World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

In answer to your questions. . .

bbcsport_logo.gifLONDON - Nick raised some questions in reply to Ricco's latest entry and I have been in touch with Roger Mosey, director of BBC Sport, to get some answers.

Why do you have Ian Wright as part of your television coverage for the World Cup?

RM: All pundits divide opinion - and they have fans and critics. We believe Ian Wright brings a fresh and different point-of-view to our panels, and he's a good part of the mix.

Why does the BBC feel the need to take 300 people to Germany for the World Cup?

RM: The World Cup will be the BBC's biggest outside broadcast of the year - and it will be covered extensively on television, radio and online as well as by our news services at home and abroad. To do this properly, we need the appropriate number of staff in Germany. But on these kind of major events our staffing levels compare favourably with other international broadcasters, and our priority is delivering quality to our audiences.

Will the total cost of the BBC's World Cup coverage be published?

RM: The BBC's Annual Report reviews all our expenditure and publishes the main figures; and BBC Sport is audited like all other parts of the corporation. Within that, some individual figures - like rights fees and contract payments - are not published for reasons of commercial confidentiality. To put it simply, if we said the cost of an individual event was a certain amount then rival broadcasters would be able to outbid us next time round or drive up the price - which isn't in the interest of licence-payers.

Thanks for your interest Nick, and can I direct you to our Editors' Blog with any further questions about World Cup coverage.

One more World Cup blog to draw your attention to, complete with some curious England player ratings. Not quite sure about Theo Walcott's 8.5 out of 10 at this early stage of his career, but each to their own. . .

Alex Trickett, Blog Editor

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:44 PM on 22 May 2006,
  • Sami wrote:

Ian right is the best pundit there, he is Passion & Pride in one!!!!

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  • 2.
  • At 01:57 PM on 22 May 2006,
  • Graham wrote:

Typical really, all the same old arguments rattled out about the cost of coverage. The BBC should be left alone to get on with the job of covering the tournament without the usual sniping from the license fee haters. The license fee might not be an ideal solution in the modern age but I know what broadcaster I'll turn to for the major events.

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  • 3.
  • At 01:58 PM on 22 May 2006,
  • Graham wrote:

Typical really, all the same old arguments rattled out about the cost of coverage. The BBC should be left alone to get on with the job of covering the tournament without the usual sniping from the license fee haters. The license fee might not be an ideal solution in the modern age but I know what broadcaster I'll turn to for the major events.

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The BBC is doing the right thing with its blog and its trip to Germany.

We should bring up another issue which was brough up by BBC News on the lack of football enthusiasts in the USA. I personally think that football is in its adolescent stage. Regardless, there are people who go to Football Games. There was an incident in which a Manchester United Fan drove from Phoenix Arizona to Seattle Washington to see Manchester United play against Celtic. I myself am a fan of Spain, Cameroun, Celtic, Manchester United, and DC United [in USA]. I will also support the USA Team [as well as Spain, Portugal, Poland, England].

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  • 5.
  • At 05:50 PM on 22 May 2006,
  • Nick wrote:

Thank you Adam for taking the time and effort to answer the questions I posted. I can understand the reasons why the BBC is having the blog. But I still find the decision to employ someone of the nature of Ian Wright perplexing. I can only assume that he is popular amongst the various focus groups that the BBC carry out before and after such events. But thanks again for taking the time out to answer my questions. I make no apology for asking the questions I did sometimes the BBC sport site can give the impression of a love in and I feel I was justifed to ask what I did.

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  • 6.
  • At 07:40 PM on 22 May 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

Can you guys give my blog a mention in a post?

https://germany-06.blogspot.com

cheers, putting a lot of effort into it, would just like a few more people to read it!

good stuff so far, personally definitely a fan of ian wright for comedy purposes if nothing else!

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Simon,

Future England manager, eh? That's a lot to live up to!

Anyway - liking the tactical vibe of your blog (link in the comment above)

Personally I'm intrigued to see what formation we produce in the England B game on Thursday - to which I've got tickets.

Owen's going to play so will it be on his own up front with Lennon in the Joe Cole support role?

I'm looking forward to it immensely.

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  • 8.
  • At 09:49 PM on 22 May 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

I am normally a fan of the BBC's football coverage. Over the year's they have had some fantastic pundits at tournaments such as Gullit, Cruyff, O'Neill and Strachan. But Ian Wright has to be one of the worst ever pundits in my view. A prime example was his shocking display of unintelligible English in the Northern Ireland v England match. I for one this summer will be reaching for the mute button when Ian Wright graces my television screen this summer. His abuse of the English language is a crime in it's self let alone his inadequate knowledge of football. I would happily make a donation to the BBC Sports department if it meant taking Wright off our screens! Or perhaps the BBC could have a BB vote off for its pundits through the World Cup surely that would be making the tournament truly interactive for the viewers?

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  • 9.
  • At 10:16 PM on 22 May 2006,
  • Matthew wrote:

Manjit - here here!
There have been some great analysts over the years on the BBC, but Ian Wright is enough to make me push the mute button at least, if not move to another channel for the pre-match, half-time and post-match periods.

