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Craig Oliver Craig Oliver | 13:03 UK time, Thursday, 28 September 2006

Does the Ten do enough sport? Should we do all the main football results? Should we show match action come what may?

BBC Ten O'Clock News logoDo we have a duty to do it - given that many sporting rights are now not available to terrestrial TV? Should that squeeze out other news?

These questions have been running through my mind recently. The audience feedback we get when we do sport on the Ten is almost universally negative. At a recent major focus group people seemed to be suggesting that they expected sport on local, but not national, news.

Is this view of the world right - or are sports fans more shy and retiring than we might have thought?

Recently I think we may have underplayed great action in sports matches. We didn't show Xabi Alonso scoring from inside his own half the other night, or an amazing Peter Crouch goal last night. It only takes a few seconds - and even if you are not that interested in football, it is just great pictures.


  • 1.
  • At 01:41 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • Darren wrote:

Yes, more sport! And please, please, please stop showing the football results before the Match of the Day programme -- it is just plain stupid!

Sport on the Ten might be acceptable when you learn that "sport" does not equal "football", the same trap you fell into in your post.

Football is well covered by Match of the Day. Give us a *sports* bulletin, please.

  • 3.
  • At 03:06 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • James wrote:

I think a reason for the negative feedback is the farcical situation when Match of the Day is on next, ie "if you don't want to know the score, look away now".

Surely a comment to the effect of "there are highlights of today's Premiership games on Match of the Day. In other action,..." would be sufficient.

  • 4.
  • At 04:09 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

Football should have its own channel.
To many it is an essential part of being alive. To many kicking a ball into a net then making love on the field (well nearly) is not an appropriate occupation for grown men.
It is a case of oil and water. They should be kept apart.
Finally, Craig Oliver, who are Xabi Alonso and Peter Crouch? Quite honestly, I have never heard of them. It is more than likely that there are many better “pictures” that I have yet to see.

  • 5.
  • At 05:32 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

Speaking as a sports fan, I'm usually disappointed by the level of sports coverage on the news. It is usually just glanced over and has to be something pretty significant to earn more than about 10 seconds coverage.

I don't think that most people dislike sport on the news; it's just that people who think sport is irrelevant are disproportionately vocal.

  • 7.
  • At 06:15 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • nah wrote:

No real opinion on this issue, but as usual the BBC always refuses to admit it may be wrong and swings the other way from licence fee payer opinion. They say there's too much of something, so a BBC employee says there's not enough. Go figure.

  • 8.
  • At 06:53 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • David Almond wrote:

A 2 minute summary of good goals and the evenings sport is just what you need when you have come in or want a summary of whats happened with the footy. When its time for the Ashes - I think there would be a lot of support to get a score update.
Give it a try and see what people think.

  • 9.
  • At 07:43 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • AW-T wrote:

Sport is a special interest. So too is current affairs. Why mix them up in one programme? In my opinion the 'News' means current affairs, not sport, which is entertainment. And I also believe that the BBC should not use the 'News' to puff it's own progammes - the recent coverage across BBC news programmes of the Panorama expose of 'bungs' was disgraceful. Since when - with the obvious lesson of Hutton - was the BBC responsible for creating 'news'?

  • 10.
  • At 09:34 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • Mark Brown wrote:

Has news at ten completely lost the plot, it is more like newsnight spending endless time on issues that have been news... shouldn't news be about what is happening now and leaving the job of following up stories to newsnight? Last night was an important night in the champions league and the football was not even mentioned. Tim Henman beat Andrew Murrray for the first time for a while, I found this out on teletext, because the news did not have it on at all. A dog savaged another child.... no mention in the 10 o'clock news. Have the cutbacks meant that no one is looking at what is going on in the country?

  • 11.
  • At 09:55 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • Colin H wrote:

I agree with 'Dan G', if we have to have any sport on the national news, it must be more widely representative.
At present, it feels that only football is ever mentioned.
However, as we also have the same reports duplicated on the local news, I can't for the life of me, understand why the main news feels the need to broadcast them.

  • 12.
  • At 11:24 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • Sam wrote:

Sport should definitely appear more on the news.
Watching the whole programme waiting for the sport, only for it not to materialise, is very annoying. Especially as I'd heard Peter Crouch had scored a wondergoal from the radio.

Of course sports other than football should be covered, was Nathan Robertson and Gail Emm's victory mentioned? (how could local news cover this?) And Cricket and Rugby should be covered more.

The problem with sport on local news is they just give the scores, they don't show action (probably can't afford to use the clips), and people are interested in sport on the national and international scales.

How about an item, say once a month, about the 2012 olympics? How the preparation is going, features on the young athletes training hard to win medals in the games etc.

