The BBC and Sport - Submission to the Independent Panel on Charter Review September 2004
The BBC and Sport - Submission to the Independent Panel on Charter Review September 2004
The BBC and Sport Submission to the Independent Panel on Charter Review September 2004
1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 Contents Chapter 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 Chapter 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 Chapter 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Chapter 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 Chapter 5 5. 5. 5. 5. 5. Overview 2 Overall purpose 2 Sports output 3 Strategy 4 BBC and the sports industry 6 BBC and sports rights 6 Partnerships 6 Sport policy 7 Sports output on the BBC 8 Tri-media coverage 8 Representing the sporting spectrum 8 3.2. Major events 8 3.2. Nations and regions sport 9 3.2. Sport across the BBC 9 3.2. Minority sport 10 3.2.
Talent and diversity 11 3.2. Non-competitive sport 12 Sport and technology 13 3.3.1 Interactive and broadband television 13 3.3.2 Production innovation 13 Audiences served and reached 13 3.4.1 Audience demographics 13 3.4.2 Building audiences through cross-media coverage 15 3.4.3 Quality of coverage 17 The BBC and the nation’s health 18 Sport education 18 4.1.1 Sport Academy and Academy Parent 18 4.1.2 Born To Win 18 Grassroots initiatives 19 Public participation 20 The future of sport on the BBC 22 Building Public Value and sport 22 Coverage of major events 22 Innovation and development 23 Grassroots initiatives and Sport Action 23 Conclusions 24 Appendix A: List of network television sports rights currently held by the BBC Appendix B: List of network radio sports rights currently held by the BBC 1
Chapter 1 Overview This paper, for the Independent Panel on Charter Review, provides an overview of the BBC’s output and activities in the field of sport. It has been written in accordance with a brief agreed with the DCMS. This chapter summarises the role that sport plays within the BBC and its purposes within public service broadcasting. It also outlines the strategy that the BBC has been following since 2000 in order to fulfil these purposes. 1.1 Overall Purpose The BBC has been the home of British sports broadcasting since it was founded. Over time, certain sporting events have become synonymous with the BBC: Wimbledon, the Grand National and the Olympics.
The advent of multichannel television has irreversibly changed the sports media market. As a result, whilst we can never again be the home of all sports we can be the national sports broadcaster for the UK by broadcasting matches of great importance, showcasing the world’s biggest events and creating new heroes. If the BBC - radio, online and television - is about enriching people’s lives, then broadcasting sport (and especially coverage of the big events) must be one of our top priorities.
Sports broadcasting has been integral to the BBC’s role for a number of reasons: • under the Agreement with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (section 3.2) the BBC is required to provide wide-ranging coverage of sport. • viewers and listeners themselves see sport as a public service genre. Ofcom has recently published a survey of public service broadcasting (PSB) and sport was rated as the second-highest genre (after news) in terms of PSB qualities1 . • at a time when almost half of households still do not have access to digital television, the BBC has a duty to ensure that the public retain access to moments of national interest.
Therefore the BBC invests in covering major events such as the Six Nations, the FA Cup, and the Olympics.
• similarly, in broadcasting minority sports the BBC ensures that audiences gain access to sports they may not otherwise be able to enjoy. • the BBC has a duty to serve all audiences. Sport reaches audiences (young males in particular) that the BBC may otherwise underserve. • the BBC has a role in ensuring that viewers, listeners and online audiences can enjoy sport in a non-commercial environment. Audiences appreciate this fact – as exemplified by the BBC attracting three-fold the number of viewers as ITV when going head-to-head.
• the BBC’s purpose is to inform, educate and entertain.
Broadcasting sport contributes to this – from informing with Sports News through educating with Sport 1 OFCOM, Review of Public Service Broadcasting, 2004 2
Academy to entertaining with our live action. • sport is a subject of much debate. The BBC facilitates such debate by engaging listeners and viewers with programmes such as Radio Five Live’s 606 show and staging gatherings such as the national and regional Sports Summits. • sport is a genre that facilitates like-for-like comparisons in terms of quality. By covering sport the BBC plays a role in the ecology of the sports media market and ensures that quality is maintained. • the BBC has a duty to drive digital take-up. Sports broadcasting, interactivity in particular, is a huge driver of digital take-up.
• at a time of growing concerns about public health and obesity in particular, sports broadcasting and accompanying grassroots initiatives have a role to play in the nation’s health. 1.2 Sports output In order to fulfill these purposes the BBC currently offers audiences around 1500 hours of televised sport each year (equivalent to about 8% of BBC One and BBC Two output), 4000 hours of sport on national radio (plus further coverage on local radio) and over a million pages of content on bbc.co.uk/sport. This includes both live and highlights coverage as well as sports news services.
Table 1: Network sports output across the BBC, by platform2 Platform 2003/2004 hours of output Television BBC One 496 BBC Two 863 BBC Three 65 Radio BBC Radio 1 30 BBC Radio 4 542 BBC Radio Five Live 2106 BBC Five Live Sport Extra 1089 1xtra 76 BBC Asian Network 351 Online BBC Sport website Over 1,000,000 pages A significant amount of airtime is devoted to coverage of the major sports and events that audiences really value.
