BBC Radio 5 Live (formerly styled BBC Radio Five Live) is the BBC's radio service providing live BBC News, phone-ins, and sports commentaries. It is the principal radio station covering sport in the United Kingdom, broadcasting virtually all major sports events staged in the UK or involving British competitors.
It is transmitted via analogue radio on 693 and 909 kHz AM in the mediumwave band, frequencies that belonged to BBC Radio 2 from November 23, 1978 to August 26, 1990 (before that they were used in some regions of the UK by the BBC Home Service and BBC Radio 4), and on digital radio in the United Kingdom via DAB, digital satellite (Freesat and Sky), IPTV and Freeview (digital terrestrial television). It is also streamed online, however due to rights restrictions, coverage of some events, especially "live" sporting events, is not available online. Some content is available online but restricted to UK users.
The station broadcasts from the News Centre at BBC Television Centre with a small office in Manchester and a team of its own reporters based around the UK. The station will be moving in 2011, as part of a larger shift of some BBC resources, to Salford.
The tone of the channel, engaging and more relaxed than contemporary BBC output, was the key to the channel's success and would set the model for other BBC News services later in the decade. The first audiences were some four million, with a record audience of six and a quarter million.
Before the launch of digital broadcasting, the station (and Radio 5 before it) broadcast for several years on analogue satellite with near-FM quality.
Presenters that have now left the station include Danny Baker (Baker has since returned to present 606 from 2008), Susan Bookbinder, Jon Briggs, Jon Champion, Adrian Chiles, Edwina Currie, Fi Glover, Nick Hancock, Brian Hayes, Peter Heaton-Jones, Jane Hill, Des Lynam, David Mellor, Louise Minchin, Paddy O'Connell, Jonathan Pearce, Nick Robinson, Sybil Ruscoe, Kate Silverton, Bill Turnbull, and Sian Williams.
In 2005 the Radio Five Live Sporting Yearbook (ISBN 0-00-721598-3) was published.
The station won five Sony Awards, one gold and four silver, in 2005 and was nominated an additional six times. The lone gold award was in the News Story Award category for its coverage of the 2004 Asian tsunami.
BBC Radio 5 Live was Official Broadcasters of the FIFA World Cup 2006 along with talkSPORT. Both stations will broadcast live Premiership commentaries from August 2007, with the 7 rights packages being shared 6 to 1 in favour of 5 Live.
A companion station, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, was launched as a digital-only service on February 2, 2002.
In August 2007, BBC Radio Five Live was renamed BBC Radio 5 Live and was given a new logo.
BBC Radio 5 Live broadcasts an extremely wide range of sports and covers all the major sporting events, mostly under its flagship sports banner Five Live Sport They are:
Sports Extra will also typically offer full broadcasts of Premier League and Home Nations football if games overlap each other. Five Live carries the first-choice match in such cases.
Despite the fact that commercial stations (such as Sky Sports) have acquired the vast majority of sports television broadcasting rights in the UK, the BBC remains dominant in radio sport with BBC Radio 5 Live and its local radio stations. Its main commercial rival for radio sports rights is TalkSPORT.
Regular shows as of October 2007: