50 years of Match of The Day



As the new football season kicks off this August, the television institution that is Match Of The Day celebrates 50 years since it was first aired. The occasion is marked by a special documentary (MOTD at 50, BBC One & HD, 22 August, 10.35pm), which charts the history of this iconic programme and highlights its long-ingrained place at the heart of Saturday night television.

Gary Lineker once again takes the helm for the 2014/15 season which gets underway on Saturday 16 August, 10.30pm, BBC One & HD with the eagerly awaited new Premier League start. We’re very pleased to announce that World Cup pundits Ruud Gullit, Philip Neville and Rio Ferdinand will be joining the MOTD line-up. They add to an impressive team of regular pundits, including Alan Shearer, Robbie Savage and Danny Murphy. The programme will continue to use current Premier League players and managers as guests throughout the season.

The anniversary season will feature a new title sequence, taking the audience on a journey through the last five decades of television football coverage. There will also be a few extra touches of nostalgia on the anniversary weekend itself on Saturday 23 August.

Mark Cole, BBC Lead Exec, Football, says: “This season we aim to blend the old with the new. There will be archive sequences to celebrate 50 years of coverage, but we will continue to lead the way with our award-winning augmented reality graphics, detailed Opta statistics, live social media votes and Gary Lineker's popular post-match interviews.

“After 22 years, Alan Hansen will no longer be with the show, but the World Cup really showcased the strength of the new BBC punditry team. We will continue to evolve the Saturday night panel and feel we have a really good blend of regular studio guests. Alan Shearer has established himself as one of the top pundits in the UK, while Danny Murphy and Philip Neville will regularly provide added tactical analysis. There will be strong opinions from Ruud Gullit and Robbie Savage, while Rio Ferdinand will also make occasional appearances, subject to his commitments with QPR, and with BT Sport.

"We will continue to mix our team of regular analysts with current players and managers, which featured Roy Hodgson, Thierry Henry, Vincent Kompany and Roberto Martinez last season. We are confident we have put together a varied team full of insight and opinion, led by Gary Lineker, who has consistently proved to be amongst the best presenters in the UK."

Commentators for the new season are Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, Jonathan Pearce, Simon Brotherton, Steve Bower and John Motson, who has been with the programme for over 40 of the 50 years.

MOTD first broadcast on Saturday 22 August 1964, with highlights of Liverpool v Arsenal at Anfield and the programme quickly grew to be essential weekly viewing during the season. It is now a must for all football fans, with regular audiences of up to 6 million across the weekend, watching extended highlights of every Premier League game.

Innovations have also seen the programme family grow with Sunday’s MOTD2, now presented by Mark Chapman, introduced in 2004, and the ground-breaking cross-platform MOTD2 Extra which was introduced last year. The Sunday lunchtime chat show is the first genuinely multiplatform sports programme and broadcasts live simultaneously on BBC One, BBC One HD, Radio 5 live and via the BBC Sport website. Players, pundits, managers, journalists and commentators all have their say on the weekend’s talking points to audiences in excess of one million across the three platforms.

In addition MOTD3 runs online every Monday at, while MOTD Kickabout is a weekly preview show for younger fans every Friday on CBBC.

MOTD2 starts this year on 17 August, 10.25pm, BBC One & HD. Mark will be joined across the season by Alan Shearer, Philip Neville, Danny Murphy, Mark Lawrenson, Martin Keown, Jason Roberts, Kevin Kilbane, Neil Lennon, John Hartson, Les Ferdinand and Dion Dublin.

MOTD2 Extra starts from Sunday 17 August (12.15pm BBC One) after a successful inaugural season. The programme discusses the best of Saturday’s action and previews all Sunday's key games with an intriguing dynamic, with fans able to interact through social media with pundits, commentators and leading sports journalists.

Once again from midnight on Monday night, the latest episode of Match of the Day will be available to view and download on the BBC iPlayer, and MOTD2 will be available from midnight on Tuesday.

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