New programmes for 5 live Sports Extra

By James Cridland for
Posted 30 April 2015, 9.33pm bst

James Cridland

Jonathan Wall, the Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, has written a blog post highlighting potential changes to BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra.

BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra (5LSX) is a part-time radio station on DAB, Digital TV and online. 5LSX pops up to cover extra commentaries - mainly for football and cricket.

However, the BBC wishes to change 5LSX to become more of a sports station, with a maximum of 10 hours a week of new magazine programming: mainly covering sport that currently doesn't get much airtime in the UK. Plans include:

  • A weekly Olympic and Paralympics show on the build-up to Rio next year
  • A weekly cycling show
  • A weekly netball programme
  • A weekly programme about women's football

In addition, 5LSX will carry a maximum of 10 hours a week of repeats of sports journalism programmes aired on the main 5 Live station.

Jonathan says: "We think this proposal will not only deliver the most distinctive programming in the 90 year history of BBC Radio Sport, but will also encourage our audiences to listen to us in new ways".

This comes as the BBC Trust undertakes a service licence review for the BBC's four national speech networks.

The BBC Trust would need to approve these changes, since they'd change the service licence terms for the 5LSX output, and it's therefore unlikely that these changes will occur within the next few months.

Next year, talkSPORT launches an additional sports radio station on DAB Digital Radio; and we understand that Kelvin MacKenzie is still working on his Sports Radio plans despite being on the losing bid for the second DAB multiplex. RockSport in central Scotland has also recently been rebranded. Together with the increased hours for 5LSX, sports radio fans have never had it so good.

The picture above is 5 Live's offices in Salford, which are quite nice until you remember you're in Salford.

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James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.