Match of the Day (abbreviated to MOTD) is a football highlights programme, typically broadcast on BBC One on Saturday nights, during the Premier League season.[5][1] The show's current presenter is former England international striker Gary Lineker, with regular analysis from fellow former players Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, and occasional relief analysts such as Micah Richards, Danny Murphy, Jermaine Jenas, Martin Keown, and Dion Dublin.

Match of the Day
Also known asMOTD
GenreFootball highlights[1]
Created byBryan Cowgill[2]
Presented byGary Lineker
StarringAlan Shearer
Ian Wright
Danny Murphy
Micah Richards
Jermaine Jenas
Martin Keown
Dion Dublin
Leon Osman
Narrated byGuy Mowbray
Steve Wilson
Steve Bower
Simon Brotherton
Jonathan Pearce
Conor McNamara
Theme music composerBarry Stoller[3]
Opening themeMatch of the Day theme
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series51
No. of episodesOver 5,000
ProducerColm Harty
Production locationsStudio TC5, BBC Television Centre (1964–2011)
dock10 studios (2011–present)[4]
EditorRichard Hughes
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running timeLive: 150–210 minutes (Depends on Extra time or Penalties)
Highlights: 60–105 minutes
Production companyBBC Sport
Original release
Release22 August 1964 (1964-08-22) –

Match of the Day is one of the BBC's longest-running shows, having been on air since 22 August 1964.[6] In 2015, Guinness World Records recognised it "as the longest-running football television programme in the world."[7] The show's theme tune was voted the most recognised television theme in a 2010 poll conducted by the PRS.[6] From the 2004–05 season, a second programme, Match of the Day 2, usually airs on the following Sunday and features highlights of all the day's games, whilst showing the goals from the previous days’ action.[8]





Although the title was first used by the BBC for its Wimbledon tennis highlights programme in June 1964, the first football-related edition of Match of the Day was screened on BBC Two on 22 August 1964, and showed highlights of a game between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield. The programme's audience was estimated at only 20,000, less than half of the attendance at the ground.[9]

Match of the Day was not universally welcomed in the football world; in 1965 several clubs attempted to block a renewed deal with the BBC in fear of a drop in gate attendances at matches.[10] Eventually, a compromise was reached where the BBC agreed not to reveal which match was to be shown until after the day's play had concluded. Following the success of the England team at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the programme was moved from BBC 2 to BBC 1 for the start of the 1965–1966 season.[11] The first colour edition was shown on 2 November 1968, when the programme moved back to BBC 2 for one week, and a game between Chelsea and Manchester City was featured (BBC 2 was transmitted on 625 lines capable of showing colour).[10][12] The first colour edition of Match of the Day on BBC 1 was shown on 15 November 1969, where it featured a game between Liverpool and West Ham United.

1970s and 1980s


Slow motion replays were first introduced in 1969.[9] At the end of the decade the BBC lost a significant share of matches, with a new four-year deal in 1979 splitting the rights between the BBC and ITV (ITV had originally won exclusive rights, but a ruling from the Office of Fair Trading ordered that the rights be split[12]). Match of the Day was moved to Sunday afternoons for the 1980–81 and 1982–83 seasons.

In 1983, the programme reverted to being shown on Saturday night, although that year four broadcasts were lost due to industrial action.[9] The season 1983–84 also saw the first Match of the Day Live broadcasts of First Division matches, beginning with Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur on 16 December – a Friday evening fixture. This came some two months after the start of ITV's Big Match Live.

1990s and 2000s


League football highlights were not available to the BBC from 1988 as ITV had exclusive rights, though the programme remained on air for the FA Cup as Match of the Day: The Road to Wembley. League football returned in 1992, for the start of the Premier League era.[10] Sky's emergence made the TV rights market more competitive, with the BBC losing European Cup matches after UEFA's revamping as the Champions League in 1992, although it did broadcast the 1994 final between A.C. Milan and FC Barcelona. In 1997, the BBC lost all live rights to the FA Cup meaning the programme's live coverage was restricted to the UEFA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup matches, the latter competition becoming defunct in 1999. The BBC were still able to show Saturday evening highlights of FA Cup games. A significant change occurred in 2001 when the Premier League awarded highlights rights to ITV in a three-year contract.[13] Between 2001 and 2004, the Match of the Day brand was used for the BBC's live football coverage and the network had earned some consolation in losing by managing to regain live terrestrial coverage of the FA Cup and England internationals for that period.

