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The Big Match
The Network Years
1983/84 - 1987/88

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Big League Soccer  (1983/84 - 1987/88)
Big League Soccer - Brian Moore
The following lists detail the games covered exclusively for transmission overseas with ITV commentators. Thames TV were responsible for the majority of match coverage and included them on Big League Soccer, which had been the highlights series for export since 1979 (ending with the close of season 1987/88). The programme would also include BBC footage but was always produced by Thames.

"Big League Soccer" plugged the gap created by ITV's VT editing dispute with BBC footage plus Scottish League action from STV.

17/Dec    Arsenal 3 (Meade 3) Watford 1 (Johnston) *Brian Moore (shown live in Scandinavia)
14/Jan     Luton Town 1 (Kay(og)) Arsenal 2 (Sansom, Woodcock) *Brian Moore
21/Jan     West Ham United 1 (Cottee) West Bromwich A. 0 *Brian Moore (shown live in Scandinavia)

During the first half of season 1985/86, due to the TV football blackout, nothing of the following list of fixtures could be shown on British TV, not even goal clips a week later on the Saint & Greavsie show, but clips from most matches were included on a home video presented by Brian Moore released in time for Christmas 1985.

24/Aug    Arsenal 1 (Allinson(pen)) Manchester United 2 (Hughes, McGrath) *Brian Moore
31/Aug    West Ham United 2 (McAvennie 2) Liverpool 2 (Johnston, Whelan) *Martin Tyler
07/Sep     Tottenham Hotspur 5 (Falco, Chiedozie 2, Hoddle, Hazard) Newcastle United 1 (Davies) *Peter Brackley
14/Sep     Manchester City 0 Manchester United 3 (Robson(pen), Albiston, Duxbury) *Brian Moore
21/Sep     Everton 2 (Sharp, Lineker) Liverpool 3 (Dalglish, Rush, McMahon) *Peter Brackley
28/Sep     Watford 3 (Barnes, Blissett, Terry) Chelsea 1 (Rougvie) *Martin Tyler
05/Oct     Nottingham Forest 3 (Pearce, Bowyer 2) Ipswich Town 1 (Atkins) *Brian Moore
12/Oct    Oxford United 1 (Hebberd) Luton Town 1 (Stein) *Martin Tyler
19/Oct     Manchester United 1 (McGrath) Liverpool 1 (Johnston) *Peter Brackley
26/Oct     Chelsea 1 (McLaughlin) Manchester United 2 (Olsen, Hughes) *Brian Moore
02/Nov    Southampton 1 (Puckett) Tottenham Hotspur 0 *Martin Tyler
09/Nov    Watford 1 (Talbot) Aston Villa 1 (Gray) *Peter Brackley
16/Nov    Manchester United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 *Brian Moore
23/Nov    Coventry City 0 West Ham United 1 (McAvennie) *Martin Tyler
30/Nov    Aston Villa 1 (Walters) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Mabbutt, Falco) *Peter Brackley
07/Dec    Queens Park Rangers 0 West Ham United 1 (McAvennie) *Brian Moore
14/Dec    Arsenal 2 (Nicholas, Quinn) Liverpool 0 *Martin Tyler
21/Dec    Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1 (Nicholas) *Peter Brackley
28/Dec    Chelsea 2 (Dixon, Spackman(pen)) Tottenham Hotspur 0 *Brian Moore

Further known exclusive matches covered after the blackout had come to an end.....
11/Jan    Leicester City 0 West Ham United 1 (McAvennie) *Martin Tyler
18/Jan    Sheffield Wednesday 2 (Shotton(og), Marwood) Oxford United 1 (Slatter)  *Peter Brackley
01/Feb    Ipswich Town 2 (D'Avray, Wilson) Liverpool 1 (Whelan) *Martin Tyler
08/Feb    Chelsea 1 (Bumstead) Oxford United 4 (Rhoades-Brown, Charles, Hebberd, Aldridge) *Peter Brackley
01/Mar   Southampton 1 (Cockerill) Manchester United 0 *Peter Brackley, played in snow
12/Apr    Arsenal 0 Everton 1 (Heath) *Martin Tyler

English clubs who would have qualified for Europe took part in a domestic "Super Cup" and some of these matches were broadcast on the Screensport channel.

*Irish TV began showing matches from 26/Oct/1985 (with their own commentator).
Note that 21/Apr/1986 West Ham 8 Newcastle 1 was shown as a report on the BBC and Alan Parry added his commentary several years later.