As well as coverage of standalone live events, BBC television also broadcasts the world’s longest-running sports magazine programme, Grandstand. This provides live and highlights coverage of both major and minor sports and in particular provides context around Olympic sports. In addition, a comprehensive sports news service is provided on both BBC One and BBC News 24 as well as on Ceefax, the BBC’s television text service. The BBC also produces and 2 Source: BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2003/2004; network output only 3
broadcasts documentaries and entertainment programmes featuring sports issues or personalities. On radio, the BBC offers live coverage, primarily broadcast on Radio Five Live and Five Live Sports Extra, as well as sports news bulletins on Radios 1, 2 and 4. As with television, the BBC also offers listeners documentaries and entertainment programmes on sport. Sport online, the BBC Sport website offers separate detailed homepages for 15 individual sports, plus special sections for disability sport and the Sport Academy (see below for further details). Other sports are covered on merit and results from minority sports are included on a daily basis.
Coverage includes news and scores updates, results and fixture lists, video highlights as well as live text commentary. Across all three platforms the BBC offers audiences a very diverse range of sports coverage. In covering these sports the BBC offers commentary and analysis as a minimum. In many cases coverage also features value-added services such as interactivity or human interest stories. During 2004 the BBC has covered some 41 sports3 : Table 2: Individual sports covered by the BBC American Football Diving Motor Racing Speedway Archery Fencing Motor Cycling Swimming Athletics Football Rallying Taekwondo Badminton Golf Rugby League Tennis Baseball Greyhound Racing Rugby Union Three Day Event Basketball Gymnastics Rowing Triathlon Boxing Hockey Sailing Water Polo Canoeing Horse Racing Shooting Wrestling Cricket Ice Hockey Show Jumping Cycling Judo Skiing Darts Modern Pentathlon Snooker 1.3 Strategy The BBC’s sport strategy, developed in 2000 and implemented in the period since then, has had five elements: • focusing our rights spend on the most crucial and significant events for the nation(s) • creating a complementary and diverse portfolio of sports across radio, television and online • finding new ways of expressing the excitement and drama of sport 3 It should be noted that this includes Olympic coverage.
In non-Olympic years the BBC still covers around 25-30 separate sports.
• broadening the audience base for sport • developing our involvement at grassroots level This strategy has led to the development of a successful, high-quality, innovative and accessible sport proposition - a major public service asset in a broadcasting world of vested interests, niche channels and a highly commodified sport sector. It culminated in an enormous year of sport for the BBC during 2004. Events such as Euro 2004, Sport Relief 2, the Athens Olympics and the Paralympics, coming on top of a strong annual round of events and activities, have delivered an unprecedented range of output and impact.
Case study: Athens Olympics The 25th Olympic Games were held in Athens from 13th to 29th August 2004. The BBC was the UK’s sole terrestrial television broadcaster. The UK’s success in the Games, coupled with quality and depth of coverage, was reflected in audience appreciation: • BBC television broadcast 250 hours of coverage during the Games • A further 1,000 hours were available on the BBC’s interactive service • BBC radio broadcast over 200 hours of coverage during the Games • 45 million people (80% of the population) tuned into the Olympics on BBC television • 9 million people accessed the interactive service – making it the most-accessed interactive application ever • Nearly 13 million people watched Paula Radcliffe’s attempt on the 10,000 metres title • A broad range of sports as brought to audiences with 14 separate sports attracting audiences of over 4 million • The BBC’s Olympic website attracted 5.7 million unique users; • Cross-promotion led to record-breaking levels of traffic to the BBC’s Sport Academy website • The BBC’s first broadband Olympics service attracted 1.2 million unique users This success in coverage of the actual event comes on the back of an 18 month build-up across the BBC’s services and programmes.
The Road to Athens television magazine programme and radio’s Olympic Odyssey provided features and coverage on 20 of the 28 Olympic sports. These created and fed public interest as the Games approached. Looking ahead to the Olympics in 2008 and 2012 the BBC will continue to develop a diverse offering through new technology, services and programming to bring moments of drama and national importance to the British public. 5
Chapter 2 BBC and the sports industry This chapter summarises the role that the BBC plays within the UK’s sports industry. It outlines the BBC’s policy towards sports rights and its role in supporting British sport. 2.1 BBC and sports rights In order to fulfil its purposes in respect to sport broadcasting, the BBC acquires (and relinquishes) sports rights on an ongoing basis. In building a portfolio of sports rights the BBC looks to fulfil certain ambitions: • ensuring that the British public have access to free coverage of major sports events • delivering value for money • offering content for audiences that may be underserved by broadcasters (including the BBC) • providing a variety of sporting content, across platforms, to suit audience needs • linking spend on sports rights to the potential to build grassroots interest In fulfilling these ambitions the BBC also takes into account market impact.
In maintaining its portfolio, from time to time the BBC acquires or relinquishes sports rights. This reflects the BBC's view of the overall balance of the portfolio required to achieve its ambitions and, of course, the changing nature of prices. For example, over the past 18 months, BBC television has won back the rights to the FA Premiership highlights, extended its contract with UK Athletics for coverage of domestic athletics but lost the rights to the University Boat Race. Appendix A provides a list of television sports rights currently retained by the BBC. Appendix B provides a list of radio sports rights.