Rights for UEFA Champions League qualifiers, which are held by the home team and fall outside the rights for the competition proper, were obtained on an ad hoc basis for English teams in this period, which is currently the case for the BBC with Scottish and Northern Irish teams. Both legs of Manchester United's 2002–03 third round qualifying matches against Zalaegerszeg were shown live on the BBC.[14]

From the 2004–05 season, Premier League highlights returned to the BBC in a revived MOTD.[15] In addition, Match of the Day 2 was launched, which showed highlights of the increasing number of Sunday fixtures, and was initially presented by Adrian Chiles.[10] The BBC's broadcasting rights were renewed in 2009, allowing them to continue showing Match of the Day until 2013.[16]



From the 2011–12 season, a web-only Match of the Day 3 programme was launched on Monday mornings as a light-hearted addition to Match of the Day 2. Although broadcast as a separate programme, it is recorded immediately following the conclusion of Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night. In November 2011, Match of the Day moved from London to a brand new studio in Dock10, MediaCityUK as part of BBC Sport's relocation north, this allowed the programme to be recorded in high-definition.[17] At the start of 2012–13 season Match of the Day 2 moved to BBC One.[18]

Upon regaining the FA Cup rights in 2014, highlights from the early and later rounds of the competition were given their own separate programme instead of being broadcast on an extended Match of the Day straight after the Premier League highlights, as it was before the BBC last lost the rights in 2008.[19][20] Highlights of the latter rounds occasionally sequence from the Premier League highlights, as they did until the previous decade, but both segments are considered separate programmes.[21][22]

In January 2018, the Premier League awarded the UK highlights to BBC Sport. The rights cost £211.5 million and were to cover three seasons from 2019–20. The January 2018 agreement also includes Match of the Day 2, Match of the Day 2 Extra, Match of the Day Kickabout, Football Focus, Final Score, and The Premier League Show.[23]



During the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the 2019–20 Premier League season, Match of the Day split into a televised podcast called Match of the Day: Top 10 Podcast in which Gary Lineker and the pundits discussed and ranked certain roles from the start of the Premier League in 1992 (such as Top 10 Goalkeepers) and Match of their Day which featured a pundit picking three of their favourite Premier League matches.[24][25] Upon its resumption, the BBC broadcast four games live. Bournemouth versus Crystal Palace became the first Premier League game shown live on one of the five main terrestrial channels, and the BBC's first live top-flight English football match since 1987–88.[26] A further eight games were shown live during the 2020–21 season.[27]

In March 2023, Lineker was suspended following political controversy over a tweet he had made criticising UK government policy, which the BBC argued breached guidelines over social media use by employees and freelancers.[28] Several presenters, pundits, and commentators, including Alex Scott, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, refused to participate in the BBC's football output, while some football clubs announced their refusal to conduct BBC interviews.[29] Radio and television programming across BBC Sport's football division was severely disrupted on 11 March, while BBC director general Tim Davie apologised to viewers for the disruption.[30] Both Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2, presented the following day, followed a shortened format with no studio presentation, punditry, or interviews.[31] On 13 March, Lineker was reinstated as host of Match of the Day and the BBC began a review of its social media guidelines.[32][33]

At the end of 2023, it was confirmed that Premier League highlights will remain free-to-air for audiences on the BBC after a deal to show them for the next four years was agreed. The BBC’s deal with the Premier League ensures that the iconic Match Of The Day, which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in August 2024, will remain a staple of Saturday night up to and including the 2028/29 season. The deal also includes MOTD2 and Football Focus plus a significant increase in the amount of digital content that can be used across BBC Sport platforms.[34]



The programme was broadcast from TC5 at BBC Television Centre from 1964–2012.[citation needed]

Ahead of the 2019–20 Premier League season, BBC Sport upgraded the studio that Match of the Day, Match of the Day 2, Football Focus, and Final Score broadcasts from.

Filming is located at the Dock10 studios at MediaCityUK in Salford.[35]

Presenters, analysts, and commentators


Despite the programme's long running status there have only been five regular main presenters: Kenneth Wolstenholme (1964–1967), David Coleman (1967–1973), Jimmy Hill (1973–1988), Des Lynam (1988–1999) and Gary Lineker (since 1999). Lineker had worked as an analyst during his predecessor Des Lynam's tenure. Mark Chapman, Gabby Logan, and Dan Walker have stood in for Lineker.

The predominant analysts for the 2021–22 season are Alan Shearer, Jermaine Jenas, Martin Keown, Danny Murphy, Micah Richards, and Ian Wright. Each live show typically features three analysts at Internationals, two analysts in Live FA Cup matches except the FA Cup Final which has three. Highlights shows usually have two analysts.[36]

Match of the Day uses a selection of BBC and freelance commentators, including: Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Bower, Simon Brotherton, Conor McNamara, Vicki Sparks, Alistair Mann, Martin Fisher, Mark Scott, John Roder, Chris Wise, Robyn Cowen, Steven Wyeth, Tom Gayle and Ben Andrews.