From what I can gather, he is employed simply because he appeals to certain audiences and can offer minimal comfort to viewers, such as in the Portugal v England game at Euro 2004. 'It's a homer' he shouted again and again. He was recently back doing the FA Cup final and provided some nonsense analysis while sporting a pair of white socks with his suit.

The ITV have just released a very impressive list of pundits, and while the BBC's does match it well, there is no pundit that makes me scream, sometimes even aloud. You often end the match with a headache, but the BBC needs him for the lottery etc. and to appease certain fans.

But on the team in Germany, I am keen for an excellent viewing tournament as are 20m+ in Britain and they should provide it.

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While I don't care for Ian Wright as a pundit, I know other people who enjoy his over the top, heart-on-his-sleeve style.

As for the expense of covering the tournament, just be thankful your licence fee isn't paying for the (no doubt dreadful) ITV coverage.

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  • 11.
  • At 12:13 PM on 23 May 2006,
  • Pete wrote:

I don't particularly care for Ian Wright, but a lot of people do and he has recent expreience of laying for England (unlike Mark Lawrenson who seems to spend more time seeking attention than analysing the action in a way that helps the viewer.

The person who does worry me is John Motson who has shown signs of decline over the past 4 years and who is now a liability. He has become a biased sensationalist with his solidly pro-England commentary, spends more time trying to, heh, heh, throw in a glib comment and fails to see what has happened even with clear action replays at his disposal. Time for a dignified retirement, in my opinion.

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  • 12.
  • At 07:16 PM on 23 May 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

It would be lovely if the BBC brought back the excellent Barry Davis and sent Ian Wright to a desert island.

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  • 13.
  • At 09:48 AM on 24 May 2006,
  • clement Kayula wrote:

I like the simplistic nature,wide and detailed nature of bbc reporting in all fields sport included.So informative and persolised packaged like just for each individual member of the community rather than mass coverage but yet it is indeed mass.
But on your bbc world tv coverage you have too much graphics than programme content itself. Most of BBC sports today 15 minutes planned for the programme content is lost in graphics. We only watch the actual progamme content for less than 10 minutes. The running legs in the program intro goes on foreever for example.
Clement Kayula
Chingola
Zambia

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  • 14.
  • At 11:05 AM on 24 May 2006,
  • Matt wrote:

What a load of twaddle about being out bid the next time a license comes up. If the BBC was a commercial organisation it would have been sued for anti competitive practise moons ago.

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  • 15.
  • At 11:33 AM on 24 May 2006,
  • Colin wrote:

I have to stand up for Ian Wright. The sound, unbiased technical analysis of Hansen et al. is dry and very often plain dull. Wright is passionate, partisan and funny.

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  • 16.
  • At 02:20 PM on 24 May 2006,
  • Steve wrote:

BBC's so-called football pundits are smug, biased, certainly not entertaining or enlightenning. I'd prefer to listen to some decent music during half time rather than have these assorted idlers living it up in Germany at our expense. Attempting to justify the extravagance in terms of superior coverage is another insult.

Agree with comments about Motson, but please don't bring back Barry Davies.

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  • 17.
  • At 02:59 PM on 24 May 2006,
  • Keith Fairbrother wrote:

The problem with pundits is that there are so many of them crowded into the studio. A few years ago it was two plus a non-expect such as Des Lynam - now four is the norm if you include Lineker.

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  • 18.
  • At 03:44 PM on 24 May 2006,
  • Dan Smith wrote:

"RM: All pundits divide opinion - and they have fans and critics. We believe Ian Wright brings a fresh and different point-of-view to our panels, and he's a good part of the mix. "

I'm sure if you got got some homeless guy in off the street he's be "fresh" and give a "different point of view", in no way means you should do that.

Does Ian Wright ever tell the viewer anything they don't already know? No.

Does Ian Wright bring any specialist knowledge to the programme? No, the guy was a failure at international level, simply do not see why he is there.

He knows nothing about any team England are playing. His pre match preamble will be to predict a 3-0 win for England, thats all he does. I really really really don't understand what on earth you are thinking employing him, and it is so frustrating that you don't have the respect for the people who ultimately pay YOUR wages to give US a proper reason for giving this loudmouth so much airtime.

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  • 19.
  • At 07:06 PM on 24 May 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

Dan Smith very well said! You hit the nail on the head! Well Ian Wright be paying for his own plane ticket to Germany? Or will the BBC be paying that with the money they get from our licence fee's? It's a real shame that the BBC let there entire coverage down by employing someone of the nature of Wright.

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  • 20.
  • At 12:33 AM on 25 May 2006,
  • Matthew wrote:

The calls for Barry Davies to return are onces I endorse fully! It's a shame he had to leave the BBC, but that was because he was not given any England matches during Euro 2004 because of the insistence on having Motty for every single one. At least in the group stages the BBC could venture with their commentators - not Jonathan Pearce who would manage to blurt out all the crowd noise but the likes of Simon Brotherton and Martin Fisher are great ones who could take the mantle. Will he be doing Wimbledon this year?