2.2 Partnerships The BBC works closely with both other broadcasters and sport bodies in order to deliver the best outcome for the licence payer. For example, BBC News provides a wid ranging summary of the day’s events to the widest possible audience. Many sports clips shown on BBC News are secured through the voluntary news access agreement between UK broadcasters. This allows all news broadcasters to use clips for the day’s events without paying a rights fee. With major sports events such as the football World Cup and Euro 2004, the BBC works in conjunction with ITV to share coverage and resources to the benefit of audiences.
Additionally, as a non-commercial broadcaster, the BBC is able to ring fence some of its rights fee, paid to the sport, for grassroots development. For example, as part of its arrangements with the English Cricket Board, money was set aside to fund the 6
provision of cricket helmets for every school in England. The BBC is striving to develop more partnerships along such lines in the future. 2.3 Sport policy The BBC has long recognised its potential role as a facilitator for the UK sports sector and for sport policy. The BBC-led Sport Summit 2003 attracted 250 top administrators and performers to discuss the big issues facing UK sport across grassroots participation and elite performance.
Speakers included the Minister for Sport, the Prime Minister’s advisor on Sport, Jacques Rogges, President of the International Olympic Committee, Steve Cram and Roger Bannister. The event was jointly funded by BBC Sport and UK Sport and illustrative of the BBC’s role as a facilitator and partner.
The BBC is now working together with other sport bodies from across the UK to build on this experience and develop a range of regional and national sport summits in early 2005. This is part of the BBC’s efforts to support public engagement with the UK’s sporting agenda on issues such as London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics. 7
Chapter 3 Sports output on the BBC This chapter provides a summary of the sport-related output that the BBC offers. The BBC not only offers coverage of major sporting events but a range of other content across a variety of platforms.
3.1 Tri-media coverage With the advent of the internet and the creation of a unified BBC Sport division, the BBC has adopted a tri-media and portfolio approach to its coverage and content development, to the benefit of audiences: • by using a variety of platforms the BBC can extend reach (for example online coverage of cricket brings the sport to a noticeably younger audience) • by sharing resources economies of scale can be achieved (particularly at major events like the Olympics) • complementary coverage can be offered (for example Formula One is covered in depth on radio and online in the absence of a television offering) • value-added content can be offered and cross-promoted (for example interactive discussions following live sports events) • talent can be shared across platforms (for example, football commentator Mark Lawrenson works on television’s Football Focus, commentates for Radio Five Live and also writes preview pieces for bbc.co.uk) 3.2 Representing the sporting spectrum 3.2.1 Major events Much of the BBC’s coverage of sport focuses on major events, thus reflecting audience appreciation.
In recent years the BBC has increased its portfolio of major events coverage, often in conjunction with other partners in order to maximise value. During 2004 the BBC has covered the following major events (amongst others): Table 3: Selected major events covered by the BBC, 2004 World Darts Championships The Open World Indoor Athletics Championships The Derby Rugby Union Six Nations Royal Ascot London Marathon Sport Relief World Snooker Championships Olympics FA Cup Final Paralympics Wimbledon The Ryder Cup Euro 2004 Great North Run Formula 1 British Grand Prix Super League Grand Final Test Match Cricket Davis Cup Final 8
4 ; Events such as these provide the key moments of connection between sport on the BBC and audiences. For a full list of sports rights currently retained by the BBC please see appendices 1 and 2. 3.2.2 Nations and Regions sport As well as connecting with audiences at a network level the BBC also delivers sport output at local, regional and national levels to reflect local stories, personalities and audience needs. As well as commentaries across a diverse range of sports – from boxing to bowls and from cricket to Cumbrian wrestling – a much broader range of coverage based around news, comment, phone-ins and other sports programmes, stimulate local interest and enthusiasm.
Examples of the breadth of coverage at this level include: • BBC local radio broadcasts over 30,000 hours of sports coverage each year4 • over a typical weekend, BBC local radio broadcasts live coverage from over 50 football matches across the UK • local radio stations offer ‘race nights’ from local racecourses with the BBC both sponsoring a race and doing programming around it • all 42 Where I live sites offer a junior football section providing local match reports, results, tables, and fixtures • BBC television offers viewers in the north of England the Superleague Show – a weekly rugby league highlights programme – to reflect the local prominence of the sport 3.2.3 Sport across the BBC In addition to coverage and news services the BBC also offers audiences related programming.
Radio Five Live offers a platform for analytical, investigative and socially responsible sports programming to complement the live coverage. Topical subjects of current public concern are often aired in the regular phone-in programmes, while more general matters are debated in a more formal discussion format. Recent topics include: • London 2012 Olympic bid • black sporting administrators • Show Racism the Red Card campaign • drugs in sport • media coverage of women’s sport 9
In addition, the station’s 606 phone-in is the UK’s biggest forum for debate on football issues.
On television, sport-related content ranges from quiz shows such as They Think It’s All Over and Question Of Sport, through discussion programmes like Football Focus, to documentaries such as Football and Fascism (exploring the role of football in the regimes of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler) and Hand of God (looking at the role of religious faith in sport). Online the BBC provides message board services to facilitate debate. In conjunction with television and radio programming the website occasionally offers audiences the chance to engage in a web-chat with key personalities and presenters following the broadcast.
