The BBC has put a proposal to the Trust to make more programmes on 5 Live Sports Extra, including a maximum of 10 hours per week of new magazine programmes.
Explaining the proposals, Jonathan Wall, controller of BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra says extra airtime and exposure will be given to a wide range of sports that don’t currently receive significant coverage on UK radio.
“We want 5 live Sports Extra to be an even bigger driving force for good for sport in this country. By introducing a limited amount of new magazine programming to our remit of covering live sport, Sports Extra could become a broader multi-sport channel.
“This plan would also help meet some of the new ways of listening to sport – on phones, on tablets and in a personalised way.”
The station will commit to a new weekly Olympic and Paralympics show in the build up to Rio next year. There would also be a new weekly cycling show focusing both on elite sport and participation.
The proposal also includes a new weekly show all about netball and women’s football.
The ‘new’ 5 Live Sports Extra would also repeat programmes from 5 live and the BBC World Service, such as specials on Pregnancy and Sport, Tony McCoy’s Top Ten Horses, and Jimmy Anderson – The Wicket Man.
There’s no mention of any costs associated with creating the extra content but the station hopes to have approval from the BBC Trust by January next year.
Jonathan continues: “Over the last two years, we have taken a number of steps to reach audiences in new ways. This has included an innovation on the BBC Sport App where you can now listen to our live commentaries on your mobile whilst checking out the latest scores. We’ve also launched a ‘snackable’ service which allows people to listen to short bursts of our best output. In Short, as it’s known, now gets a million hits a month.
“We think this proposal will not only deliver the most distinctive programming in the 90 year history of BBC radio sport, but will also encourage our audiences to listen to us in new ways.”
Sports Extra launched at 2.30pm on 2 February 2002 when Juliette Ferrington introduced the first programme – commentary of Manchester United against Sunderland. It is available on DAB across the UK and other digital platforms and broadcasts from MediaCityUK along with 5 live.