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Old 20-06-2013, 01:11
The Difference
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Slightly later than promised and certainly later than I usually do, I have compiled the presenting, commentary and pitchside reporting statistics from talkSPORT's live football coverage throughout the 2012/13 season. With the station adding commentary rights to the FA Cup and England friendly internationals and an extended Capital One Cup deal to their existing commitments to the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and Play-Off Finals, the season that has just concluded saw the station provide the largest number of fully national commentaries they have ever been able to do in a single campaign. They did a total of 138 live commentaries in 2012/13, up from 86 in 2011/12 (not including Euro 2012) and 93 in 2010/11.

In terms of the number of matches they covered from each of the competitions they have access to, this breaks down as follows:

Premier League - 62 games (23 on Saturdays at 5.30pm, 32 on Sundays and 7 on Wednesdays including one at 3pm on Boxing Day)
FA Cup - 34
UEFA Champions League - 17
Capital One Cup - 9
UEFA Europa League - 7
International Friendlies - 5
Play-Off Finals - 3
FA Community Shield - 1

While the majority of these matches were full, uninterrupted 90 minute commentaries, there were four games that were 3pm Sunday kick-offs joined in-progress at around the midway point of the first half and then broadcast to their conclusion, making up the second leg of Sunday Premier League double headers after 1.30pm kick-offs. There were also six matches that were classed as receiving "extended coverage", where talkSPORT had a commentary team on-site and took spells of commentary of varying lengths, with them having the rights accreditation to do this. However, in my list I've not included any matches that equated to lengthy updates on games they did not have commentary rights to but were covered by a reporter and an expert, such as their coverage of the Champions League Final or games on the final day of the Premier League and Championship seasons.

With those caveats cleared up, I shall launch into the listů

Presenters:

Georgie Bingham - 47 games
Mark Saggers - 32
Adrian Durham - 30
Ian Danter - 15
Danny Kelly - 8
Richard Keys - 6

Commentators:

Sam Matterface - 84
Nigel Adderley - 25
Nigel Pearson - 13
John Roder - 11
Ian Danter - 3
Ian Abrahams - 2

Co-commentators:

Stan Collymore - 68
Alvin Martin - 20
Ray Parlour - 16
Ray Houghton - 12
Andy Gray - 9
Michael Gray - 4
Matt Holland - 4
Jason Cundy - 3
Steve Howey - 1
Micky Quinn - 1
Additionally, Bobby Gould (Milton Keynes Dons v AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup Second Round) and Robbie Fowler (Manchester City v Chelsea in the Premier League) provided on-site "expert comments" into one game each.

Pitchside reporters:

Ian Abrahams - 26
Dom McGuinness - 16
Mike Bovill - 9
Graham Courtney - 9
Graham Beecroft - 8
Simon Humphreys - 8
Dave Rowe - 6
Tony Incenzo - 5
Ian Danter - 4
Roger Hughes - 3
Kev Lawrence - 3
John Anderson - 2
John Temple - 2
Elliot Cook - 1
Alex Crook - 1
Grahame Lloyd - 1
Nigel Pearson - 1
Geoff Peters - 1
There was no pitchside reporter at 32 commentary games.

For the statistics involving the presenters, those who hosted more than one game within the same programme/day have been counted as presenting of the number of live games they fronted that day, with all of the "extended coverage" games counted here, including the two FA Cup Replays that Mark Saggers hosted which were part of programmes that included full commentary games that went out semi-concurrently.

The "extended coverage" matches were as follows: Bradford City v Arsenal in the Capital One Cup (Danter and Martin), West Brom v QPR (Pearson and Michael Gray), Arsenal v Swansea (Matterface and Holland) and Brighton v Arsenal (Abrahams and Holland) in the FA Cup, Bradford v Northampton (Abrahams and Holland) in the League Two Play-Off Final and Brentford v Yeovil (Adderley and Martin) in the League One Play-Off Final. Feel free to delete as appropriate from the above commentary numbers if you are keeping score at home and don't want to class these as commentary games!

Of the games without a pitchside reporter, these included 17 of the 24 European games they covered (the exceptions being the six Chelsea home games - two in the Champions League and four in the Europa League - they covered plus the Europa League Final), the three England away friendlies and all six of their "extended coverage" matches including both lower league Play-Off Finals. The rest were FA Cup or Capital One Cup games.

Looking at the list of names we heard on touchline duty this season, almost all of the reporters we regularly hear on Matchday Live, Sunday Exclusive and Kick Off got a chance to update pitchside proceedings on at least one occasion. The only reporter who was used in this capacity last season but not in 2012/13 is Andrew McKenna, who over the past 12 months has seen his live sports reporting commitments shift almost entirely to rugby union, with him becoming the host of weekly rugby show Full Contact, their main reporter at England rugby games, getting the chance to commentate on a handful of Aviva Premiership matches for them and now being their lead voice in Australia for the British & Irish Lions tour. The only newcomer to the pitchside reporter list is Alex Crook, who is primarily a commentator on international service talkSPORT Live but has covered a few games for the UK station.

