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BBC Sport website at 20: Your questions answered


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BBC Sport website at 20: Your questions answered

To mark the 20th anniversary of the BBC Sport website, we asked our readers to send in their questions and said we would do our best to answer a selection of them.There were no rules or out-of-bounds subjects. In some cases, where multiple submissions were asking similar things, we have grouped them together into a…

BBC Sport website at 20: Your questions answered

A picture of a question mark in a speech bubble

To mark the 20 th anniversary of the BBC Sport site, we asked our readers to send out in their concerns and stated we would do our finest to respond to a choice of them.

There were no rules or out-of-bounds topics. In some cases, where numerous submissions were asking similar things, we have organized them together into a single question.

Thank you to everybody who submitted a question. We had nearly 400 submissions. Here are our responses:

1. Why has the BBC Sport site end up being political?

The BBC Sport site and app have not become political. Throughout its history, sport undoubtedly discovers itself entwined in off-field issues. For example, envision if the BBC Sport website had been a thing in the 1960 s and we ignored the bid to prepare Muhammad Ali into the Vietnam war, or felt the Black Power Salute from the 1968 Olympics was off the field and not pertinent to report.

We are here to cover live sport, yes, however reporting sports news is the other key remit. We do not have a political program – our goal is simply to inform and inform.

Take the current Black Lives Matter motion. This is a concern that has actually shaken the world and sports stars have blazed a trail in speaking up. It is right we cover that. In the Premier League, gamers have taken the knee and worn Black Lives Matter on their t-shirt. It is right we cover that.

On the broader problems, it is right we seek to utilize our platform to explain why this movement is occurring by sharing the stories of professional athletes.

2. How has sports reporting altered over the past 20 years and how do you believe it might have changed in a more 20 years?

When we launched in 2000, our sports reporting was still akin to that of a standard paper – we did refrain from doing live reporting, and we would cover a game only upon the final whistle.

But as technology enhanced, we were able to develop, rapidly realising that live reporting throughout the big events was the development area.

By the time it concerned London 2012, we were able to stream every event survive on the site, while likewise utilising social media and mobile phones as a way of reaching new audiences. It was a truly digital Olympics, and a far cry from needing to await an occasion to finish.

Now, with the continued increase of social networks, the world is always linked. That presents new obstacles. Stories develop and collect pace at speeds that were previously umpteen telephone call away. Journalists require to be smart to this total change of news gathering.

And the method people receive their news has changed, with lots of now accessing the current news updates by means of their social networks timelines. It is now about being proactive in reaching people with your content, instead of expecting them to come to you.

It is difficult to know what the landscape will resemble in 20 years’ time, however we do understand that providing material that is personally appropriate to an individual will continue to play a key role in the near future, and in the short term we will also look to broaden the home entertainment and enjoyable coverage of sports reporting which have proved very popular.

3. Would you think about further promoting the UK or European League of Legends scene in the future?

We understand esports is a big industry. In a report from 2019, the UK computer game sector was said to be more rewarding than video and music combined.

So this is absolutely a location we are taking a look at and the absence of live sport in current months has afforded us the time and area to dig into it further, with the Rocket League Spring Series, the ePL invitational and obviously, League of Legends, all being covered on the website recently.

The difficulty we have in this area is to construct an audience and an expectation for our esports coverage, and this is something we will continue to explore.

4. How do you choose which of the smaller sized sports to stream live and how much do the rights to these occasions cost?

On the website we aim to provide direct exposure to lesser-known sports and ideally assist them construct a profile, specifically Olympic sports in the lead-up to Tokyo. We likewise seek to commission ladies’s sport, new sports, modern formats of recognized sports, and esports.

For some events we produce the coverage ourselves, such as the early rounds of both the FA Cup and the rugby league Obstacle Cup. But the majority are produced by the governing bodies themselves through production companies contracted by them. We then work with the production company and governing body to protect the legal rights, and ensure technical toughness and editorial compliance.

The BBC has rigorous editorial standards. Every occasion should have the ability to adhere to the BBC’s rules on the direct exposure of sponsorship, branding and charity references.

There are likewise factors to consider around scheduling, such as busy periods in the sporting calendar, time zones where particular occasions happen, and of course, financial decisions.

5. How do you choose what stories to cover?

In deciding which stories we cover, there has never been so much option.

The meaning of what is ‘Sports News’ for our audience has evolved along with the BBC Sport website’s higher reach, breadth and depth. It can see us discussing the latest Netflix sports documentary, reporting a major NFL finalizing and covering a UFC battle all on the exact same day.