23/Aug   Arsenal 1 (Nicholas) Manchester United 0 *Brian Moore
23/Aug    Everton 2 (Sheedy 2) Nottingham Forest 0 *Martin Tyler
30/Aug    Nottingham Forest 1 (Bowyer) Watford 1 (Blissett) *Peter Brackley
30/Aug    Manchester United 0 Charlton Athletic 1 (Stuart) *Martin Tyler
06/Sep    West Ham United 2 (Stewart (pen), Cottee) Liverpool 5 (Whelan, Johnston, Dalgish (2), Rush) *Brian Moore
13/Sep    Wimbledon 1 (Cork) Everton 2 (Sheedy, Sharp) *Martin Tyler
04/Oct     Tottenham Hotspur 0 Luton Town 0 *Peter Brackley, this may have been included on "The Big Match" shown that night by LWT.
11/Oct    Charlton Atheltic 3 (Melrose 3) Everton 2 (Sheedy 2) *Brian Moore
18/Oct    Norwich City 1 (Drinkell) West Ham United 1 (Goddard) *Peter Brackley
01/Nov    Liverpool 6 (Nichol, Walsh 3, Rush 2) Norwich City 2 (Phelan, Hodgson) *Martin Tyler
08/Nov    Coventry City 1 (Pickering) Nottingham Forest 0 *Martin Tyler
15/Nov    Southampton 0 Arsenal 4 (Hayes (pen), Anderson, Quinn, Groves) *Martin Tyler
22/Nov    Sheffield Wednesday 1 (Megson) Luton Town 0 *John Helm
29/Nov    Tottenham Hotspur 2 (C.Allen 2) Nottingham Forest 3 (Pearce (pen), Fairclough, Webb) *Peter Brackley
06/Dec    Oxford United 4 (Aldridge 3, Brock) Luton Town 2 (B.Stein, M.Stein) *Brian Moore
13/Dec    Norwich City 1 (Drinkell) Arsenal 1 (Hayes(pen)) *Martin Tyler
20/Dec    Charlton 0 Liverpool 0 *Brian Moore
27/Dec    West Ham United 2 (Cottee, Hilton) Wimbledon 3 (Fashanu, Sayer, Fairweather) *Martin Tyler
03/Jan    Southampton 1 (Holmes) Manchester United 1 (Olsen) *Martin Tyler
24/Jan     Manchester United 2 (Strachan, T.Gibson) Arsenal 0 *Martin Tyler
24/Jan    Tottenham Hotspur 3  (Hodge 2, Claesen) Aston Villa 0 *Peter Brackley
07/Feb    Leicester City 3 (Smith, Ramsey 2) Wimbledon 1 (Fairweather) *Martin Tyler
14/Feb    Nottingham Forest 1 (Birtles(pen)) West Ham 1 (Stewart(pen)) *Brian Moore
14/Mar    Everton 3 (Wright(og), Power, Watson) Southampton *Peter Brackley
11/Apr    Everton 4 (Clarke, Reid, Srevens, Watson) West Ham United 0 *John Helm
18/Apr    Tottenham Hotspur 1 (C.Allen) Charlton Atheltic 0 *Peter Brackley
25/Apr    Liverpool 3 (McMahon, Rush 2) Everton 1 (Sheedy) *Martin Tyler
02/May    Coventry City 1 (Pickering) Liverpool 0 *Peter Brackley
02/May    Everton 0 Manchester City 0 *Martin Tyler
09/May   West Ham United 2 (Brady, Cottee) Manchester City 0 *Peter Brackley

Presumably broadcast on the Screensport channel.....
29/Mar    Blackburn Rovers 1 (Hendry) Charlton Athletic 0 [Full Members Cup Final] *Martin Tyler & David Pleat (with BBC graphics)