Steve Howey's solitary appearance on talkSPORT this season was as a late substitute for an ill Stan Collymore on the Newcastle United v Liverpool Premier League game in April.

Moving onto individual statistics for Sunday Exclusive, these being for the presenters and the pundits in addition to the co-commentators used for the 46 live games that programme broadcast this season:

Sunday Exclusive presenters:

Georgie Bingham - 40
Ian Danter - 6

Sunday Exclusive pundits:

Ray Parlour - 8
Ray Houghton - 7
Michael Gray - 4
Matt Holland - 4
Alvin Martin - 2
Robbie Fowler - 1
David Ginola - 1
Bobby Gould - 1

The pundit count totals 28, as on most occasions when there was more than one commentary in a day, Georgie or Dants were joined by just the co-commentators as opposed to an auxiliary studio or stadium-based pundit. This includes the five occasions when talkSPORT had double headers of Sunday Premier League commentaries, one of these being a triple header including the second FA Cup Semi-Final, plus FA Cup Fourth and Fifth Round Sundays which were also triple bills. I've included Robbie Fowler as a co-host for the aforementioned Manchester City v Chelsea match, but not the Capital One Cup Final which followed it. Georgie hosted three live games on-site (MK Dons v Wimbledon, the Capital One Cup Final and Chelsea v Swansea City) and hosted their coverage of Tottenham v Everton in April from Chelsea v Sunderland, while Ian Danter doubled up as presenter and pitchside reporter at Aston Villa v Liverpool in March.

The other nine games Ian Danter hosted this season were Saturday evening Matchday Exclusive matches, the other 28 of which were presented by Adrian Durham. Dants filled in for Adrian during the post-Christmas period when the latter was suffering from laryngitis, during which time the former hosted their coverage of FA Cup Third and Fourth Round Saturdays. Only five Matchday Exclusive games were hosted from the studio, four of which came early on in the season before talkSPORT took the decision to commit to sending Adrian Durham to Saturday 3pm matches for Matchday Live on a weekly basis, the other being the FA Cup Sixth Round Replay between Chelsea and Manchester United on Easter Monday.

From Community Shield weekend to the penultimate Sunday of the Premier League season (Matchday Live had the Sunday afternoon timeslot on the final day), there were only seven editions of Sunday Exclusive that didn't contain a live (football) commentary. These included three of the five Sundays in September, one of which fell during an international week, and a further two Sundays that fell during the international weeks in October and March.

To conclude, here are full details of how talkSPORT covered the numerous finals they had commentary rights to this season:

FA Community Shield - Georgie Bingham and Ray Parlour presented from the studio, Sam Matterface and Ray Houghton commentated with Dave Rowe at pitchside.

Capital One Cup Final - Georgie Bingham presented from Wembley Stadium, Sam Matterface and Stan Collymore commentated with Ian Abrahams at pitchside and Mike Bovill and Matt Holland reporting from Wembley Way.

FA Cup Final - Adrian Durham and Danny Murphy presented from Wembley Stadium, Sam Matterface and Stan Collymore commentated with Ian Abrahams at pitchside and reporting from Wembley Way during the build-up.

UEFA Europa League Final - Mark Saggers presented from the studio, Sam Matterface and Stan Collymore commentated with Ian Abrahams reporting from the Amsterdam ArenA.

League Two Play-Off Final - Georgie Bingham presented from the studio, Ian Abrahams and Matt Holland provided "extended coverage".

League One Play-Off Final - Adrian Durham presented from West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United (on the final day of the Premier League season), Nigel Adderley and Alvin Martin provided "extended coverage".

Championship Play-Off Final - Mark Saggers and Matt Holland presented from Wembley Stadium, Sam Matterface and Stan Collymore commentated with Ian Abrahams at pitchside.

For the UEFA Champions League Final, Danny Kelly presented coverage from the studio with Nigel Adderley and Stan Collymore providing updates and Ian Abrahams reporting from Wembley Way. Ian Danter reported on the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, Geoff Peters reported on the Scottish Cup Final and Graham Beecroft reported on the UEFA Under-21 Championship Final. talkSPORT didn't have reporters covering the UEFA Super Cup, the Scottish League Cup Final or the Conference Play-Off Final.

For talkSPORT's coverage of England friendly internationals, Mark Saggers presented their coverage of the games against Brazil in February and the Republic of Ireland in May from Wembley Stadium, with Sam Matterface and Stan Collymore commentating and John Anderson at pitchside on both occasions. Sam Matterface and Ray Parlour commentated on the games against Italy in Berne in August and Brazil in Rio in June (Mark Saggers and Danny Kelly presented studio-based coverage respectively), while Nigel Pearson and Stan Collymore commentated on Sweden v England from Stockholm in November with Mark Saggers hosting from the studio.
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