Last updated

Talksport logo.png
Broadcast area United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland
Global (Premier League games only)
Frequency MW: 1053 (Birmingham and parts of Scotland), 1071 (Notts), 1089 (London Edinburgh Glasgow and Somerset), 1107 (King's Lynn)  kHz
DAB: 11D/12A Digital One
Freeview: 723
Sky (UK only): 0108
Virgin Media: 927
Language(s) English
Format Sports commentary
Sports discussion
Sports phone-in
Sports news
Owner Wireless Group
(News Corp)
Talksport 2
Virgin Radio UK
Times Radio
First air date
14 February 1995 (as Talk Radio UK)
17 January 2000 (as Talksport)

Talksport (styled as talkSPORT), owned by Wireless Group, is a sports radio station and the Global Audio Partner of the Premier League.


The station was originally launched as Talk Radio UK in 1995. Broadcast from London to the UK, Talksport is the only UK radio station broadcasting sporting discussions and commentaries 24 hours a day, having dropped 39 hours of weekly non-sports content on 2 April 2012.

Talksport's content includes live coverage of sporting events, interviews with the leading names in sport and entertainment, phone-ins and discussion. Since June 2020 it has also produced sports bulletins for Times Radio.

Talksport, alongside sister station Talksport 2, is an official broadcaster for several sporting contests, including the Premier League.

In the UK, Talksport is available on its primary frequency in London, 1089 kHz, as well as 1053 kHz, 1071 kHz, and 1107 kHz, DAB, Sky, Virgin Media, Freeview, on mobile, and online at Talksport has been available on Freesat since April 2016.

Outside the UK and Ireland, Talksport broadcasts live commentary of every Premier League match around the world in multiple languages including English, Spanish and Mandarin.

On 25 June 2016, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp announced that it was acquiring the parent Wireless Group company for $296 million. [1]

Talk Radio era

The station was originally and officially launched as Talk Radio UK on 14 February 1995, with the original Talk Radio Breakfast Show. However, the first live broadcast had been Caesar the Geezer's phone-in which aired the previous night. Other presenters on Talk Radio included Jeremy Beadle, Tommy Boyd, Anna Raeburn, Lorraine Kelly, Gary Newbon, Terry Christian, and Dale Winton. Also in the line-up were Caesar the Geezer, Wild Al Kelly and Nick Miller, dubbed as shock jocks.[ citation needed ]

A year later Talk Radio launched a new breakfast show presented by Paul Ross and Carol McGiffin. Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Simon Bates also joined the station, along with James Whale, Ian Collins, and Mike Dickin.

Talk Radio made its first foray into the world of sports radio rights bidding by purchasing from BBC Radio 5 Live the rights to broadcast the Football League for the 1997–98 season. In addition, the station broadcast its first FIFA World Cup from France in 1998, bringing in the Sky Sports commentary team of Alan Parry and Andy Gray to commentate on the major matches. Dave Roberts covered additional games in France. Talk Radio also acquired up the rights to broadcast Manchester United's matches in the Champions League for the 1998–99 season.

Creation of Talksport

On 12 November 1998, TalkCo Holdings – whose chairman and chief executive was Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of The Sun – purchased Talk Radio. [2] This led to a mass clearout of presenters including Nick Abbot, Anna Raeburn, Tommy Boyd and Peter Deeley, the new owner putting in place a more sports-oriented programming schedule—including The Sportszone with Alan Parry, Gary Newbon, Tony Lockwood, Tom Watt, and former Century Radio sports editor Dave Roberts presenting the weekend edition of The Sports Breakfast.

In late 1999, TalkCo, rebranded as The Wireless Group, announced a relaunch of Talk Radio to become the UK's first national commercial sports radio station called Talksport. The relaunch occurred at midnight on 17 January 2000, and was accompanied by the station moving from Oxford Street to a new studio at Hatfields on the South Bank of the River Thames. Now mainly dedicated to sport, the programming lineup was drastically altered, beginning with The Sports Breakfast show; this was followed by a mid-morning motoring show called The Car Guys, with further sports programming in the afternoon and evening. Almost all the station's talk show presenters were axed at the time, including The Big Boys Breakfast with David Banks and Nick Ferrari, with only James Whale, Ian Collins and Mike Dickin surviving. To complement its new format, Talksport purchased the rights to broadcast Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle in the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup, England football internationals, UEFA Cup, England's winter cricket tours to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, and India, British & Irish Lions tours to South Africa and New Zealand, and rights to the Super League, Rugby League World Cup, and world title boxing Fights.