3.2.4 Minority sport Major sports such as football, rugby, tennis, snooker and golf form a key part of the strategy to provide output of interest and value to broad audiences. However, the BBC recognises its role in both supporting minority sports and also providing content for niche audiences. As a result the BBC has covered 41 separate sports5 ,5to differing degrees, over the past year. In many cases the BBC has served the public interest by raising the profile of minority sports and brought them into the mainstream. 4 BBC Sport estimate; BBC Local Radio broadcast 228,000 hours in 2003-04 (Source: BBC Annual Report & Accounts 2003-04) 5 See page 3 for full list 10
Case study: Disabled sport During 2003, BBC Sport launched a new section of the main BBC Sport website dedicated to disability sport. The site includes the important news and results from all the main events; interviews and profiles of the leading athletes and the big personalities; the low-down on the various categories and classifications within disability sport, plus details of coverage on BBC television and radio. Just six months after launch the BBC's disability sport website has picked up the prestigious Media Coverage Award at the British Wheelchair Sports Awards.
The BBC has also developed a comprehensive portfolio of disability sport on television which in the past year has included: • European Athletics Championships from Assen • European Basketball Championships from Sardinia • Special Olympics from Dublin • Amateur Swimming Association Championships from Sheffield In addition the European Blind Football Championships from Manchester have been covered by regional television and Radio Five Live.
Radio Five Live also includes regular disability bulletins and features across a range of sports within its output. This gradual development of disabled sport into a mainstream proposition culminates in 2004 with comprehensive tri-media coverage of the Athens Paralympics. Following on from our success at the Sydney Paralympics which were watched by nearly a quarter of the population, for the first time BBC television will be covering live disabled sport competition in prime-time. No other broadcaster in the world is offering such a comprehensive, live package.
3.2.5 Talent and diversity The BBC has always had a heritage of developing talent and this is particularly strong in sports coverage. By utilising radio and online and feeder pools for television the BBC is able to test out prospects from both professional athletic and journalism backgrounds. The BBC has also made great strides in recognising the diversity of audiences and reflecting this in its on-screen talent. There has been a better focus on emerging young talent. Recent recruits such as Michael Johnson, Rishi Persaud, Tanni Grey- Thompson, Colin Jackson and Lydia Hislop not only bring expertise but also connection with broader audiences.
Content has also reflected this with events such as football’s African Cup of Nations being broadcast on BBC Two and BBC Three and 11
CBBC Junior Great North Run Local newspaper supplement in conjunction with BBC Newcastle Build up, competitions and editorial on Radio Newcastle Pre-race pasta party promoted via BBC Newcastle! Locally targeted TV and radio trailing Live Coverage on BBC One and Radio 5 Live Highlights on BBC Two Extensive editorial content on the BBC’s Where I Live website The Great North Run Radio Sports News bulletin reminders BBC Sport and Weather presenters Sport Academy: Paula Radcliffe’s 7 Steps to glory coverage of India-Pakistan cricket matches on the Asian Network being geared towards serving the needs of specific ethnic audiences.
3.2.6 Non-competitive sport Whilst much of the BBC’s coverage focuses on the elite and competitive side of sport, action from certain events does highlight the human interest and mass participation nature of sport. In particular, coverage of events such as the Great North Run and the Liverpool Triathlon has helped them grow as events in terms of participation and spectacle. In the case of the London Marathon 25 years of continuous support and coverage have helped the event grow from 7,747 starters in 1981 to over 46,500 this year. To date more than half a million people have completed the marathon many of them inspired by our television and radio coverage.
l l interest: in i i l l conj l io le ia BBC l i Live l Live i Run Radcli l Case study: The Great North Run The Great North Run is an annual half-marathon that takes place in the North-East of England. The BBC has brought the power of its local and national services across television, radio and online to make a loca event a moment of nationa Increasing the exposure of the event across the BBC’s services has played a role boosting audiences, both to coverage and on the streets of course. It has also played a role n helping t evo ve into Britain’s biggest running event with some 47,000 starters.
CBBC Junior Great North Run Local newspaper supp ement in unction with BBC Newcastle Build up, competitions and editoria on Rad Newcast Pre-race pasta party promoted v Newcast e! Locally targeted TV and rad o trailing Live Coverage on BBC One and Radio 5 Highlights on BBC Two Extensive editoria content on the BBC’s Where I webs te The Great North Radio Sports News bulletin reminders BBC Sport and Weather presenters Sport Academy: Paula ffe’s 7 Steps to g ory 12
7 8 . 3.3 Sport and technology 3.3.1 Interactive and broadband television The BBC has been at the forefront of the development of digital television, and sport applications have been at the forefront of the development of interactive television.
Alternative commentaries, pictures and statistics are offered across a range of sports to viewers receiving digital television. Over 9 million viewers66 in total have used BBC sport interactive applications during 2004. Sport applications from Wimbledon through to the World Snooker Championships account for the leading six interactive applications from the BBC.
