Last week I was conducting an interview with the managing director of Google UK and wondering once again how on Earth did we get by before we could just google everything? News, maps, videos, football scores, the answer to questions like when did Southampton last win the FA Cup? Or, how much does James Haskell weigh? It’s all there at the touch of a button.
I watched the Dubai World Cup on an iPad and I will do the same with the Grand National next weekend, as I’ll be on the banks of the Thames getting ready for the first ever live TV coverage of the women’s Boat Race. I’ll watch it again on a bigger screen when I get home but with any sports event, you want to see it live, you want to know who’s won as they’re passing the line, feel the joy of victory or the pain of defeat when it’s actually happening – that option is becoming easier with fast internet connection and improving handheld devices.
Live coverage is king, which is why it costs so much, but there is a place for the delayed reaction – as long as it adds something different.
Highlights shows have evolved because it’s no longer good enough to have a nicely edited package of action that happened a few hours ago – anyone can get that on the internet. You have to make it an event in its own right, a place where something new will be said, where questions are asked that haven’t yet been answered and angles offered that haven’t yet been seen.
I think sports people are different from the rest of us because of their bravery, their ability to perform under pressure, their commitment to the tedium of training, and dealing with the knowledge that they will be judged every time they step into the sporting arena and that it will not always fall fair for them. I like to know what they’re thinking, how they operate, what they can teach the rest of us, what makes them tick.
For two years I’ve been able to ask those questions to people I admire on BT Sport, and from Good Friday I’m delighted that the show will now be on BBC Two. Our first guests are F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, diving star Tom Daley and England cricket captain Charlotte Edwards. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.
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