Boat Race back on Beeb

  interzone55 08:50 19 Mar 09

Another sporting event returns to the good old BBC

click here

Yes, they flirted with commercial television, then realised that ITV can't cope with broadcasting live TV that doesn't fit into nice 12 minute segments.

Hopefully the FA cup will be back where it belongs next year as well...

  dagbladet 14:53 19 Mar 09

More a case of the BBC are prepared to invest a vast amount of the license fee not only to secure the rights, but to pay for the massive amount of infrastructure including helicopters et al. I'm all for a bit of tradition but I question whether the event justifies the expense.

  Stuartli 14:59 19 Mar 09

Formula 1 is, of course, also returning to the BBC and, for anyone interested, Freeview Channel 302 (BBCi Active Service) is currently showing a lot of wonderful action from former years, presented by the inimitable Murray Walker.

It's scheduled to run in a loop until 9pm tonight, but no doubt will be on again during the next few days.

  ened 15:49 19 Mar 09

Thanks for that; I had no idea.

My wife wouldn't thank you because I was meant to be decorating!

  interzone55 17:24 19 Mar 09

My point is more along the lines that ITV can't broadcast sport, because few sports, fit into their advert schedule.

As for expense, I'm willing to wager the 2 hour program around the boat race costs less than a 1 hour drama...

  Forum Editor 17:53 19 Mar 09

We have a few sporting events that are unique. The Grand National is one, and the boat race is another - we should make more of it, and the BBC certainly knows how to present sports programmes. Its football presentation knocks every other channel into a cocked hat.

  laurie53 20:25 19 Mar 09

Some may have forgotten, and some may be too young to have ever known, why sport is so beloved by the BBC.

When tv started up again after WW II, the amount of time the BBC were allowed to broadcast was restricted by the Government (mustn't have the masses enjoying themselves, chaps).

Remember the news being on at six, and then an "interlude" of up to two hours?

Sport was free of these restrictions and didn't count in the hours allowed (better let the masses have their football, chaps) and consequently this was where the BBC concentrated all their research, money, and ever improving technology.

They developed a world lead which they've never really lost, though once big money came in they started fighting a rearguard action.

  Stuartli 00:26 20 Mar 09

>>better let the masses have their football, chaps>>

To the best of my knowledge, TV didn't really cover football seriously in any way until early 1960, when ITV agreed a 26 live match series of league fixtures.

I particularly remember the first live ITV matches because one of my friends, the then Blackpool goalkeeper, appeared in one of these games against Bolton Wanderers.

There was also BBc's Match of the Day which started in 1964 or 1965. Again, some of the footballers I knew well appeared in many of these matches.

I also recall some great Wolves performances in night matches.

However, it wasn't until the early 1980s that football began to appear live on the box regularly through another ITV agreement with the Football League.

  laurie53 07:02 20 Mar 09

You are, perhaps, only considering association football and not rugby football, which was the first television programme I ever watched.

England v Wales at Twickenham, on a friend of a friend's set, circa 1950.

  newman35 08:01 20 Mar 09

" and then an "interlude" of up to two hours"

Ah, the test card and the beloved potters wheel - heady days indeed!

  wiz-king 08:19 20 Mar 09

Hush! "and then an "interlude" of up to two hours" - don't give the Government ideas. They might come up with something like this -
'For the sake of the education of our glorious nations children the will henceforth be no television between 11pm and 9 o'clock in the morning and a homework break between 7pm and 9pm.'

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