BBC extends Newcastle and Sunderland deals
BBC Newcastle has signed new three-year commentary deals with both Newcastle United FC and Sunderland AFC starting this season.
The deal means BBC Newcastle will be able to continue providing exclusive commentary of all games for both clubs, home and away, for the next three seasons.
Matthew Raisbeck will head up the match day commentary team for BBC Newcastle at all the Newcastle United games. Matthew will be joined by ex-Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland defender John Anderson as regular summariser.
Matthew Raisbeck said: “I’m really looking forward to commentating on Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League. It was a hard fought battle for the club throughout the last season and they thoroughly deserved their promotion. It will be a huge pleasure seeing Rafa Benitez’s side taking on the big teams around the country.”
For Sunderland AFC, Nick Barnes will lead the BBC Newcastle commentary as the club face their first season in the Championship since 2006. Nick will be joined in the commentary box by former Sunderland captain Gary Bennett.
Nick Barnes said: “I have been a Sunderland AFC supporter for many years now and it’s always eventful commentating on their matches. This year will bring a new challenge as the club play in the Championship but I’m confident that, under the guidance of new manager Simon Grayson, the team will see a quick return to the Premier League.”
Doug Morris, Managing Editor of BBC Newcastle, added: “Both Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC have loyal followings and we know our listeners love the commentary that BBC Newcastle provides on both clubs. I am delighted that the station will continue to cover all the matches of both teams for the next three seasons. We’re hoping for a great season back in the Premier League for Newcastle and for Sunderland to be back in the top flight in 12 months.”
A Newcastle United FC spokesperson said: “BBC Newcastle’s commentary helped provide the narrative to an incredible season for us in 2016/17. Our supporters listened in huge numbers to our reinvented digital channels, with the live audio provided by Matthew, John – and of course Mick – playing a huge part in our transformed online matchday experience. We have no doubt that Matthew and John will bring to life every moment of our 2017/18 season, and beyond, for the ever-growing audience of listeners who tune in each match.”
A spokesperson from Sunderland AFC said: “Nick and Gary have been commentating on Sunderland games for many years now and they are as much a part of a match day for many fans as a pie and a pint. We are delighted that the team from BBC Newcastle will continue to bring the match day experience to those who can’t attend games in person and we look forward to the next three seasons.”