself, I agree that it is good news that it has been retained on the channel. But I would think it is about time the BBC spent far less of its budget on paying huge salaries to talking heads, particularly where said appointments smack of jobs for the boys and where those boys add very very little to the coverage - it is hard to fathom how on earth Alan Shearer's input carries any real tactical, technical or genuinely informative value whatsoever, for example. yes he can back-up his comments by having been a pro and the England captain, but all the pundits have experience so how about finding people who offer something more? It seems that the BBC is scared to employ genuinely instructive football pundits for fear of showing up the resident talking heads and thus threatening their free meal ticket. it's about time you did something about it.

  • Comment number 47.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters who have suggested it was time to change the presenters and pundits on the Saturday show. Did I read somewhere that Lineker has already jumped ship to a satellite broadcaster? If so, why not have a clear out, is Hansen really on £40,000 per week for his jaundiced views? The mind boggles.

    One other thing, can the editors of the programme show the most entertaining games first. We don't appreciate using the longer slots watching one of the leading clubs playing for a 0 - 0 away draw when there's goals galore in other games.

  • Comment number 48.

    It still doesn't change the reality of how foreign imports and greedy, arrogant prima-donnas have completely destroyed the game in this country at the highest level. No wonder the new England manager has such a dearth of options to choose from. The only thing the Premier League and its executives like Scudamore are interested in are maximising the revenues from Asia and not the abused, naive supporters he expects to fill the UK stadiums to witness antics from mercenaries with no geographical association or loyalty to the clubs they just happen to secure a short term contract with.

  • Comment number 49.

    THis seems to me another way of subsidising an already well funded league. THis act is under the guise of keeping national BRITISH sporting treasures within the view of all people in Britain. As such I can appreciate the British Open Golf, Wimbledon and others such as the British Grand Prix but it does rile me that Match of the Day only features only The English Premiership. I know that after the programme England is well covered by tv details of the Championship, League 1. and League 2. In terms of the SPL in Scotland theargument will be that Scottish BBC cover Scotland but I would suspect that the money allowed is nowhere (pro rata) near what the equivalent premiership team supporter is able to see about their clubs progress. I do not support Rangers or Celtic but even as a supporter of an Edinburgh Club it does seem unfair to me that many of the matches involving those clubs are every bit as a National British Event as X versus Y in the middle of the Premiership. As would Cardiff versus such as Middlesborough for promotion in The Championship.........................Match of The day should be about important BRITISH games throught the UK and NOT the English Premiership alone .

  • Comment number 50.

    I really think that the spin machine is in overdrive from Ms Slater. She obviously has to present a case that as Director of Sport the BBC are still the nations foremost presenter. Unfortunately everybody knows that there has been a steady decline of sporting events broadcast in their entirety to other channels noticeably Sky.
    I regret the lack of transparency and massaging of Ms Slaters blog which potentially treats her viewing customers as not terribly important. Unfortunately the BBC does forget that we are the clients and they are the supplier, not the other way around.
    Also please do not blame the budget. The BBC receives enormous income from its various arms, all of which (when they started) were effectively funded by the licence fee, yet the profit remains in these various companies whilst the BBC still pleads poverty.
    I would respect the blog if it actually listed sport by sport ACTUAL broadcast time year by year for the last ten years. We all know what that would tell us.
    We can dream........

  • Comment number 51.

    Further to my comment at 49.......... Match of The Day should be based on a number of Premiership games, two Championship matches and considering we in Scotland pay 10% of BBC fees I would suggest the game of the day from the SPL. Add another few games from the Football Leagues............... and we might have a truly Briish Match of The Day which might fit the BBC policy of sporting requirements

  • Comment number 52.

    @ jaimeDLG

    Problem with that I don't think the various leagues wouldn't allow it. I'm fairly sure that as part of the Football League agreement is that it has to have it's own distinct programme.

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    I think one theme is clear here. MOTD needs a spruce up, and that means either new pundits or no pundits. Hansen, Lawrenson and Shearer are bland and uninteresting and have had their day. I don't especially like MOTD2 but it's livelier and more varied than the parent show. The Football League show format works well - you'd want them to be different, but you could try the one presenter, one pundit and one reading emails format once in a while.

  • Comment number 55.

    Any chance we have have some clarification re BS?

