Battle lines drawn for SJA Sports Broadcast awards

The battle lines have been drawn between the BBC, Sky Sports, TalkSport and ITV for the broadcast prizes at the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by UK Sport and Sky Bet.

The shortlists for the expanded sports broadcasting awards are announced here today, with the BBC claiming 15 candidates across the broadcaster and programme categories in television and radio, to Sky Sports’ five shortlisted candidates, including four-time SJA winner Jeff Stelling.

The radio 5Live’s Sportsweek has dominated past programme prizes, winning for the past three years. In its new radio programme category, the Garry Richardson-fronted show faces opposition from outside the Beeb from TalkSport, which has three shortlisted candidates for radio prizes.

Voting is now open for SJA members to choose the top sports broadcasters and sports programmes of 2009. Click here to access a voting form

Shortlists of six candidates in each of four categories – Television Broadcaster, Television Programme, Radio Broadcaster and Radio Programme – have been selected by a panel of sports broadcasting experts.

SJA members may select their favourite three candidates in each category. The closing date for all votes is February 24. The results of the members’ votes will be announced at a gala ceremony SJA British Sports Journalism Awards at the Brewery on Monday, March 8.

The SJA has doubled the number of broadcast prizes it will be presenting this year, to better recognise the outstanding sports broadcaster and sports programme in both television and radio.

The broadcast awards panel that has selected the shortlisted candidates consisted of: ITV Sport controller Niall Sloane; Bob Burrows, the long-time head of BBC Radio Sport and the first controller of ITV sport; TalkSport’s Adrian Durham; The Guardian’s Martin Kelner; the Daily Mail’s Alan Fraser; Will Buckley, of The Observer; BBC Nations and Regions head Charles Runcie; and BOA media chief Adam Parsons.

The SJA’s Sports Broadcasting Awards were introduced in 2005, since when one man and one programme have dominated.

Sky Sport’s Jeff Stelling has won the broadcaster prize four times for anchoring his Saturday afternoon phenomenon Soccer Saturday (pictured left), while Radio 5’s Sportsweek has proved unbeatable since 2006, thanks to being required listening every Sunday for all in the business.

The shortlisted candidates, listed in alphabetical order, are:

TV Broadcaster

Clare Balding (BBC) – Equally at home over the jumps, on the flat or in SW19 presenting Wimbledon.

Jake Humphrey (BBC) – On the button as the face of BBC’s return to Formula One coverage

Gabby Logan (BBC) – Presenter of Inside Sport

Steve Rider (ITV) – Pictured left, the unflappable front man for ITV football

Jeff Stelling (Sky Sports) – Four-time SJA Broadcaster winner, from Countdown to Soccer Saturday

Sid Waddell (Sky Sports) – Geordie master of “the arrows”

Radio Broadcaster

Jonathan Agnew (BBC) – The voice of Test Match Special

Alan Green (BBC) – At the mike for all the big matches on BBC Radio

John Inverdale (BBC) – BBC’s versatile host of Cheltenham, Wimbledon and golf

John Murray (BBC) – Radio 5Live’s excellent commentator

Garry Richardson (BBC) – arch inquisitor on BBC Radio’s Sportsweek

Paul Hawksbee (TalkSport) – afternoon host who pushes the boundaries of sport

Television Programme

Test Cricket (Sky Sports) – transformed coverage of the game

Darts (Sky Sports) – Superb coverage, unusual angles

Open Golf (BBC) – Excellent coverage of the premier event in the game

Match of the Day 2 (BBC) – Original and quirky take on the weekend’s football

Formula One Grand Prix (BBC) – an impressive return to F1 in a memorable season

Soccer Saturday (Sky Sports) – compulsive Saturday afternoon viewing

Radio Programme

5Live Sport (BBC) – still setting the standard for sports coverage on the radio

Test Match Special (BBC) – New voices on an old favourite

Fighting Talk (BBC) – the lighter side of sport in an original format

Match Day Live (TalkSport) – Comprehensive, fast-moving coverage each Saturday

Hawksbee and Jacobs (TalkSport) – Popular afternoon double act

Sportsweek (BBC) – Sets the agenda for the week, as demonstrated by its three wins as the SJA’s Sports Programme of the Year

Voting, limited to SJA members, is open now. To cast your vote, click here


First posted Jan 24

□ Sky Bet is the SJA’s newest partner, the sponsorship being announced in October 2008.

Together with the SJA’s other lead sponsor, UK Sport, both partners support our two prestigious annual awards events, including the Sky Bet sports betting writer of the year at the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards.

The 2009 SJA British Sports Journalism Awards will be presented at The Brewery, in London, on Monday, March 8 2010.


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