Generally, news outlets would provide stories they felt was very important and it was a one-way discussion. On the BBC Sport site, we bring you the greatest sport news stories of the day, however likewise like to cover the other stories our audiences may be discussing which are essential to them or their communities.

In regards to the mechanics, we have several official and casual editorial conferences each day where we prioritise the most significant stories in the diary and any breaking news; talk about the continuous styles, talking points and debates on social media; plan for the day’s live sport, and factor in any stories that can improve the variety of our material.

6. How do you update the ratings in every live video game so rapidly?

BBC Sport’s Design and Engineering group are accountable for making that work. They establish and support the services that offer the site and app with near real-time score updates, plus other relevant matchday information such as red cards, group line-ups and as-it-stands tables.

These scores and other match data are fed into our services from organisations who specialise in offering the current in-game stats. Our innovation has actually been built to then process and enrich this information as efficiently as possible, in order for the latest updates to be provided rapidly on the site.

Solutions established by this team manage data for all of our live sport across the site and app including F1 and golf leaderboards, cricket scorecards, and mobile informs to call a couple of.

7. Would it be possible for you to have wider football material to consist of regular coverage of Africa, Asia and South America?

Our coworkers on the African football desk currently do a fantastic task of covering the huge stories in African football – visit their site here.

With our core audience remaining in the UK, we obviously focus our content on the British football teams and leagues, and we’ve increased our European football to match the growing popularity of leagues on the continent.

But we’re always keen to inform terrific stories that come from other areas of the world and in Might we even had live video and a text commentary on a South Korean football video game for the very first time.

8. How do you write the match reports so rapidly? Do you have to compose some while the match is still going on?

Yes, we do compose a lot of the match report while the video game is going on. Although all of our journalists will dread a last-minute objective that might see you ‘ripping up’ your copy.

You may have noticed that we normally don’t publish the entire report quickly. We start with a few paragraphs and keep contributing to it up until the entire report exists, so that buys the writer a bit of time.

And you can often forecast some of the styles you desire to talk about in reports, like whether a team is on a bad run of type or if the outcome has huge implications on the relegation fight – you can get ready for these ahead of time which assists a lot.

9. Why are some BBC football articles so long? The long read can be draining pipes.

We like to provide our users with a mix of content every day, both in terms of the topics covered and length of composed short articles. We utilize online analytics tools to keep track of the engagement times on all of our stories – especially longer checks out – to see for how long readers spend on average in a given piece of material, and use that to notify how we commission and write articles in the future.

10 How do you choose the significance of a story and how popular it will be shown on the website?

The simple response is to state we count on our editorial judgement to perform our wider online technique. However, for our front page editors, it is not simply as simple as putting all of the ‘biggest’ stories at the top of the site. It is crucial for us to show the variety of both our audience and our material – whether that be the sports covered, people included, kind of content (for instance, news, video, feature) or length of post.

11 The number of stories do you usually produce in a day/year?

The number of stories we release will vary dramatically from day to day depending upon the amount of live action and sports news – however, to offer you an approximation, we released 55 pieces of content (text and video) between 3pm and midnight on the evening Liverpool won the Premier League. That figure is across our national and regional workplaces.

12 Why isn’t there a remarks area on every page you publish?

The BBC’s small amounts team take care of remarks across the whole BBC website along with many of the major social media pages. It is a limited resource and indicates we are required to restrict and prioritise short articles for comments.

We for that reason allow BBC site users to either discuss the most impactful sporting occasions or on short articles with major talking points.

To figure out whether an article ought to have comments, we would need it to have some or all of the following qualities:

  • It will not lead to a great deal of offensive or hateful remarks
  • It will produce a healthy argument – if it’s likely to go sour rapidly or unlikely to have at least 2 sides to the dispute, we’re unlikely to open remarks.
  • It will likely receive a good volume of remarks – smaller stories can in some cases have just a couple of remarks, and we think that having posts around with extremely few discuss is not worthwhile for anybody.

13 In 20 years which sports story has been your most popular read?

Given That 2000 the internet has actually grown greatly and the BBC Sport website has also experienced considerable development in its audience. Where we are now with people owning numerous devices and investing more time online suggests it’s difficult to compare a huge story at the start of this century to one which occurred this year.

What we can say is week-to-week our most popular material tends to revolve around football, particularly the Premier League. Nevertheless, our all-time peak days on BBC Sport online are generated by Olympics coverage. Nine of our all-time top 10 days took place during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Before coronavirus, we were looking to Euro 2020 and Tokyo 2020 to surpass these peaks but we’ll need to wait another year for those.

14 What single sporting story are you most happy of publishing – and why?

We asked BBC sports editor Dan Roan to answer this one.