During 2004 the BBC has supplemented its interactive and linear television coverage of the Athens Olympics with broadband streaming which offers live and highlights video coverage, as well as audio streaming from Radio Five Live. It also included ‘See how it is done’ video content from the BBC Sport Academy. 3.3.2 Production innovation The BBC has had a long heritage in innovation in sports coverage. In recent years the BBC has continued to invest in, develop and utilise new applications for the benefit of audiences. Examples include: • Wire-cam spanning stadium for overhead shots • Barnacle-cam, an underwater camera mounted at the end of the pool for finger-tip finishes • Hawkeye at Wimbledon recreates play electronically for analysis; • Access All Areas on Radio Five Live providing commentary and comment from all parts of the stadium • Mini-Mac, online score-updater keeping computer-bound tennis fans up to date • Five Live Sports Extra has increased capacity and utilisation of radio rights.
3.4 Audiences served & reached 3.4.1 Audience demographics Sport on BBC television reaches over 50%7 of the population each week. Through its diverse portfolio and presentation styles the BBC is able to attract audiences from all backgrounds, particularly on television8 .
6 Source: BBC Sport Audience Research 7 Source: BBC Sport Audience Research; during 2004 cumulative quarterly reach is 80%, weekly reach is 50.4%. 8 Sources: BARB Apr-Jun 2004, RSL/RAJAR Q2 2004, BMRB Apr-Jun 2004 13
9 10 Figure 1: Demographic reach profile of sports audience by media (%) 80% 78% 54% 19% 30% 51% 45% 33% 24% 27% 17% 70% 24% 45% 63% 35% 27% 26% 12% 41% 48% 20% 10% 55% 46% 37% 31% 30% 22% 10% 20% 49% 22% l e 5 5 + h n s e 4 4 1 t h M i 1 3 A B C C S o s N o BBC television sport Radio Five Live bbc.co.uk/sport E a M al -3 -5 rt u d D m o 6 5 2 ti N a Fe Overall BBC television accounts for 40% of terrestrial sports output in terms of hours but attracts 62% of viewing9 .
The BBC broadcasts a range of events that provide moments of national interest – in 2004 the BBC has brought millions of people together at such events: Table 4: Biggest BBC television peak audiences in 2004 in all sports10 Programme Event Audience Euro 2004 England v Portugal 23.9m Euro 2004 England v Croatia 20.4m Olympics Paula Radcliffe 10,000m 12.8m Euro 2004 Portugal v Greece 12.7m Olympics 4x400m Relay 11.7m Olympics 4x100m Relay 11.3m Wimbledon Henman v Philippoussis 11.2m Olympics Paula Radcliffe Marathon 10.7m Grand National 10.3m Olympics Opening Ceremony 10.2m Euro 2004 Portugal v Holland 10.2m Olympics Kelly Holmes 800m 10.0m Euro 2004 Croatia v France 9.8m Euro 2004 Spain v Portugal 9.7m Olympics 100m Final 8.9m Boat Race 8.9m Euro 2004 Germany v Holland 8.7m Olympics 200m Final 8.7m Six Nations Scotland v England 8.3m FA Cup Liverpool v Newcastle Utd 8.2m Sport Relief 7.8m 9 Source: BARB, April-June 2004 10 Source: BARB, 2004 14
On radio, BBC Radio Five Live and Five Live Sports Extra reach over 4.2 million people with live sport. Further audiences are attracted by cricket broadcasts on Radio 4 Long Wave and digitally on the Asian Network. The BBC Sport website attracts up to 7.6 million unique users during a month and receives up to 264 million page impressions in a month. 3.4.2 Building audiences through cross-media coverage A key part of the BBC’s sport strategy and distinctiveness within the market comes from its ability to build events through tri-media coverage and cross-promotion. This builds interest in hitherto untapped audiences and brings sport to the public in a surprising and distinct fashion.
The BBC is continually striving to make the most of its services for the benefit of its audiences. With major events such as the Six Nations, investment is made in developing propositions that support the core event. 15
Case study: Rugby Union Six Nations In 2003 the BBC regained exclusive broadcasting rights to Rugby Union’s Six Nation’s championship11 . By developing output within other BBC programming and using inventive scheduling of matches, the tournament has permeated new audiences. Using the array of programmes and platforms it has at its disposal, the BBC has built interest in the event: • a strong line-up of related programming with features on Ready Steady Cook, Blue Peter and the Archers amongst others • EastEnders’ character Kat Slater writing an online column on the event; • coverage featured on big screens in city centres attracting over 100,000 people; • trophy was taken on tour around the country and featured in BBC news and radio programming • Competitions ran across a range of BBC radio and television channels as well as BBCi • Six Nations Give it a Go competition in conjunction with Sport Academy This strategy has placed the Six Nations championships where it should be, at the very heart of the British sporting calendar.
A championship once in decline has been steadily rebuilt.
