The Appeal of Sport Beyond Traditional Audiences

Yesterday, the BBC announced that Football Focus presenter, Dan Walker will be taking over from long standing presenter Bill Turnbull, on BBC Breakfast as the new co-presenter.

Turnbull, who has been on the show for the past 15 years, is retiring at the end of the month, leaving an opening for another broadcast journalist to host the show alongside female presenter, Louise Minchin.

With growing competition between the morning broadcasters, after the re-energising of Good Morning Britain the BBC has used Turnbulls departure to call on the popularity of Walker.  GMB has a strong and varied presenting panel in the likes of Susanna Reid, Ben Shepherd and the controversial Piers Morgan.  Ben Shepherd, who currently works as a presenter for Sky Sports Goal on Sundays, and Piers Morgan, an avid Arsenal fan who is known for his love of heated debates, highlights how sports presenters and enthusiasts are now being used by broadcasters strategically to broaden the reach of morning news.

Bringing experience of reaching a wider audience, sports presenters have the adaptability that other presenters arguably don’t have.  They have the skills to engage a range of audiences whether it be through football, cricket, netball, rugby, or even snooker, they show a varied knowledge to ensure they are keeping the audience interested and entertained throughout the programme.

Walker who currently presents Football Focus will co-present the BBC Breakfast show Monday-Wednesday.  With Walker’s history and knowledge of presenting on Football Focus and BBC Radio 5 Live, it sheds lights on the new strategy of broadcasters, to include well known sport presenters into their day to day programming, bringing with them the experience of talking to men, women, children, families, and many more, as well as interviewing the odd tricky customer or two.

With another summer of great sporting events, Dan Walker will no doubt be able to provide BBC Breakfast viewers with sports knowledge, charm and build relationships with viewers ahead of the European Championships, Olympics and Paralympics that other news presenters may not be able to.  When Dan Walker officially takes post on 29th February we think he’ll do a great job, and look forward to seeing if the viewing figures reflect that.

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