The new line-up involved a number of presenters and commentators, including Alan Brazil, Mark Nicholas, Chris Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott, Mike Parry, Peter Shilton, Brian Moore, Brough Scott, Tom Watt, Gary Newbon, Ian Darke, Tony Banks, and Alvin Martin.

Live sports coverage

Talksport and Talksport 2 has exclusive and non-exclusive rights to various sports in the UK

Programming history


In a number of areas, particularly in areas where the signal from the main 1089 and 1053 kHz transmitters overlap with each other, Talksport operates a number of filler transmitters on different frequencies:

The 1089 and 1053 kHz frequencies were originally used by BBC Radio 1 between November 1978 and June 1994.

It is also transmitted across the UK digitally via DAB digital radio, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat. Talksport is also streamed online; however, due to rights restrictions on live coverage, some live sport commentaries are not available online.

Since August 2011, several shows on Talksport have been available on Sirius XM satellite radio in the US and Canada.[ citation needed ]

During the 2006 FIFA World Cup Talksport was available on Digital Radio DAB in some German cities. [26]


According to the RAJAR audience figures as of September 2022, Talksport's audience is around 2.7m listeners per week. Talksport 2 has an audience of around 296,000 listeners per week. [27]

Talksport 2

The new station launched on 15 March 2016 as part of a Sound Digital's successful bid for second national commercial DAB multiplex. The launch date coincided with the opening day of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

Talksport 2 is a 24-hour sports station which focuses on a broad range of live sporting action from the UK and around the world and includes rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, football and horse racing, plus US sport. On its first day, Talksport 2 broadcast commentary of India v New Zealand in the ICC World Twenty20, Atlético Madrid v PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League and Indian Wells Masters tennis. [28] On 9 June 2020 talkSPORT 2 switched from DAB Mono to DAB+ Stereo to make Room for Times Radio.

In its first two-years on-air, Talksport 2 acquired broadcast rights to Aviva Premiership, Super League, ATP World Tour Masters 1000, French Open, ICC World Twenty20, NatWest t20 Blast, Royal London One-Day Cup, Indian Premier League, WGC Match Play, La Liga, MotoGP, ICC Champions Trophy, Premier League, English Football League, Champions League and Europa League.

It has broadcast specialist programming dedicated to the Football League, La Liga, European football, horse racing rugby league, rugby union, boxing, cricket, tennis, NBA, US sport, and golf. [29]

From January 2019, Talksport 2 re-positioned as a rolling sports news and live sport station.

The winning bid also saw the return of Talkradio, as well as Virgin Radio. [30] Former Talksport chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie had proposed a rival sports station as part of Listen2Digital's opposing bid for the second national commercial DAB multiplex. [31]

Talksport International

Talksport is the global audio partner of the Premier League, which enables them to broadcast commentary of every Premier League match outside the United Kingdom and Ireland in several languages including English, Spanish and Mandarin. [32]

Talksport International also broadcasts selected fixtures in the FA Cup, League Cup and provides commentaries for Amazon Music's Bundesliga coverage. [33]