Reunifying coverage and placing matches in new and innovative slots has raised perception levels for the event and widened the audience base. Viewer numbers have increased by some 60% over the past two years. The profile of the audience has also shifted, with the proportion of female viewers reaching a new high. Figure 2 Six Nations average audience and share 6.8 5.7 4.0 4.4 3.7 3.4 2.6 3.3 4.1 27% 29% 50% 46% 36% 35% 35% 30% 25% 2 4 6 8 10 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Italy join New contract Share (%) Average Audience (m) Figure 2 Six Nations average audience and share 6.8 5.7 4.0 4.4 3.7 3.4 2.6 3.3 4.1 27% 29% 50% 46% 36% 35% 35% 30% 25% 2 4 6 8 10 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Italy join New contract Share (%) Average Audience (m) 16
3.4.3 Quality of coverage Key to the BBC’s role in sport is its ability to offer audiences high-quality coverage. To audiences, the BBC is recognisably a market leader in relation to other comparable broadcasters . In terms of television, the BBC runs neck and neck with Sky, and significantly above ITV, as the broadcaster rated best for sports output. Figure 3: Best TV channel for sports news & coverage amongst all interested in sport on television 0% l 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Any BBC channel Any ITV channel Any Sky Sports channe 2 3 4 - 2 J u 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 - 3 J u 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 y - v - y - y - g - p - c - r - g - p - v - c - - r - r - - n - b - r - - c t - b - n - c t - l l J u n J a J u n J a n J u a A p M a A p M a M a M a N o D e N o D e e A u S e A u S e e O O M F F Source: TNS Media Pan-BBC tracking study In terms of radio, around half of listeners rate Radio Five Live as the best station for sports news and coverage, a considerable lead over the commercial stations.
Taking into account Five Live Sports Extra and the BBC’s local services, 8 out of 10 listeners rate a BBC station as their premier choice.
Figure 4: Best radio station for sports news & coverage amongst all interested in sport on the radio 0% Fi ive Fi Tal ial BBC l 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% ve L ve Live Sports Extra kSPORT Local commerc ocal 2 2 3 3 4 2 J u 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 r - 3 3 J u 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 r - 4 4 y - - y - - y - g - c - b - g - c - n - p - c t - v - n - r - n - - p - v - n b - r - n - t - l l J u J a M a J u O c J a M a J u A p A p M a M a M a N o D e N o D e F e F e A u e A u S e O S Source: TNS Media Pan-BBC tacking study 17
Chapter 4 The BBC and the nation’s health The BBC recognises it has responsibilities in broadcasting that extend well beyond the sport spectacle itself.
Sports broadcasting across the BBC and the BBC’s grassroots initiatives play a key role in the development of British sport in terms of participation as well as social cohesion. This chapter outlines some of the BBC’s activities in this area that aim to build participation across society. 4.1 Sport Education 4.1.1 Sport Academy and Academy Parent The BBC’s Sport Academy is an example of the BBC combining its ability to mix mainstream content and platforms with niche content and innovation to deliver public service. The Academy is primarily a website promoting sports participation and education amongst young people.
The site covers 12 major sports and includes masterclasses from the top stars including Jonny Wilkinson and Tim Henman. In addition it also includes and promotes information about healthy eating and safety in sport. By working with the major sports governing bodies the website can also deliver opportunities to play and participate locally. Whilst the site is primarily aimed at children and young people, its resources are also appreciated by parents seeking information. Awareness of the Sport Academy has been driven by cross-promotion linked to our major sports programming. This has driven the site to 10 million page impressions and 1.5 million unique users during August 2004 - an increase of around 500 per cent since launch in July 2002.
The Sport Academy has been widely acknowledged as a unique offering delivering real public value: “We need to use the power of the media in a much more pro-active way and the BBC Sport Academy is a great example of that.” Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP Minister for Sport Following the success of the Sport Academy the BBC has created Academy Parent in partnership with the major sports development organisations in the UK – the national governing bodies, Sport England and SportsCoach UK. It offers links and pathways to real opportunities to get involved in volunteering and coaching at a local level.
4.1.2 Born To Win Born To Win on BBC One was a six part series during autumn 2003 that provided a rare and exciting opportunity to inspire young people to develop their interest in 18
playing sport. The series was brought to life on the ground by giving young people the chance to create their own sports blueprint online by participating in a series of mental and physical tests similar to those in the Born to Win programmes. Every secondary school in the UK received their own Born To Win Pack which featured promotional posters and teacher guides on how to organise Born To Win school events where pupils can create their own sports blueprint. In partnership with the Youth Sport Trust and the school college network, there were 70 Born To Win Days across England during October where young people will create their own blueprint and make contact with local sports clubs.
In addition, the events received a visit from a leading sports personality as part of Sport England’s “Sporting Champions” programme.
More than 25 000 pupils took part in Born To Win activities in schools. Some 50 000 Blueprints were completed online. Amongst teachers, 74% watched the series, 85% say that the programme has encouraged their pupils to take a more active interest in sports and 73% think that pupils are likely to try a new sport as a result of the project. 4.2 Grassroots initiatives The BBC has long acknowledged both its responsibility and capability in terms of building public value through grassroots sport. In recent years the BBC has stepped up its activities in this area.
Do More Than Just Watch was a joint project between the BBC, Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Club to promote tennis participation amongst young people.
Trails ran throughout television coverage of the Stella Artois and Wimbledon championships around the Do More Than Just Watch banner. Some 58 000 took part in the initiative of whom 76% were aged under 18 years and 30% joined a tennis club as a result of the initiative. In 2003 the BBC teamed up with the Royal and Ancient, the Professional Golf Association (PGA) and the Golf Foundation to create a major grassroots participation initiative around the Open Championships. Central to the initiative were BBC Television trails, masterclasses and verbal promotions to encourage people to give golf a try.
