BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra is a national digital radio station in the United Kingdom, operated by the BBC, and specialising only in extended additional sports coverage. It is a sister station to BBC Radio 5 Live and shares facilities, presenters and management, and is a department of the BBC North Group division.
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom - Nationally via Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB)|
|Frequency||DAB: 12B |
Sky (UK only): 0144
Virgin Media: 908
Virgin Media Ireland: 928
|BBC Radio 5 Live|
First air date
|2 February 2002|
|Website||BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra|
If a news story breaks during the live sport broadcasts on 5 Live, the sports coverage will be redirected and continued on 5 Live Sports Extra, whilst 5 Live switches to live news.
BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra launched as part of the BBC's expansion into digital radio by launching several digital only stations that would complement existing coverage. At the time of launch, all radio sports coverage was included as part of BBC Radio 5 Live's mix of news and sport, the longwave frequencies of BBC Radio 4 or on individual BBC Local Radio stations. As these platforms couldn't appropriately accommodate any additional sports, a new service was launched: BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra. The station began broadcasts at 2:30 pm on 2 February 2002. Juliette Ferrington introduced the first programme – commentary of Manchester United against Sunderland.
Despite many television rights to sporting events being heavily fought over by commercial companies, such as Sky Sports and ITV Sport, radio sports coverage for many events are still held by the BBC: the main competitor being the commercial station Talksport.
In 2007, the station was rebranded in line with the rest of the network. The new BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra logo was turned into a circular based logo in the colour green; according to research, the green colour was chosen as people associated it with sport. In addition, a new background of blue and red diagonal lines on the same green colour was adopted for promotions for the service. Along with the rebrand, Sports Extra began to become closer aligned with 5 Live. As a result, the online presence of the station was toned down with only an upcoming schedule remaining; all other details were merged into the 5 Live website or the new BBC Radio online homepage.
The remit of BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra is to bring a greater choice of live action to sports fans by offering a part-time extension of BBC Radio 5 live. The service should aim to provide increased value for licence fee payers from the portfolio of sports rights already owned by the BBC by offering alternative coverage to that provided on other UK-wide BBC services. All output on 5 live Sports Extra should be live sports coverage.
BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra is broadcast only on digital platforms; unlike sister station 5 Live, no analogue frequency is used. Sports Extra is transmitted on DAB Digital Radio and on digital television through satellite services, such as Sky and Freesat, cable operators, such as Virgin Media, DTT services via Freeview, and on IPTV. The service is also available online through the BBC website, the BBC Sounds service and the Radioplayer service part owned by the BBC. The BBC Sounds platform also re-broadcasts programmes for catch-up after original broadcast. Due to rights restrictions, some programmes are only available to UK audiences or are unavailable on the BBC's online services.
The station is notable in that it is a part-time service, only airing during ongoing sports broadcasts. The broadcasts themselves are live and uninterrupted, unlike sports coverage on Radio 5 Live (which breaks for regular news bulletins) and Radio 4 Longwave (which adds regular scheduled opt-outs such as The Daily Service and the Shipping Forecast into coverage.) During Sports Extra's downtime, the station does not simulcast any other broadcast; this is unusual on the BBC Radio network as nearly all stations now operate 24 hours a day, in some cases by simulcasting another service - for instance, Radio 4 carries the BBC World Service overnight and BBC Local Radio stations broadcast 5 Live when not on air. A label for Sports Extra is continuously radiated on the DAB Digital Radio multiplex to allow those tuning their radio to store the station to their device even if it is not live on air. On digital TV platforms, where Sports Extra has its own dedicated full-time stream, not sharing feed capacity with any other services, a looping promotional barker is played when live output is not running; the EPG information during this reel will often give details of the next live event to be covered by the station, should this information be available. The Sports Extra internet stream, which used to go off air when live content was not running, now also broadcasts the promo loop.
The station's controller is Jonathan Wall, who is also responsible for 5 Live and is answerable to the BBC North and BBC Audio & Music departments. The station operates from Quay House in MediaCityUK on a single floor alongside 5 Live. Although 5 Live Sports Extra uses no studio space, the teams required to organise the match coverage are shared with 5 Live. The move to Salford took two months, and occurred alongside 5 Live, in a bid to create a northern media hub and to outsource major production from London. Previously, 5 Live Sports Extra had been located alongside 5 Live in BBC Television Centre and spread over several floors.
5 Live Sports Extra broadcast a variety of sports including:
- Test Match Special
- Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy, and Twenty20 World Cup
- England cricket tests and One Day Internationals
- Friends Provident Trophy semi-finals and final and Twenty20 Cup
- Cricket's County Championship
- Full broadcasts of Premier League and Home Nation football if games overlap, with 5 Live carrying first-choice in these cases
- Major League Baseball's World Series, since 2004
- Wimbledon Tennis championships, with the station providing extra court commentary for the first week of the tournament
- National Hockey League's Stanley Cup Finals
- Tennis Grand Slam tournament coverage of non-final rounds and some other major tennis tournaments
- Formula One motor racing
- Action from any other competition broadcast on 5 Live
Through the 2012 season, 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra carried NFL late games broadcast on Sunday evening, with coverage taken from Westwood One, except the NFL International Series and Super Bowl, which used BBC-produced commentaries. Absolute Radio 90s acquired the broadcast rights to the NFL beginning in 2013. BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra reacquired the rights to NFL games for the 2014–15 playoffs.
- Plunkett, John (8 August 2007). "New logos for BBC Radio - cool or balls?". Organ Grinder Blog. The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra Service Licence" (PDF). BBC Trust. April 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra Help". BBC. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Adrian Van Klaveren, Controller, Radio 5 Live". About the BBC - Inside the BBC. BBC. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Cooper, Will. "Tony Livesey's guide to the 5 live studios". BBC Radio 5 Live Blog. BBC. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- BBC 5 Live to air Super Bowl XLIX from Arizona. Retrieved 9 January 2015.