Is The BBC Considering Axing The Football League Show?


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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5 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    It costs too much to make, the Football League dropped the ball by making the highlights contract one of the most expensive to produce while they let Sky cherry pick the footage afterwards for no cost.

  2. Kruador says:

    The BBC did not bid for any part of the Football League rights for the next contract. Live games are exclusive to Sky from the beginning of next season, for three seasons.

    That article says that terrestrial highlights were still up for grabs. It may be that no-one has yet bid for them – I can’t find any announcements. The highlights were offered as a package at the same time as the live rights, and the bid document says that the Football League can decide to exploit any un-sold rights packages itself. The package itself (package five) is not specifically for free-to-air broadcast, and the Football League is not a ‘protected event’ in the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed & Designated Events, so the highlights could still go to a subscription service.

    Clause a) of the package description is interesting in this context:

    “The right and obligation to Transmit on a weekly basis during each Season, not less
    than sixty (60) minutes of highlights programming, to include as much of the Match
    action played in that week as possible, with a maximum of 20 minutes of Footage from
    any Match. The sixty minutes of programming may be broken down into more than one
    programme during the week.

    “Each highlights programme must be Transmitted as close to the Match action it relates
    to as possible, preferably on the same day as the Matches concerned are played. Any
    highlights programme featuring Matches played on a Saturday must be Transmitted
    before 12.00 noon the following day (Sunday).”

    If those clauses are in the current contract, the BBC would be breaking them by not at least showing a highlights programme on Saturday evening.

  3. Kruador says:

    @Ben: the relevant clause only says:

    “The obligation to film and record and make available Footage in accordance with the
    requirements of section 4.10 at least one Match (not being a Live Match) from:
    (i) each round of the Football League Competition programme; and
    (ii) rounds 1 to 5 only of the League Cup, as a main highlights Match in each Season,
    using an outside broadcast unit of not less than six cameras (with ancillary

    Packages 1 to 4, the live packages, do not allow the winner an automatic right to other matches. They say “The Football League is prepared to discuss with the successful Bidder a limited right to Transmit clips from other Matches in The Football League that are not the subject of this Rights Package.”

    I don’t see the other obligations of package 5 as being that expensive. Indeed the only other obligation is the weekly highlights programme.

    Another conssequence is that if the BBC haven’t bid for package 5, they can’t include any Football League content in Football Focus after this season’s ended.

  4. ChrisP says:

    While it would be sad to see terrestrial TV without any Football League coverage (and even sadder to see MOTD carry on as it is), to be honest the show isn’t fit for purpose. As long as the BBC continues to put individual teams highlights up on their webpage, and as long as regional radio still do after match interviews (which also end up on the BBC website), I don’t think there will be much protest against its passing. The format, host, “pundit”, and production values are all very poor, leaving only the football itself, which as I’ve said can be accessed through other media.

  5. Ben says:

    Kruador, if you read the full document you’ll notice this passage:

    “The Football League will require the Licensees of the non-live Rights Packages to make an appropriate contribution to the production and/or production costs of non-Live Matches to ensure that the burden of producing such non-Live Matches is fairly shared and apportioned amongst all relevant Licensees.”

    At present the BBC has to shoulder a lot the cost of filming each match, sending it to London and then editing it all by midnight. A monumental task compared to any other football show on TV. That’s where the cost comes from.

    ChrisP, the online clips on the BBC Sport website will stop at the end of the season as someone else has won those rights (I forget who but it’ll be on the FL site somewhere).

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