In 2007, Jacqui Oatley became the first woman to commentate on the programme.[10][37]

Previous commentators have included Walley Barnes, Frank Bough, David Coleman, Jon Champion, Barry Davies, Tony Gubba, Stuart Hall, John Motson, Alan Parry, Idwal Robling, Gerald Sinstadt, Clive Tyldesley, Alan Weeks, and Kenneth Wolstenholme. As part of the show's 50th anniversary celebrations, Barry Davies returned to commentate.[38][39]

Current presenters


* Denotes relief presenter

Presenter Duration
Gary Lineker 1999–
*Mark Chapman 2014–
*Alex Scott 2022–
*Gabby Logan 2007–
*Kelly Somers 2020–
*Jason Mohammad 2014–
*Jermaine Jenas 2023–
*Eilidh Barbour 2024-

Previous presenters


* Denotes relief presenter

Presenter Duration
*Dan Walker 2012–2021
*Ray Stubbs 1993–2009
Des Lynam 1988–1999
*David Icke 1982–1985
Bob Wilson 1976–1994
Jimmy Hill 1973–1988
David Coleman 1967–1973
*Frank Bough 1965–1972
Kenneth Wolstenholme 1964–1967

Current analysts

Analyst Duration
Alan Shearer 2006–2009, 2009–
Martin Keown 2007–
Danny Murphy 2013–
Dion Dublin 2012–2013, 2018–
Shay Given 2018–
Jermaine Jenas 2020–
Stephen Warnock 2020–
Micah Richards 2021–
Leon Osman 2021–
Ashley Williams 2021–
Fara Williams 2023-
Glenn Murray 2023-

Previous analysts


List includes both full time regular analysts and guests.[40]

Analyst Duration
Ian Wright 2002–2008, 2017–2024
Chris Waddle 2021
Karen Carney 2020–2021
Clinton Morrison 2020
Tim Cahill 2019–2020
Alex Scott 2019–2021
Matthew Upson 2018–2019
Frank Lampard 2017, 2018
Mark Schwarzer 2016–2017
Trevor Sinclair 2016–2017
Chris Sutton 2016–2017, 2020
Sam Allardyce 2015, 2017
Tony Pulis 2014
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink 2014
Brad Friedel 2014
Paul Ince 2014, 2018
Dietmar Hamann 2014–2017
Neil Lennon 2014
Roberto Martinez 2013
Les Ferdinand 2013
Roy Hodgson 2013, 2016
Michael Owen 2013
David Moyes 2013, 2016
Kevin Kilbane 2013–2019
Robbie Fowler 2013–2015
Phil Neville 2012–2020
Vincent Kompany 2012
Harry Redknapp 2012, 2013
Marcel Desailly 2007
Gavin Peacock 2006–2008
Lee Dixon 2005–2012
Graeme Le Saux 2005–2006, 2016–2017
Peter Schmeichel 2004–2005
David O'Leary 2002
Mick McCarthy 2001, 2012
Mark Bright 2000, 2007
Ruud Gullit 1997, 2014–2017
Mark Lawrenson 1997–2018
Garth Crooks 1996, 2005, 2012
Alan Hansen 1992–2014
Jimmy Hill 1994–1997
David Baddiel 1994
Frank Skinner 1994
Mick Mills 1993
Ray Wilkins 1992
Lee Chapman 1992
Trevor Brooking 1992–2001
Danny Blanchflower 1964

Theme music


The current theme tune for the series is titled "Match of the Day". It was composed for the programme in 1970 by Barry Stoller, and was used for the first time on 15 August 1970.

Stoller's brief was simply to write "something good"; the short closing fanfare occurred to him first.[41] "Those fanfare harmonies give the music a gladiator feel," he wrote in 2014, "akin to entering the ancient games arena in Rome with all its expectations." The tune was recorded by him, a trumpeter, and a drummer (Stuart Vincent) in the basement recording studio of his home.[3] In May 2010, PRS for Music revealed that the Match of the Day theme tune is the most recognisable in the UK.[42]

The theme is often incorrectly labelled "Off Side", the group name used by musician Mike Vickers, for an alternative 1970 version of Stoller's tune, which was released as a 45 rpm gramophone single on the Pye label (7N 25534),[12]

The original theme tune, entitled "Drum Majorette", was written by Major Leslie Statham, a former band member of the Welsh Guards under the pen-name Arnold Steck.[43][12][44]


Match of the Day Annual


A Match of the Day Annual book is also produced.[46]