There was also additional extended coverage on the BBC interactive television service.
On the ground, junior visitors (1300 in total) to the Open itself received a free lesson from a PGA professional at the Junior Golf Centre. All of the schools that took part in the initiative received a free bag of equipment and teachers attended a leadership training course to enable them to run on-going sessions at their school and then link up with a PGA professional from a local golf facility. Going forwards the BBC anticipates more and more partnerships with rightsholders, sports bodies and public institutions in this area.
4.3 Public participation Although the BBC’s primary role in sport is providing breadth, depth and excellence of coverage, it also recognises its ability to promote sport and facilitate the sporting development of the country.
To this end the BBC has invested resources to the promotion and development of British sport. A key example of this is the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year (SPOTY) programme. The annual SPOTY awards have been running for 50 years now and are a national institution – attracting over 10m viewers in 2003. These awards play a role in providing a forum for role models. They have also developed to provide attention to grassroots sport through the featured awards for Young Personality and Unsung Hero as well as a range of regional awards. The programme has also become more interactive through the use of live voting.
Radio 5 Live has sponsored a Football Shirts Amnesty for the past two years. Listeners are invited to provide old or unwanted football strips which are freighted to deprived communities abroad. This initiative is supported by complementary programming. Case study: Sport Relief Sport Relief is a bi-annual event using the power of sport to raise funds for projects helping children and young people both in the UK and abroad. During 2002 sportsmen and women, sporting bodies and the BBC worked together around a common theme – ‘Get Active - Raise Money - Do Good’. The event culminated in a telethon featuring sport, celebrities, entertainment and fundraising viewed by 7m people on BBC One.
The centrepiece of this year’s edition – based on the theme of ‘Going the extra Mile’ and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the four-minute mile – was the world’s biggest ever fun-run, involving some 81,000 participants across the world. Between them Sport Relief and Sport Relief 2 have raised over £30m. The key to Sport Relief’s success was the BBC’s ability to lead a partnership between a diverse range of bodies and individuals. The following have all contributed time, effort or money under the auspices of the BBC: • corporate partners such as The Bodyshop, Vodafone and The Daily Telegraph • sporting institutions such as The Football Association, Sport England and The England and Wales Cricket Board • sports stars such as Steve Redgrave, Ellen MacArthur and David Beckham.
Finally, recognising the public interest in sport and its ability to connect with particular audiences, the BBC has developed initiatives to stimulate understanding of what it 20
offers and how sports media is produced. This summer the BBC News and Sport on Tour exhibition has travelled the UK with a mobile studio facility enabling hundreds of visitors to try their hand at commentary, writing a sports story or presenting sports news. Sport has also played a role in the successful roll-out of BBC Buses by using the BBC Sport website and promotional materials to attract audiences to online and interactive content. 21
Chapter 5 The future of sport on the BBC The BBC has been broadcasting sport for over 80 years. Development in both the media and sport sectors has never been as rapid as it is now.
After a rocky and difficult time adjusting to the advent of the digital world, sport on the BBC has had a successful period in recent years. However, looking ahead there remain many opportunities for the BBC to develop and extend its role in sport. This chapter outlines some of the plans the BBC has for its coverage of sport as well as its involvement in sport policy.
5.1 Building Public Value and sport Sport on the BBC is at the core of the BBC’s ambitions to continue Building Public Value. BBC Sport has had a relatively successful period in terms of ensuring the public enjoy national moments and also contributing to the development of sport in this country. However, as always, there remains room for progress. Three areas are critical to this and echo the sentiments of Building Public Value. Firstly, to remain at the heart of the national debate on sport the BBC must continue to invest in the acquisition and broadcasting of major events and harness the services and brands of the BBC to make the most of them.
Secondly, the BBC must continue to strive to innovate and discover new talent and ideas in sport. Thirdly, the BBC must make more of its position, its rights portfolio and its services in the field of grassroots sport and sport development.
5.2 Coverage of major events In an era of audience fragmentation live sport and in particular major events remain a key way of building public value. Along with other national cultural or political events, sporting moments can bring swathes of the country together. The BBC recognises this and is committed to funding the acquisition and production of major sporting events. For example, recognising the success of the Sydney and Athens Olympics in uniting the country, the BBC has already obtained the television and radio rights for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
However, it is not enough to merely obtain rights and broadcast output.
The BBC has made much more of major sports events in recent years and proposes to continue doing so. In particular cross-promotion across the BBC’s services will be used to draw in audiences from across the social spectrum. The increasing availability of interactive and broadband streaming will enable the BBC to offer audiences the opportunity to enjoy events as they want to view them. 22
5.3 Innovation and development As part of its role to surprise and delight audiences and truly engage with them the BBC will continue to strive to innovate in sports coverage. In terms of technology this year has seen the coming of age of interactive services, and what has previously been considered a value-added service is rapidly becoming a core part of the proposition. Looking ahead the BBC will build on this year’s broadband Olympic offering and continue to test audience demand for broadband and mobile services. In terms of coverage BBC Sport’s Innovations Group will continue to look at and road-test propositions that genuinely add value to audiences.
Audiences will remain the litmus test of any new technology applied in coverage.