Other media

Books, DVDs, and games


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  3. MEDIA BRIEFS: Premiership games live on Talksport PR Week, 4 May 2001
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  5. Twitter, Press Gazette (17 June 2004). "TalkSport in legal row with BBC over Euro 2004 rights". Press Gazette.{{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  6. "Infront signs 2006 FIFA World Cup™ radio agreement with talkSPORT UK – Infront Sports & Media AG".
  7. "Sky Sports' Kelly Dalglish joins Talksport". Press Gazette. 11 August 2006. Archived from the original on 10 July 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  8. Day, Julia (10 October 2006). "TalkSport wins Premiership rights" via The Guardian.
  9. Russell Brand returning to radio BBC News, 15 April 2009
  10. BBC radio loses third of live Premier League matches, 18 February 2010
  11. talkSPORT unveil Rugby World Cup plan Radio Today, 8 August 2011
  12. "Every Euro 2012 match to be broadcast on talkSPORT". Boyce Recruitment. 3 January 2012.
  13. "talkSPORT Press — talkSPORT SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION TO BROADCAST FA CUP WORLDWIDE UNTIL 2018". 16 May 2013. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  14. "Premiership Rugby |". Premiership Rugby.
  15. Plunkett, John (5 November 2012). "TalkSport snaps up radio rights to Lions' Australia tour". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  16. "TalkSport wins rights to Brazil World Cup".
  17. talkSPORT (29 January 2016). "talkSPORT 2 announces launch date".
  18. talkSPORT (20 May 2016). "talkSPORT to broadcast more English Premier League coverage than ever before".
  19. talkSPORT (16 May 2016). "talkSPORT announces presenter team for Euro 2016".
  20. "EFL: New radio rights deals to maximise broadcast coverage for clubs and competitions".
  21. "talkSPORT names its squad for British and Irish Lions tour". 29 March 2017.
  22. "TalkSport take cricket rights from BBC". BBC News. 18 April 2018.
  23. "talkSPORT becomes go-to place for live Premier League action on Saturdays". 3 April 2019.
  24. "talkSPORT confirm signing of Laura Woods as new lead Breakfast Show host". 30 March 2020.
  25. "The reason why Mark Goldbridge joining hands with Talksport is surprising – Thick Accent" . Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  26. "[DAB] Hessen (12C): NEU engl. Sport Kanal – Radioforum". – Forenarchiv (in German). Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
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  29. "talkSPORT". talkSPORT.
  30. "Digital Two applications published by Ofcom". Radio Today. 3 February 2015.
  31. Plunkett, John (9 February 2015). "TalkSport founder Kelvin MacKenzie in bid to launch rival station" via The Guardian.
  32. talkSPORT (3 September 2013). "Harness the power of the English Premier League".
  33. talkSPORT (5 July 2013). "About".
  34. Own goal for Soccer Bet Archived 12 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine Press Gazette, 17 October 2003
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  36. talkSPORT Hand Back Television Licence to OFCOM Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 11 August 2006
  37. Dowell, Ben (6 July 2007). "Channel 4 wins radio multiplex bid". Media Guardian. Guardian News and Media.
  38. Plunkett, John (14 October 2008). "4 Digital radio partners in crisis talks". Guardian News and Media.
  39. Radio Today Archived 3 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  40. – For men who like to talk sport Archived 30 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine talkSPORT, 26 July 2010
  41. Sport Magazine Archived 29 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  42. talkSPORT Road Trip (DVD)
  43. talkSPORT – Legends & Anthems (CD)
  44. The Talksport Book of World Cup Banter: All the Ammo You Need to Settle Any Argument
  45. Why Are You So Fat?: The TalkSPORT Book of Cricket's Best Ever Sledges
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  51. Plunkett, John (18 May 2006). "Brazil out of the World Cup". The Guardian.
  52. Dowell, Ben (5 July 2006). "Brazil back in World Cup". The Guardian.
  53. Tryhorn, Chris (7 August 2006). "TalkSport rapped for 'derogatory' comment". MediaGuardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
  54. "Talksport rapped over gay jibes". BBC News. 20 August 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  55. "Radio host James Whale is sacked". BBC News. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  56. Martin, Nicole (18 November 2008). "Gaunt Suspended For "Nazi" Slur". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 November 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  57. Jon Gaunt still pursuing legal action against TalkSport, 20 January 2009
  58. "Rod Lucas dropped by Talksport" . The Telegraph. 19 November 2008. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  59. DJ named on BNP member list joined to research story, 19 November 2008
  60. "Andy Gray and Richard Keys move to Talksport". BBC News. 8 February 2011.
  61. Martin, Roy (3 April 2017). "The Two Mikes in Ofcom breach at talkSPORT". Radio Today. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  62. Brown, Luke (4 August 2021). "Tottenham 'appalled' with antisemitic remark aimed at Daniel Levy on talkSPORT". The Athletic. Retrieved 4 August 2021.