See also



  1. ^ a b "BBC One - Match of the Day". BBC. Archived from the original on 25 March 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  2. ^ Barker, Dennis (18 July 2008). "Bryan Cowgill". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  3. ^ a b Stoller, Barry (22 August 2014). "Match Of The Day At 50: My iconic theme even has a banjo". Love TV. BBC. Archived from the original on 27 December 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  4. ^ "The Studios Manchester MediaCityUK". Archived from the original on 12 December 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  5. ^ "BBC's Match of the Day marks 50 years as an institution of English football". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Match of the Day begins". BBC. Archived from the original on 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  7. ^ "Match of the Day named world's longest-running football show". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Match of the Day". Press Office (Press release). BBC. 24 July 2004. Archived from the original on 29 October 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "History of Match of the Day". BBC Sport. 14 February 2003. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Match of the Day: 50 years of broadcasting celebration". BBC Sport. 20 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 September 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  11. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Match of the Day timeline". Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d "MOTD through the ages". BBC Sport. 3 August 2004. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  13. ^ "BBC 'sour' over football deal". BBC News. 15 June 2000. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  14. ^ Henderson, Jon (4 August 2002). "Beeb muscle in on United action". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 26 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Premiership back on the BBC". BBC Sport. 8 August 2003. Archived from the original on 10 March 2023. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  16. ^ "BBC retains Premier League rights". BBC Sport. 28 January 2009. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  17. ^ "BBC". MediaCityUK. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Match of the Day 2 moves to BBC One". Premier League. 5 July 2012. Archived from the original on 23 November 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Match of the Day". BBC Programmes. 1 December 2007. Archived from the original on 10 March 2023. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  20. ^ "FA Cup 2014–15: How to follow on the BBC". BBC Sport. 4 November 2014. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Match of the Day". BBC Programmes. 11 March 2017. Archived from the original on 21 March 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  22. ^ "The FA Cup". BBC Programmes. 11 March 2017. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Premier League awards UK highlights to BBC Sport (2019-2022)" (Press release). Premier League. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Match of the Day returns with Premier League highlights this weekend". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  25. ^ "BBC One HD - Schedules, Saturday 4 April 2020". BBC. Archived from the original on 10 March 2023. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  26. ^ "Premier League fixtures: BBC to show Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Norwich v Everton". BBC Sport. 5 June 2020. Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  27. ^ "A record-breaking season". Premier League. Archived from the original on 23 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  28. ^ Tapper, James (11 March 2023). "Gary Lineker was singled out from a long list of BBC stars who express political views". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  29. ^ Clinton, Jane (11 March 2023). "BBC apologises for disarray to sport coverage due to Gary Lineker walkouts". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  30. ^ Seddon, Sean; Murphy, Matt (11 March 2023). "Gary Lineker: BBC boss Tim Davie 'sorry' after sport disruption in Lineker row". BBC News. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  31. ^ Kuenssberg, Laura; Seddon, Sean (12 March 2023). "Gary Lineker: More BBC sport shows cancelled by presenter boycott". BBC News. Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  32. ^ "Statements from BBC Director-General Tim Davie and Gary Lineker". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  33. ^ Mackintosh, Thomas (13 March 2023). "Gary Lineker to return to Match of the Day as BBC announces social media review". BBC News. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  34. ^ "BBC agrees deal to show Premier League highlights for another four years". Retrieved 30 January 2024.
  35. ^ Dams, Tim. "Match of the Day moves into dock10's VR studio". Archived from the original on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  36. ^ "BBC One - Match of the Day - Episode guide". BBC. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  37. ^ "'Match of the Day' gets first woman commentator". Reuters. 19 April 2007. Archived from the original on 23 June 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2018. Jacqui Oatley, 32, will make television history when she picks up the microphone for the BBC's flagship football show at the Premier League game between Fulham and Blackburn.
  38. ^ "Match of the Day (1964– ) Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  39. ^ "Barry Davies returns to Match of the Day commentary box". BBC Sport. 21 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  40. ^ Match of the Day (TV Series 1964– ) - IMDb, retrieved 30 January 2024
  41. ^ "The story of the MOTD theme tune". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 9 April 2022. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  42. ^ Sayid, Ruki (11 May 2010). "Match of the Day voted the most recognisable theme tune on TV". Daily Mirror. London: Trinity Mirror. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  43. ^ "Notes - Band of the Welsh Guards - The Household Division - Official site". Archived from the original on 27 August 2022. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  44. ^ "What's the best ever BBC Sport theme tune?". Archived from the original on 9 April 2022. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  45. ^ "MOTDx". BBC. Archived from the original on 5 July 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  46. ^ "Match of the Day Annual 2012: The Best Footy Annual! (Hardback)". BBC Shop. Archived from the original on 29 December 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2012.

Further reading