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ITV Athletics coverage

(April 2013)

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RO
robertclark125
Firstly, admin, feel free to merge this into the Sport thread if you want.

As well as being a fan of TV pres, I also sometimes do a show on K town internet radio in Kinglassie, called Sportscentre. I'm due to return to the airwaves soon, and in each show, I do a small 5 minute feature called flashback, looking back at something in sport from many years ago.

If I recall, this year is 30 years since ITV gained the contract to broadcast UK athletics events, and they held the contract till 1996. During that time, they had the rights to the Golden 4 events, but their interest in Athletics wained in 1993, when they dropped the 3As championship, and then in 1995, the Golden four was dropped, and with the announcement of the F1 deal, in late 1995, to start 1997, ITV only offered to show UK events in highlights, but either late night or the following Saturday. Channel four took over the rights in 1997.

For this flashback, I need some details. What was that historic first meeting that ITV showed?

What was the last meeting they showed?

In fact, I have read about the 1996 deal by ITv somewhere, but can anyone confirm if ITV did indeed bid, or if ITV were going to bid, even if they didn't get the F1 contract?

Can anyone remember any major meetings with mega races that ITV covered? I know the 1985 Zola Budd v Mary Dekker rematch, which was a rubbish race I'm told, and the 1993 Lewis v Christie showdown at Birmingham. Were there any others?
GE
Gareth E
I'm sure there were over the years. In the late 1980s, I'm sure the likes of Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson cropped up somewhere, although I don't recall specifics.

I do remember in the early 90s that ITV shared coverage of many meetings with Channel 4 - particularly on Friday nights, with the first hour on ITV at 8pm, and the second hour on Channel 4 at 9pm.

The really noticeable thing about that era was the availability of athletics coverage on the main channels, and particularly its prominence. Obviously there were the Friday night Grand Prix events on ITV, but also BBC One also aired events like the Bislett Games during Saturday evening primetime - something that would be unheard of these days.

EDIT: in terms of the last meeting - it MAY have been highlights of the Golden Four in Berlin on Friday 30 August 1996, shown post-News at Ten. The only major meeting after that in 1996 was the Grand Prix Final, which was a BBC event.

Although I'm trying to remember who broadcast the Golden Four events in 1997. The BBC did the second-tier events such as Lausanne, but not the big events like Rome and Oslo which, in fact, may still have been on ITV in 1997??

FURTHER EDIT: the last British meeting on ITV was definitely the Sheffield Grand Prix on Sunday 25 August 1996, which was shown live. As you say, Channel 4 picked up the British meetings from 1997 which incidentally signalled the start of Steve Cram's broadcasting career.
Last edited by Gareth E on 24 April 2013 10:05am - 2 times in total
UK
UKnews
I do remember in the early 90s that ITV shared coverage of many meetings with Channel 4 - particularly on Friday nights, with the first hour on ITV at 8pm, and the second hour on Channel 4 at 9pm.

Fairly certain it was the other way round- C4 at 8pm, switching to ITV at 9pm for the biggest events of the meeting.

Quote:

FURTHER EDIT: the last British meeting on ITV was definitely the Sheffield Grand Prix on Sunday 25 August 1996, which was shown live. As you say, Channel 4 picked up the British meetings from 1997 which incidentally signalled the start of Steve Cram's broadcasting career.

Pretty sure he'd worked on Eurosport before that and he moved from there to C4.
RO
robertclark125
I do know that it was 8pm - 9pm on ITV, then 9pm - 930pm or 10pm on C4, the arrangement ending after the 1992 season.
AM
amosc100
I do know that it was 8pm - 9pm on ITV, then 9pm - 930pm or 10pm on C4, the arrangement ending after the 1992 season.


Definitely remember between 8pm and 9pm on ITV as I often switched channels and in the eariler years it was 730pm - before the Friday edition of Coronation Street came along. It used to replace the US drama's that were shown on a Friday evening - especially one series with Christopher Casenove.
SW
Steve Williams
I do know that it was 8pm - 9pm on ITV, then 9pm - 930pm or 10pm on C4, the arrangement ending after the 1992 season.


It was actually 8.55-10pm on C4, and it happened a few times in 1993 as well.
RI
Richard
I do know that it was 8pm - 9pm on ITV, then 9pm - 930pm or 10pm on C4, the arrangement ending after the 1992 season.


I found it interesting that the coverage finished with an ITV Sporr logo and the caption "an independent television production for channel four"

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