Talksport

Last updated

Talksport
Talksport logo.png
Broadcast areaEngland, Ireland
Global (Premier League games only)
Frequency MW: 1053, 1071, 1089, 1107  kHz
DAB:

Freeview: 723
Sky (UK only): 0108
Virgin Media: 927
Programming
Language(s) English
Format Sports commentary
Sports discussion
Sports phone-in
Sports news
Ownership
Owner Wireless Group
(News Corp)
Talksport 2
Talkradio
Virgin Radio UK
Times Radio
History
First air date
14 February 1995 (as Talk Radio UK)
17 January 2000 (as Talksport)
Links
Website talksport.com

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

Contents

The station was originally launched as Talk Radio UK in 1995. Broadcast from London to England, Talksport is the only English 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 England , 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.com. Talksport has been available on Freesat since April 2016.

Outside England 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, Gary Newbon, Terry Christian, and Dale Winton. Also in the line-up were Caesar the Geezer and Wild Al Kelly, 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.

Notable presenters

Current presenters

Talksport has a selection of regular presenters and commentators. Former professional sportsmen provide expert comment on a variety of the station's programmes.

Live sports coverage

Talksport and Talksport 2 has exclusive and non-exclusive rights to various sports in the UK: [3]

Football
Rugby**
Cricket**
Horse racing**
Golf**
Darts**

– **: United Kingdom and Ireland only

Programming history

Station management

Scott Taunton was previously the Business Development Director at UTV, responsible for radio and new media. A native of Australia, he has been working in the UK for a decade and took over from Kelvin MacKenzie as Chief Executive of Talksport in July 2005.

Lee Clayton is head of Talksport. Laurie Palacio is deputy head of Talksport. Joseph Amplett is executive editor. Kathryn Anastasi is head of live sport. Jason Bourne is football editor. Jon Norman is cricket editor. Tom Bellwood is executive editor of Talksport 2. David Spencer is head of news.

Frequencies

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]

Audience

According to the RAJAR audience figures for Q1/2020, Talksport's audience is around 3m listeners per week. Talksport 2 has an audience of around 500,000 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

Controversies

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