The 1987/88 editions were also available to a select band of UK viewers on satellite and cable, broadcast on Monday nights (usually) on the Screensport channel. The regular slot was 9:30-11pm with a Friday repeat. Occasionally due to live events it was Friday only. Jim Rosenthal took over as presenter and Martin Tyler was paired up with Andy Gray for the first time.
15/Aug   Arsenal 1 (Davis) Liverpool 2 (Aldridge, Nicol) *Brian Moore
22/Aug    Queens Park Rangers 2 (Byrne, McDonald) Arsenal 0
29/Aug   Charlton Athletic 1 (Stuart) Manchester United 3 (McClair, Robson, McGrath) *Brian Moore
29/Aug   Watford 1 (Porter) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Allen(pen)) *Martin Tyler
05/Sep    Oxford United 2 (Slatter, Foyle) Luton Town 5 (B.Stein, Breaker, Nwajiobi, Hill, Harford) *Brian Moore
12/Sep    Wimbledon 1 (Wise) West Ham 1 (Cottee) *Martin Tyler
19/Sep    Derby County 2 (Gregory, Forsyth)  Sheffield Wednesday 2 (Megson, Sterland) *Peter Brackley
26/Sep    Manchester United 1 (McClair(pen)) Tottenham Hotspur 0 *Brian Moore
03/Oct    Chelsea 2 (McCreery(og), Dixon)  Newcastle United 2 (Goddard, Wharton) *Martin Tyler
10/Oct    Derby County 0 Nottingham Forest 1 (Wilkinson) *Peter Brackley
07/Nov   Oxford United 1 (Saunders(pen)) Coventry City 0 *Peter Brackley
21/Nov   Wimbledon 2 (Fairweather, Scales) Manchester United 1 (Blackmore)
05/Dec    Queens Park Rangers 0 Manchester United 2 (Davenport, Robson) *Peter Brackley
19/Dec    Arsenal 1 (Rocastle) Everton 1 (Watson) *Peter Brackley
26/Dec    Southampton 2 (Moore, Clarke) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Fairclough) *Martin Tyler
02/Jan    Leicester City 4 (Brien, Reid, McAllister, Wilkinson) Crystal Palace 4 (Barber, Wright 2, Pennyfather) *Brian Moore
06/Feb    Luton Town 7 (Harford 2, B.Stein, McDonough, M.Stein 3) Oxford United 4 (Saunders(pen), Foyle, Hill, Phillips) *Peter Brackley
13/Feb    West Ham United 1 (Cottee) Portsmouth 1 (Connor) *Martin Tyler
05/Mar    Derby County 1 (Callaghan(pen)) Charlton Athletic 1 (Reid)
27/Feb    Queens Park Rangers 1 (Byrne) Wimbledon 0 *Brian Moore
26/Mar    Newcastle United 2 (O'Neill 2) Coventry City 2 (Smith, Speedie) *Martin Tyler
02/Apr    Chelsea 1 (Hazard) Arsenal 1 (McLoughlin(og)) *Martin Tyler +Simod Cup Final & Forest v Derby (midweek)

*Clips from some of the above games may have been shown on Saint & Greavsie.

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Live football on ITV

1988/89  |  1989/90  |  1990/91  |  1991/92

"English Soccer"
For seasons 1988/89 through to the end of 1991/92 the 'World Wide Soccer' company produced the English Soccer series which replaced Big League Soccer for export. This would feature at least one match a week plus all of the goals scored in the top flight. The vast majority of Saturday games were commentated on by Martin Tyler (in some territories they were broadcast live). Brian Moore was also a regular voice between 1988-90 and occasionally later when Tyler had BSB/Sky commitments. Alan Parry, John Helm, Gerry Harrison and Sky presenter Paul Dempsey also provided the odd commentary throughout. The programmes used the same graphics as seen on ITV's First Division goals round-ups and were the basis for the Official Football League videos that began to appear in the early 1990's (which do feature a lot of dubbed commentaries from Martin Tyler, Alan Parry, Clive Tyldesley, Richard Keys and even Jim Rosenthal and Gerald Sinstadt, sometimes in favour of on-site commentaries by Gerry Harrison, John Helm and Roger Tames for Anglia, YTV and Tyne Tees).

*'World Wide Soccer' was a company formed by Chrysalis TV, ITV, CBS Fox and CSI.

ITV football, 1992/93-1996/97
For season 1992/93 the breakaway Premier League TV rights were snapped up by SKY (live matches) and the BBC (Saturday night highlights). ITV were left with Divisions 2, 3 & 4 (now to be confusingly re-numbered as Divisions 1, 2 & 3). In August 1992, live broadcasts of regional matches from the 2nd tier were introduced to Sunday afternoon ITV schedules, although some region's football fans were better served than others - those who had fewer local clubs representing them at 2nd tier level often had to make do with a film instead. The Premiership clubs were soon reaping the financial rewards of their exclusive deals with SKY and now able to satisfy requirements to build all-seater stadium's in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster. The new seats apparently justified increased ticket prices at a rate way above inflation which in turn began to attract a new class of supporter whilst pricing out many fans who had loyally followed their clubs through football's most troubled decade in the 1980's.

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