Sport

Industry experts discuss the future of sport on TV

Women’s football is “a success story but it’s only just beginning”, argued Dawn Airey, Chair of the Barclays FA Women's Super League and former Channel 5 Chair. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it. We want young women to see you can play football at a very high level and make a really good career out of it.”

Free-to-air access, she said, was “absolutely critical”, adding that women’s football has to balance “revenue and reach. We need to drive money into the game but we absolutely want engagement, and to get engagement you need that fee-to-air opportunity.”

TV sports reboots

On 12 March, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus, sending his team and staff into self-isolation. The following morning, the Premier League threw in the towel – it was obvious that it was no longer possible to play football during the Covid-19 epidemic.

The rest of football and pretty much all sport followed. At a stroke, the schedules of the UK’s specialist sports broadcasters had been emptied.

Guest post: The future of fan engagement and sponsorship: unlocking the potential of data in sport

Data is pervasive in today’s professional sports world. It’s difficult to remember a time when football on TV didn't have information on pass completion percentages and shot counts, when tennis didn’t have Hawk-Eye, and when cricket didn’t have its Hot Spot infrared imaging system.

In much the same way as retail, healthcare, or financial services, the industry has embraced digital transformation, and with it, an appreciation of the power of data.

TV sport: All to play for

Welcome to the great British summer of no sport. There will be no Wimbledon, no Euro 2020 football, no Open golf and no Olympics, which leaves the sport broadcasters on the canvas.

Punch drunk they may be, but no one is throwing in the towel. The challenge is to fill the hours of telly set aside for sport this summer and to attract the bumper audiences being enjoyed elsewhere on TV during the lockdown.

Live sport has not disappeared entirely – Taiwanese basketball and baseball anyone? – but there is not much of it about.

Soccer Aid 2019 reveals celebrity line-up

Soccer Aid co-founder Robbie Williams (Credit: ITV)

Taking place at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge in London, all money raised will go towards Unicef’s work in providing care and protection for children around the world.

The match will see ex-football legends and celebrities such as Jamie Redknapp, Mark Wright and Ben Shepherd playing for the England team, and going head to head with the Soccer Aid World XI team.

Produced by Initial, part of Endemol Shine UK, the match will be broadcast live on ITV on June 16th and hosted by Dermot O’Leary.

Ashley John-Baptiste takes the temperature in Russia

It was late March when BBC Newsgathering offered me a lifetime opportunity – to report from Russia during the World Cup. My response? Heck, yes! It was a no-brainer. 

Only hours after the initial buzz faded and I had spoken with mates did concerns arise.

Would I experience racial abuse in Russia? Would I be able to hack the cultural and language barriers while consistently providing quality reports? I knew without a doubt that this would be a step up from the domestic reporting that I was used to.