A couple of huge interviews I’ve carried out in current years stick out:

  • The very first TELEVISION interview in two years with Lance Armstrong in 2015;-LRB- ****************)
  • The very first interview with disgraced cricket business owner and fraudster Allen Stanford given that his life imprisonment seven years previously;-LRB- ****************)
  • In 2018 at a secret location, Russian doping mastermind turned whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, in his very first worldwide broadcast interview considering that defecting.
  • And the only interview Sir Bradley Wiggins granted on the day MPs concluded he had “crossed an ethical line” by utilizing legal drugs to improve efficiency instead of simply for medical functions

All were the result of months of efforts by our team, made significant impacts and were extremely satisfying to land.

However the story I’m most happy of is the journalism we did around a number of professional athlete well-being issues at the top of British sport. Post-Rio 2016, we revealed responsibility of care scandals in a series of sports, from Para-swimming and bobsleigh, to canoeing and archery.

This body of work counted on developing the trust of our sources, raised public awareness of an essential problem, set the program and hopefully produced an improved British sporting culture.

15 How does the website choose for which events to offer live text commentary, and how are authors assigned for this function?

Our live text commentaries are amongst the most popular things we do on the website as they are a fantastic way to follow live sport, along with interact with the analysis of experts and the social networks response to what is occurring.

We aim to do them primarily on the most high-profile sports and occasions but likewise do them around the big sports news stories too.

Each BBC Sport site author has a competence in specific sports – some have a variety of sports they can conveniently write live text for, whereas others may only have a couple of, but we constantly match the sport with the writer.

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16 Why do you not offer equal attention to ladies’s team sports?

The BBC has been at the forefront of covering and promoting women’s sports for a long period of time.

Last year we released #ChangeTheGame to display the fantastic females’s sports which were occurring in the summer, that included the Fifa Women’s World Cup and Netball World Cup to name but two. It resulted in 45 million individuals consuming women’s sport content throughout all BBC platforms during that summer.

Domestically, we cover the Women’s Super League football, Netball Superleague, cricket and the rugby Premier 15 s and augment the live sport content with longer form features, gamer columns, quizzes and videos.

Regretfully, women’s sport has actually so far been unable to resume since of coronavirus but felt confident when it does, our protection will do too.

17 Is there a chance that BBC Sport could reveal archive protection online like old Olympic Games highlights?

Making use of sporting archive is a bit complicated. Sadly, it’s not merely the case that if we showed an occasion at the time then we can show it once again whenever we desire. This is typically due to the fact that our access to those rights has expired and they have been sold to someone else or they are held by the event organisers themselves.

The great news is, as part of our broadcasting deal to show the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 on the BBC, we will be looking back at great moments from previous Olympic Games from 13 July on BBC TV, iPlayer and online. And from 28 July we’ll have an everyday round-up offered online of the equivalent day at London2012

This follows on from our Rewind coverage of the Uefa European Championships and also Wimbledon, which is available on iPlayer.

18 Can you stop putting the scores and results of matches and occasions on the primary sport page?

This concern does come up typically. Sports news is a key part of our offering, and we feel it is just ideal that this is shown in our content at index level. If there is a big match going on, or an F1 race, for instance, we feel that this heading news must not be hidden behind a more click on a sports site. Sports reporting is what we do, and we are there to showcase it, and make that news easily available.

In this day, when there are more and more ways to access the current news, such as mobile alerts, social media feeds and news aggregators, it wouldn’t be the right strategic relocation for us to in fact make it harder to inspect the current scores and results rapidly.

19 Can you please do more quizzes and have a section where they all live?

We are happy that individuals are enjoying the quizzes. It is something we have begun to do more of, as we look to use our users a dose of fun to opt for the regular sports news reporting.

If you scroll down both the main BBC Sport page, and the Football page, you will see a dedicated location that showcases some of our current tests. While we have yet to offer an entirely different area for quizzes outside of these pages, it is something we are keeping an eye on, and will not rule out as we aim to check out ways to make these different material types more quickly visible.

20 Any possibility of a 2021 apprenticeship?

The BBC as a whole is committed to using a diverse selection of entry-level training programs and we are currently resolving what this means in the existing climate.

We wish to guarantee our existing and future mates get the very best possible learning experience so this implies that some of the training programs will now start in 2021 and not in September 2020 as initially prepared. This includes our Journalism Trainee Scheme, Digital Journalism Apprenticeships, Production Student Scheme and Production Apprenticeship Plan.

The BBC is also work partners in 2 schemes run by external companies. Hyperlinks to those, along with the BBC’s own programmes pointed out above, can be found below, however please note that some of the intake dates are yet to be upgraded:

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