  • 13.
  • At 09:45 AM on 29 Sep 2006,
  • Neil wrote:

Two minutes in a thirty-minute bulletin dedicated towards a quick recap / runthrough of the day's major sporting results in each of the most popular sports' top division (Football, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, F1) and major tennis / golf / athletics / snooker / darts / horseracing events, would be useful. Didn't the Ten O'Clock News do this at one point? Anything particularly spectacular, in any of the sports, could be shown. The fact the BBC has Match of the Day at the weekend should not preclude the midweek news from showing something - if Peter Crouch scores a flying bicycle kick from twenty yards out, or Freddie Flintoff hits 32 off an over, etc etc, then a quick clip is both newsworthy and proper. It's probably a lot more in the public interest than many of the space-filling 'public interest' stories that tend to pop up at the end of the news. Or those 'special reports', where a BBC reporter is sent at license-payers expense on a jolly for two weeks to South Africa, or Australia, or Florida, etc. Keep those on Newsnight / Panorama etc where they belong, and get back to showing a couple of minutes sport.

  • 14.
  • At 01:49 PM on 29 Sep 2006,
  • Deee Gee wrote:

why stop at sports? why not have fashion updates and diet tips. Maybe squeezing in a home make-over if a "filler" is needed. Sorry to sound cynical but sport simply is not news....

  • 15.
  • At 07:32 PM on 29 Sep 2006,
  • Omeed Starmer wrote:

I'm sorry, sport is news. If i'm not mistaken the whole basis for the bbc headlines for a couple of days was the suspicion of bungs in football. If it is seen fit to dedicate a whole panaroma programme and many minutes of news time on tv to corruption in sport, surely it is not too much to ask to have a couple of minutes and a bit of footage outlining the main sports stories of the day. for example tim henman was doing reasonably well in the thailand atp event including a solid victory over murray, when many thought he was well past it, i think this does constitute news and should be recognised. To the person who said sport is simply entertainment and doesn't belong in a bulletin, does the bbc not regularly have features on film festivals such as cannes and also oscar coverage, a subject that many deem less worthy of coverage than sport. It is not wrong for your average lisence fee payer to expect a healthy mix of politics, world events, sports, weather and sentimental stories in their daily news programmes.

  • 16.
  • At 08:57 AM on 30 Sep 2006,
  • Sue Hibberd wrote:

I do agree so much with messages 2 and 11.

It's Ceefax and BBCi Digital Text that I'll tend to use for what's happening in sport rather than relying on any of the bulletins.

Slightly off-topic, but sometimes BBC Sport undercovers major events: for example the Winter Games of the Paralympics' coverage was wrapped up inside a single two hour slot within Sunday Grandstand. What's parallel about that sort of coverage compare to the airtime for the Winter Olympics?

And the Deaflympics or Special Olympics fare even worse.

  • 17.
  • At 12:54 PM on 30 Sep 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

All sport, whether as participant or as 'fan' is a minoity activity. Routine reporting of sport does not warrant inclusion on major national news programmes.

But just like the pandas, a fantastic goal, or cricket catch, or try, needs only a few seconds of air-time and provides the leaven that makes it possible to take the otherwise unending stream of bad news.

But nou just football please - 10 needs to consider all forms of sport where the momentary spectacle is uplifting.

  • 18.
  • At 06:27 PM on 30 Sep 2006,
  • Lyn wrote:

Yes the Ten O'clock news should feature more sport and a wider range of sports Rugby Union & league as well as Cricket, Golf & Tennis not just football. Seems strange when the sports reporting on News 24 is quite god, yet on the BBC1 news it's quite poor.

  • 19.
  • At 05:55 AM on 01 Oct 2006,
  • Nell wrote:

Sport is far more "newsworthy" than the weather - the most tedious waste of time on TV.

  • 20.
  • At 11:33 AM on 01 Oct 2006,
  • Peter Hughes wrote:

I loathe sport, all sports, and would rejoice if the BBC offered a television and a radio channel on which not even the word was mentioned, other than as an Australian term for an acquaintance.

  • 21.
  • At 08:24 PM on 01 Oct 2006,
  • Colin Traverse wrote:

Surely football is covered adequately on match of the day and with many live matches on terrestrial TV.
There is also plenty of live coverage of marathons, Wimbledon and motor 'sport'
Cricket is not and should be covered briefly.
Otherwisw news should mean news.
Colin Traverse

I'm with Dan G on this one. Sport does not just mean football. It makes sense to have sports on the news, even the football results to a certain extent. I might want to catch the score of one particular game without watching MotD, or a game that wouldn't be covered by MotD even.

Maybe some sports from different games/countries. If there's a spectacular event in some college (American) football game then perhaps that's more newsworthy than another mediocre goal scored by Peter Crouch with his head from 3 yards out.

