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BBC Radio 5 Live (formerly styled BBC Radio Five Live) is the BBC's radio service that specialises in live BBC News, phone-ins, and sports commentaries. It is the principal radio station covering sport in the United Kingdommarker, broadcasting virtually all major sports events staged in the UK or involving British competitors.

Radio 5 Live was launched in March 1994 as a repositioning of the original BBC Radio 5, which was launched in August 1990. It is transmitted via analogue radio on 693 and 909 kHz AM in the medium wave band, frequencies that belonged to BBC Radio 2 from 23 November 1978 to 26 August 1990 (before that they were used in some regions of the UK by the BBC Home Service and BBC Radio 4), and on digital radio in the United Kingdom via DAB, digital satellite (Freesat and Sky), IPTV and Freeview (digital terrestrial television). It is also streamed online, however due to rights restrictions, coverage of some events, especially "live" sporting events, is not available online. Some content is available online but restricted to UK users.

The station broadcasts from the News Centre at BBC Television Centremarker with a small office in Manchester and a team of its own reporters based around the UK. The station will be moving in 2011, as part of a larger shift of some BBC resources, to Salfordmarker.


Original 1990s Five live logo

The success of Radio 4 News FM during the 1991 first Gulf War led Liz Forgan to suggest in May 1993 the introduction of a combined news and sport network. Accordingly, the "old" Radio 5 closed down at midnight on Sunday 27 March 1994 and the new Radio 5 Live began its 24-hour service on the morning of Monday 28 March. The first voice on air was Jane Garvey, who later went on to co-present the breakfast and drivetime shows with Peter Allen. The launch was described by The Times as "slipp[ing] smoothly and confidently into a routine of informative banter" and The Scotsman as "professionalism at its slickest."

The tone of the channel, engaging and more relaxed than contemporary BBC output, was the key to the channel's success and would set the model for other BBC News services later in the decade. The first audiences were some four million, with a record audience of six and a quarter million.

Before the launch of digital broadcasting, the station (and Radio 5 before it) broadcast for several years on analogue satellite with near-FM quality.

Among the key editorial staff involved in the design of programme formats and recruitment of staff for the new station were Sara Nathan, later editor of Channel 4 News, and Tim Luckhurst, later editor of The Scotsman newspaper and currently Professor of Journalism at the University of Kent.

Presenters that have now left the station include Susan Bookbinder, Jon Briggs, Jon Champion, Adrian Chiles, Edwina Currie, Fi Glover, Nick Hancock, Brian Hayes, Peter Heaton-Jones, Jane Hill, Des Lynam, David Mellor, Louise Minchin, Paddy O'Connell, Jonathan Pearce, Nick Robinson, Sybil Ruscoe, Kate Silverton, Bill Turnbull, Sian Williams, Eamonn Holmes and Mark Saggers

2000-2007 Five live logo

In 2005 the Radio Five Live Sporting Yearbook (ISBN 0-00-721598-3) was published.

The station won five Sony Awards, one gold and four silver, in 2005 and was nominated an additional six times. The lone gold award was in the News Story Award category for its coverage of the 2004 Asian tsunamimarker.

BBC Radio 5 Live were Official Broadcasters of the FIFA World Cup 2006 along with talkSPORT. Both stations will broadcast live Premier League commentaries from August 2007, with the 7 rights packages being shared 6 to 1 in favour of 5 Live.

A companion station, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, was launched as a digital-only service on 2 February 2002.

In August 2007, BBC Radio Five Live was renamed BBC Radio 5 Live and was given a new logo.

BBC breaking news policy

BBC policy for major breaking news events has a priority list. With domestic news, the correspondent first records a "generic minute" summary (for use by all stations and channels) and then priority is to report on Radio 5 Live, then on the BBC News Channel and onto any other programmes that are on air. For foreign news, first a "generic minute" is recorded, then reports are to World Service radio, then the reporter talks to any other programmes that are on air.

Sport on 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live broadcasts an extremely wide range of sports and covers all the major sporting events, mostly under its flagship sports banner 5 Live Sport They are:

Most non-cricket broadcasts are available online only from IP addresses within the UK as both television and radio rights are typically sold on a country-by-country basis. Often UEFA Champions League games are not broadcast live online at all due to rights restrictions imposed by UEFA. This is sometimes not the case for matches in the knockout stage involving English clubs playing at home, whereby domestic radio stations may bid for non-exclusive rights to all coverage, including online broadcast.

Sport on Sports Extra

As 5 Live cannot accommodate all of the sports which they have rights to broadcast, they split some of it with its sister station Sports Extra, including:

Sports Extra typically emphasizes full broadcasts of Premier League and Home Nations football if games overlap each other. Five Live carries the first-choice match in such cases.

Despite the fact that commercial stations (such as Sky Sports) have acquired the vast majority of sports television broadcasting rights in the UK, the BBC remains dominant in radio sport with BBC Radio 5 Live and its local radio stations. Its main commercial rival for radio sports rights is TalkSPORT.

Current programmes and presenters

Regular shows as of June 2009:

See also



External links

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