BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
Broadcast area United Kingdom - Nationally via Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB)
Slogan More live sport. Pure live sport. Live cricket from the Test Match Special team, football commentary, Formula 1, rugby union, rugby league, baseball, NFL American Football, tennis...
Frequency DAB: 12B
Freeview: 706
Freesat: 706
Sky (UK only): 0144
Virgin Media: 908
Virgin Media Ireland: 928
First air date 2 February 2002
Format Sport
Audience share 0.2% (December 2012, [1])
Owner BBC

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BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra (also known as just 5 Live Sports Extra or 5 Live Extra) is a national digital radio station, 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.

The station is only available on Digital Radio, television platforms and online.


Radio Five Live Sports Extra logo 2002-07

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 2.30pm 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.[2] 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.

In 2011 the station, along with 5 Live, moved to MediaCityUK in Salford, Greater Manchester.


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 Trust, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra Remit[3]

BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra is broadcast only on digital platforms. Unlike sister station 5 Live, no analogue frequency is used. Instead, the service is only available on DAB Digital Radio and on Digital television through operators on satellite services, such as Sky, cable operators, such as Virgin Media, DTT services, such as Freeview, and on IPTV.[4] The service is also available online through the BBC website, the sub-site BBC iPlayer service and the Radioplayer service part owned by the BBC. The BBC iPlayer service also re-broadcasts programmes for seven days after original broadcast. Due to rights restrictions, some programmes are only available to UK audiences or are not available on the BBC Website or iPlayer services.[4]

BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra's base in Quay House, MediaCityUK.

The station is notable in that it is a part-time service, only airing throughout sports broadcasts. These broadcasts themselves are also live and uninterrupted, unlike Radio 5 Live which adds news bulletins and Radio 4 Longwave which adds the Shipping Forecast into coverage. When the station goes off-air, all broadcasts cease as the station does not simulcast any other broadcast; this is unusual on the BBC Radio network as nearly all radio stations now operate 24 hours a day or simulcast with another service - Radio 4 simulcasts with the BBC World Service and BBC Local Radio stations broadcast 5 Live when not on air. A side effect of this lack of simulcast is that those attempting to tune into the station with a DAB Digital Radio will often have difficulty finding the station. Internet stream, which earlier also used to go off air, now broadcasts station promo in a loop.

The stations controller is Jonathan Wall, who is also responsible for 5 Live and is answerable to the BBC North and BBC Audio & Music departments.[5] 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.[6]


5 Live Sports Extra broadcast a variety of sports including:

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.[7]

See also


  1. "Listening Figures - Quarterly Listening". RAJAR. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  2. Plunkett, John (8 August 2007). "New logos for BBC Radio - cool or balls?". Organ Grinder Blog. The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  3. "BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra Service Licence" (PDF). BBC Trust. April 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  4. 1 2 "BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra Help". BBC. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  5. "Adrian Van Klaveren, Controller, Radio 5 Live". About the BBC - Inside the BBC. BBC. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  6. Cooper, Will. "Tony Livesey's guide to the 5 live studios". BBC Radio 5 Live Blog. BBC. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  7. BBC 5 Live to air Super Bowl XLIX from Arizona. Retrieved 9 January 2015.

External links

Coordinates: 53°28′22″N 2°17′50″W / 53.47278°N 2.29722°W / 53.47278; -2.29722

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