If someone scores in basketball from inside their own half then I'd want to see it, whether I knew the team/player or not.

Sport all-too-often just means football, or tennis/cricket if it's on.

Variety is the spice of life.

  • 23.
  • At 01:08 PM on 02 Oct 2006,
  • Sandra wrote:

The News is a news programme, not a sports programe. Why is sport mentioned at all on the news? There are many sources of sporting information available, so why does sport impinge on the news?

I'm not a sport-hater, and I understand that sport (not just football) is of interest to many people. However, this does not mean that sport is news, and that time should be taken out of our news programmes for sport. There are many news items throughout the year that could be shown instead of the sports slots on news programmes. We would then be better informed about our world - surely that is the point of news programming.

  • 24.
  • At 10:02 PM on 02 Oct 2006,
  • eddie duggan wrote:

Who decided sport was news, and why?

If people are really keen to know who won the amateur tiddly winks trophy, or what the latest gossip is about bung-hurling, volley ball, football, this ball, that ball and all the other balls, why not give them a daily twenty-minute sports round-up slot on one of the digital channels?

  • 25.
  • At 10:11 AM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Rod MacLean wrote:

Don't we get enough sporting news?
During the build up to the world cup (before the first ball had even been kicked) we were getting headlines along the lines of "Wayne Rooney's ankle might be better but we don't have any news yet". Wow. Not news. We get far too much of that sort of football-related claptrap and don't even get the results for other types of sport.

  • 26.
  • At 10:22 AM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Hywel Jones wrote:

What we need is more sports JOURNALISM rather than straight REPORTAGE. There is a difference.

  • 27.
  • At 01:00 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Belinda wrote:

I don't think sport should appear on the main news at all as it is a minority interest with no important consequence on every day life. By all means give sport its own 30 minute news show once or twice a week or so (and I don't mean the bloated, out-dated Grandstand format but a shaper take), but to give the same amount of coverage to a football player breaking his foot as the Iraq war, for example, is just ridiculous. I turn off the BBC when the sport comes on in silent protest.
I particularly get irritated when sports news such as David Beckham being dropped from the England squad is on the main news. If you're going to insist on a sports section after the news then keep to it, don't push the meaningless drivel down everyone's throats as though it is of national or international importance.

  • 28.
  • At 01:23 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Barry wrote:

Yes, more sport is needed! Even ITV are make more of an effort than the beeb, dedicating time at the end of the news to it.

If journalism is wanted then you go & watch sky sports news! In the case of results, such as mid-week champions league games. - This must become a premium.

At the moment, I'm having to settle for a news programme that is probably at the bottom of the broadcasting table, with the likes of SKY news & ITV at the top. BBC, get it sorted!

  • 29.
  • At 01:56 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Jenny wrote:

Sports news is still just sport; of no significance or use to those not interested in that sport, although sports fans seem to have huge difficulty understanding that simple fact, even when they are BBC editors.

Although a lot of people clearly love obsessively gathering and remembering all the arcane facts about teams and events and scores, others have better uses for our memory.

I usually switch channels when sport comes on, including in "news" broadcasts. There being so much "sports news" on News24 really fragments my viewing of that channel. Why can there not be proper dedicated sports programmes one could schedule to avoid, instead? I'm sure sports fans must be equally annoyed that their sport is so interrupted by other programming.

The exceptions for me are some sizable chunks of Wimbledon, rugby, and the recent women's soccer world cup round, as eye-catching, genuine human endeavour, the playing of the game, with no real interest in the results. I guess that's consistent with not being interested in the "sports news".

  • 30.
  • At 04:05 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Carlo Superbio wrote:

Let's be honest, there's no football fan worth his salt who doesn't know all the scores by 5 o'clock on a Saturday teatime, so reporting them on the News at Ten is a complete waste!

  • 31.
  • At 05:21 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Susan Wakefield wrote:

The BBC seem to think that sports = football, both on TV and radio. Until they change their thinking, keep sport out of the news.

  • 32.
  • At 08:57 PM on 03 Oct 2006,
  • Alex Jones wrote:

The rugby results are used attached at the end, so we get something like "In the Guinness Premiership Leicester beat Newcastle, Wasps beat London Irish and Sale were victorious over Bristol. And that's all the sport."

There is infact another big rugby league in Britain - the Magners League. Ironically it's one of the few that the BBC still have rights to (even if it's hidden away on interactive outside Wales) yet it's rarely ever mentioned on the 10 o'clock news. This is despite the fact that it consists of teams from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, 3 parts of the British Isles which the national news is meant to cover.

It would really be nice to see the league mentioned on the news alongside the Guinness Premiership.

  • 33.
  • At 08:30 PM on 07 Oct 2006,
  • Steven Downes wrote:

This seems to put the argument quite well:

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