The development of on-screen, on-air and online talent remains key to the future success of sport on the BBC and its appreciation and credibility with audiences. The BBC has made significant steps in developing a more diverse, yet credible, pool of Talent and proposes to build on this. By connecting with audiences through new avenues – such as the BBC Talent scheme or News and Sport on Tour – the BBC will attract an increasingly diverse and competitive range of people to represent it. 5.4 Grassroots initiatives and Sport Action The BBC seeks to add value to licence payers’ investment in sport.
As described earlier, the BBC has launched a number of initiatives, both on its own and in partnership with others, right across the country. Recognising the need for a coherent strategy and voice for such activities, the BBC has launched Sport Action, an umbrella for our various grassroots initiatives.
Sport Action is about better co-ordinating the vast amount of sporting community work supported by the BBC and about making the BBC’s contribution to sporting life bigger. Over time Sport Action will have three functions: • To motivate large numbers of people to take part in sport – by publicising community activity and by developing networks for participation. • To publicise and help develop community projects by building links between the BBC, the voluntary sector, Government and non-governmental organisations, taking a lead in publicising and supporting sporting projects which promote healthier lifestyles and social inclusion.
• To use the BBC’s unique and historic strength as a national and local public broadcaster to bring sporting people together, whether administrators, participants or supporters. Work has already started. Sport Relief and the Sport Academy are firmly embedded as part of BBC Sport’s output. This year over 81,000 people – including over 150 MPs and Peers – ran the Sport Relief Mile. Match of the Day on Sunday mornings now includes a feature promoting grassroots football. Building on the success of the 2003 UK Sport Summit a series of national and regional summits are planned for early 23
In time examples such as this will become the rule rather than the exception and developed coherently and strategically. 5.5 Conclusions In the past decade the sports broadcasting market has changed radically. This document has outlined the BBC’s role within this evolving market in terms of coverage, talent, technology and innovation. It has also looked at the BBC’s activities in terms of sport policy and public participation – a role that we see increasing in the future. Our ambition is to continue to be a dynamic and evolving organisation committed to delivering public value in a rapidly changing world.
Appendix A – List of television sports rights retained by the BBC Athletics World Championships European Championships UK Athletics London Marathon Great North Run Badminton All England Badminton Championships Bowls World Indoor Bowls BUPA Homecare Open Boxing Fight Academy Hennessy Sports Cycling Tour of Britain World Road Race Championships World Track Cup Darts World Championships Equestrian World Championships European Championships Badminton Horse Trials Olympia Burghley Horse Trials Hickstead Football FA Premiership Highlights England Home Internationals World Cup FA Cup Women’s FA Cup Final Golf The Open Championships Ryder Cup Highlights PGA European Tour/World Matchplay US Masters Women’s British Open Seve Trophy 25
Gymnastics World Championships European Championships Grand Prix Horse Racing Aintree Ascot Epsom Goodwood Haydock Northern Racing French Racing Irish Racing Major Events Summer Olympics Winter Olympics Paralympics Motor Cycling MotoGP World Championships Rowing World Championships Rugby League Challenge Cup TriNations Highlights Superleague Play-offs (regional highlights) Rugby Union Six Nations Celtic Nations Autumn Internationals & Club Matches Powergen Cup Churchill Cup All Blacks v Barbarians England Autumn Internationals Skiing World Championships Alpine World Cup from Austria Snooker L G Cup UK Championships Masters World Championships Squash British Open Championships 26
Swimming World Championships Tennis Australian Open Davis Cup: GB Team Eastbourne French Open Champions Tour Queens Wimbledon Superset Triathlon World Championships and World Cups Great North Triathlon Notes: List correct as at 27th September 2004; List excludes nations, regions and local television rights; Some rights are held exclusively by the BBC to some degree. This could be either in terms of time of broadcast, archive rights, platform rights or partnership arrangements. 27
Appendix B – List of network radio sports rights retained by the BBC Athletics Golden League UK Athletics Great North Run London Marathon Boxing Sports Network Fight Academy Hennessy Sports English home Test Matches and domestic Cricket competitions World Cup 2007 ICC Trophy 2006 Cycling Tour of Britain Darts World Championships Equestrian World Championships European Championships Badminton Horse Trials Burghley Horse Trials Hickstead Football Champions League UEFA Cup Premier League FA including internationals Football League Scottish Premier League Scottish FA including internationals Nations Internationals (Wales, N.
Ireland, Republic of Ireland) European Championships 2008 World Cup 2006 Golf The Open Championships Ryder Cup US Masters US PGA US Open European Tour Horse Racing All domestic racing 28
Motor Sport Formula 1 MotoGP World Championships Rugby League Super League Challenge Cup Tri Nations Rugby Union British Lions Tours Six Nations Rugby Football Union (all competitions and England autumn internationals) European Cup Nations’ Tours Tennis French Open Wimbledon US Open Australian Open Davis Cup Queens Eastbourne Champions Tour 2005-07 Triathlon World Championships and World Cups Notes: List correct as at 27th September 2004; List excludes nations, regions and local radio rights; Some rights are held exclusively by the BBC to some degree. This could be either in terms of time of broadcast, archive rights, platform rights or partnership arrangements.