    The image at the top of the page seems to be from no later than February 2009 as it's on Yet there's a completely different image from 2012 at [Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Does this constitute accurate reporting by the BBC?

  • Comment number 56.

    SOrry the URL didn't come through.

    It is [Broken URL removed by Moderator]


  • Comment number 57.

    So considering that motd is on for about 30 weeks a year, and giving about 45 hours of coverage, that amounts to 1 million pounds PER HOUR just for the rights- that's even BEFORE the costs of production are taken into account.... The fact that the BBC also has to employ their presenters and their commentators, then this comes in as a particularly expensive piece of tv for a viewing figure of about 4 million. - or in other words 25p per viewer hour

    If we compare this with f1, then there were 10 hours per weekend, for 20 weekends, making 200 hours of coverage, much with an average viewership of 5 million plus.... Since the rights cost approx 50 million per year, that's a cost of 250,000 per hour, or alternatively 5p per viewer hour... Yet, somehow, the cheaper contract is cut!

    Furthermore, for the rights paid for motd, for each hour of rights, we could have had 1- to 2 hours of quality drama produced...

    It really is a no-brainer. MOTD is expensive. If the BBC really do need to save money, then maybe they should have offered less money! Certainly 180 million is not a good deal!

  • Comment number 58.

    Pathetic! To come on here blowing your own trumpet over ONE contract beggars belief.

    BBC Sport:

    1. GOLF:Lost the rights to live coverage of The European PGA and The Scottish Open. It now only has live coverage of The Open on the European Tour and 2 days from the masters! Compare this with CBS/NBC/ABC in the US!
    2.HORSE RACING:Vanishing rapidly form our screens.Lost the rights to The Grand National and Derby! Now has NO coverage of a classic in UK.
    3.ATHLETICS:Lost the rights of World Championships to C4.
    4.CRICKET:Invisible on BBC TV.
    5.TENNIS:Lost rights to French Open,Australian Open,Davis Cup.
    6.F1:Sold out to Sky.
    7.The BBC seem to have a fixation with RUGBY. Who the hell watches that?

    What i don't understand is , there are a lot of sports out there with little or no tv coverage that could be picked up for virtually nothing:

    Horse Racing
    Womens Football
    Challenge Tour Golf
    Greyhound Racing
    PDC Pro Tour Darts(weekend events)

    The BBC would go a long way to redeem itself in the eyes of sports fans if it brought back the Sat/Sun afternoon sports programmes from 12 til 5/6pm incorporating the rights that it has and the aquisition of some of the above minority sports.


  • Comment number 59.

    Barbara including this comment there are 59 on here and i would suggest the negative outweigh the positive by about 4to1 so please come on here defending the fact the BBC have spent in excess on one billion pounds relocating to Salford and at the same time have lost numerous sports contracts since you became director of sport- i for one would love to hear your reasoning behind my questions to you

  • Comment number 60.

    I have now switched from licence fee zealot to subscription service supporter. The sooner the BBC frees itself from the shackles of the BBC Sport department, the better! Rediculous money is being spent as a means to bolster the BBC's identity whilst sucking the life blood from the rest of the Corporations wider listener/viewer base. They seem answerable to no one. If it came to a public vote I would vote for dismantling the Corporation as it serves no value for money anymore and quality is slowly sinking. I never thought I would find myself thinking this, let alone writing about it!

  • Comment number 61.

    i like this bit ..

    "In a nutshell our strategy is to be the home of sporting moments that unite the nation"

    Correct me if i'm wrong, but the BBC doesn't show Test Cricket anymore, have had 2 be shunted sideways with F1 (nearly lost it!!), No FA Cup Final, Hardly any live Football games... The excuse they can't afford these BIG contracts, yet the BBC waste the money on the Eurovision 'The Fix of the year'Contest every year. That sould have been booted years ago when they got rid of Miss World!!

  • Comment number 62.

    Dear BBC Sport.

    I would just like to ask why you persist in using flash to embed videos in the website. This is in violation of the best standards as advocated with relation to html5... If you really want to embed videos, use something like mp4 format, which allows the vast majority of platforms to view! It is frankly embarrassing for the bbc to have videos all over the site, yet most of them are unplayable by the vast majority of mobile devices! Come on bbc! Get your act together!


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.