Also, don't you think the next step for Jeff Stelling will be the BBC? Certainly has the calibre to be a future MOTD presenter.

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  • 21.
  • At 02:07 PM on 25 May 2006,
  • GC wrote:

I couldn't agree more with the comments on John Motson. At one time I think he was one of the better commentators on TV, but these days I think he's lost that connection with the viewers. He spends more time making 'witty' remarks and telling you what the players ate for lunch than concentrating on the game. In short: Rubbish. I think ITV/Sky give a better service in terms of commentating, although some of the analysers (Pleat!) are fairly cringe-worthy. Personal ideal combo - Alan Parry or Clive Tyldesley with Andy Gray.

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  • 22.
  • At 05:55 PM on 25 May 2006,
  • David wrote:

All comments about John Motson are totally vindicated. His attempts at wit and homour are not required and not appreciated. He has lost his creditabilty as a commentator and I for one will find alternative commentary- which makes the BBC interactive coverage great. I can listen to Five Live or as at Euros 2004 perhaps the opportunity to listen to Steve Claridge.
The BBC's coverage is so superior to ITV that it is a shame that it is only the main commentator that spoils it for me.

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  • 23.
  • At 06:44 PM on 25 May 2006,
  • Tom wrote:

Any decent panel of Football analysers needs to have a good blend of personalities. For me Hansen is the best pundit with a wide knowledge of the game and great choerent analysis. Lawrenson can be witty and adds the extra information to Alan's views- they work well together. Gavin Peacock i also rate highly, though not as good as Hansen or Lawrenson because he is a little too serious. This brings me to Ian Wright, who although doesn't analyse the games in great depth adds that extra dimension- someone who supports England and is able to say it loud and proud amongst other nationalities and let them get on with the analysing. At the end of the day, a game can only be anaylsed so much, so with Wright there, he adds that final dynamic which creates the best Football coverage on the BBC.

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  • 24.
  • At 07:20 PM on 25 May 2006,
  • chris wrote:

What is a Blog?

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  • 25.
  • At 08:23 PM on 25 May 2006,
  • Dan Smith wrote:

nah I don't buy that argument. Why do you need someone on screen whose sole contribution is to shout loudly how great England are? You get that if you watch games with friends or go down to your local pub.

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  • 26.
  • At 10:10 PM on 30 May 2006,
  • Matthew wrote:

Ian Wright is a disgrace. His latest comments on Gerrard's dive, justifying by saying "it's okay coz people will do it against us" are laughable.

His Uber Patriotism is at times sickening. If that had happened to us he'd be crying out for injustice. He should get his tinted specks off and say it like it is.

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  • 27.
  • At 01:06 AM on 31 May 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

Tonight is the final straw for me! Enough is enough, when is the BBC sports department going to start listening to it's viewers do we need to start a full on campaign to be herd? Tonight Ian Wright's comments about Gerrard's dive being acceptable because other people teams will dive against England was a joke.

Then his insult about Owen Hargreaves was frankly a disgrace. Hargreaves in my views deserves a public apology from Ian Wright. What sort of element of viewer is Ian Wright catering for?

What a crying shame that a great organisation like the BBC lowers itself to employing such tactics as it did tonight.

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  • 28.
  • At 11:31 AM on 31 May 2006,
  • Alan Donald wrote:


The fact that Ian Wright kept his pundit job after his comments regarding Graeme Le Saux during the Columbia vs England game last summer is a disgrace.

And last night he added further fuel to the fire by his comments on the dive.

Should England get knocked out of the World Cup after an opposition player dives, Ian Wright needs to keep his trap shut...as he has basically stated that diving is OK.

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  • 29.
  • At 04:32 PM on 31 May 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

What did Ian Wright say about Le Saux last summer? I was not aware of that incident.

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  • 30.
  • At 08:11 PM on 31 May 2006,
  • Matt Richardson wrote:

Buy Save the Children's new World Cup song by Lucky To Be Alive.

I heard it on BBC Radio Oxford and it absolutely rocks!

For full details go to: www.luckytobealive.com

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  • 31.
  • At 12:08 PM on 03 Jun 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

Who would have thought Mark Lawrenson would have spoken so much sense:

'What are you most looking forward to at the World Cup?
Ian Wright to stop talking for 10 seconds!'

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  • 32.
  • At 07:56 AM on 08 Jun 2006,
  • Moshiur wrote:

The finalist are brazil and England and england will get 2006 worldcup.

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  • 33.
  • At 08:02 AM on 08 Jun 2006,
  • moshiur wrote:

enough information is required!

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  • 34.
  • At 09:18 AM on 08 Jun 2006,
  • patrick kerr wrote:

I think once again the bbc have got it all right (almost). Ok im not a fan of ian wright either, but you have to take the good with the bad. on the whole though well done

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